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The Divine Comedy, Volume 2, Purgatory [Purgatorio]
by Dante Alighieri
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The Divine Comedy, Volume 2, Purgatory [Purgatorio]

by Dante Aligheri

Translated by Charles Eliot Norton



PURGATORY



CONTENTS

CANTO I. Invocation to the Muses.—Dawn of Easter on the shore of Purgatory.—The Four Stars.—Cato.—The cleansing of Dante from the stains of Hell.

CANTO II. Sunrise.—The Poets on the shore.—Coming of a boat, guided by an angel, bearing souls to Purgatory.—Their landing.—Casella and his song.—Cato hurries the souls to the mountain.

CANTO III. Ante-Purgatory.—Souls of those who have died in contumacy of the Church.—Manfred.

CANTO IV. Ante-Purgatory.—Ascent to a shelf of the mountain.—The negligent, who postponed repentance to the last hour—Belacqua.

CANTO V. Ante-Purgatory.—Spirits who had delayed repentance, and met with death by violence, but died repentant.—Jacopo del Cassero.—Buonconte da Montefeltro.—Via de' Tolomei.

CANTO VI. Ante-Purgatory.—More spirits who had deferred repentance till they were overtaken by a violent death.—Efficacy of prayer.—Sordello.—Apostrophe to Italy.

CANTO VII. Virgil makes himself known to Sordello.—Sordello leads the Poets to the Valley of the Princes who have been negligent of salvation.—He points them out by name.

CANTO VIII. Valley of the Princes.—Two Guardian Angels.—Nino Visconti.—The Serpent.—Corrado Malaspina.

CANTO IX. Slumber and Dream of Dante.—The Eagle.—Lucia.—The Gate of Purgatory.—The Angelic Gatekeeper.—Seven P's inscribed on Dante's Forehead.—Entrance to the First Ledge.

CANTO X. First Ledge the Proud.—Examples of humility sculptured on the Rock.

CANTO XI. First Ledge: the Proud.—Prayer.—Omberto Aldobrandeschi.—Oderisi d' Agubbio.—Provinzan Salvani.

CANTO XII. First Ledge: the Proud.—Examples of the punishment of Pride graven on the pavement.—Meeting with an Angel who removes one of the P's.—Ascent to the Second Ledge.

CANTO XIII. Second Ledge: the Envious.—Examples of Love.—The Shades in haircloth, and with sealed eyes.—Sapla of Siena.

CANTO XIV. Second Ledge: the Envious.—Guido del Duca.—Rinieri de' Calboli.—Examples of the punishment of Envy.

CANTO XV. Second Ledge: the Envious.—An Angel removes the second P from Dante's forehead.—Discourse concerning the Sharing of Good.—Ascent to the Third Ledge: the Wrathful.—Examples of Forbearance seen in Vision.

CANTO XVI. Third Ledge: the Wrathful.—Marco Lombardo.—His discourse on Free Will, and the Corruption of the World.

CANTO XVII. Third Ledge: the Wrathful.—Issue from the Smoke.—Vision of examples of Anger—Ascent to the Fourth Ledge, where Sloth is purged—Second Nightfall—Virgil explains how Love is the root of Virtue and of Sin.

CANTO XVIII. Fourth Ledge: the Slothful.—Discourse of Virgil on Love and Free Will.—-Throng of Spirits running in haste to redeem their Sin.—The Abbot of San Zeno.—Dante falls asleep.

CANTO XIX. Fourth Ledge: the Slothful.—Dante dreams of the Siren—The Angel of the Pass.—Ascent to the Fifth Ledge.—Pope Adrian V.

CANTO XX. Fifth Ledge: the Avaricious.—The Spirits celebrate examples of Poverty and Bounty.—Hugh Capet.—His discourse on his descendants.—Trembling of the Mountain.

CANTO XXI. Fifth Ledge: the Avaricious.—Statius.—Cause of the trembling of the Mountain.—Statius does honor to Virgil.

CANTO XXII. Ascent to the Sixth Ledge—Discourse of Statius and Virgil.—Entrance to the Ledge: the Gluttonous.—The Mystic Tree.—Examples of Temperance.

CANTO XXIII. Sixth Ledge the Gluttonous.—Forese Donati.—Nella.—Rebuke of the women of Florence.

CANTO XXIV. Sixth Ledge: the Gluttonous.—Forese Donati.—Bonagiunta of Lucca.—Pope Martin IV.—Ubaldin dalla Pila.—Bonifazio.—Messer Marchese.—Prophecy of Bonagiunta concerning Gentucca, and of Forese concerning Corso de' Donati.—Second Mystic Tree.—The Angel of the Pass.

CANTO XXV. Ascent to the Seventh Ledge.—Discourse of Statius on generation, the infusion of the Soul into the body, and the corporeal semblance of Souls after death.—The Seventh Ledge:the Lustful.—The mode of their Purification.

CANTO XXVI. Seventh Ledge: the Lustful.—Sinners in the fire, going in opposite directions.—Guido Guinicelli.—Arnaut Daniel.

CANTO XXVII. Seventh Ledge: the Lustful.—Passage through the Flames.—Stairway in the rock.—Night upon the stairs.—Dream of Dante.—Morning.—Ascent to the Earthly Paradise.—Last words of Virgil.

CANTO XXVIII. The Earthly Paradise.—The Forest.—A Lady gathering flowers on the bank of a little stream.—Discourse with her concerning the nature of the place.

CANTO XXIX. The Earthly Paradise.—Mystic Procession or Triumph of the Church.

CANTO XXX. The Earthly Paradise.—Beatrice appears.—Departure of Virgil.—Reproof of Dante by Beatrice.

CANTO XXXI. The Earthly Paradise.—Reproachful discourse of Beatrice, and confession of Dante.—Passage of Lethe.—Appeal of the Virtues to Beatrice.—Her Unveiling.

CANTO XXXII. The Earthly Paradise.—Return of the Triumphal procession.—The Chariot bound to the Mystic Tree.—Sleep of Dante.—His waking to find the Triumph departed.—Transformation of the Chariot.—The Harlot and the Giant.

CANTO XXXIII. The Earthly Paradise.—Prophecy of Beatrice concerning one who shall restore the Empire.—Her discourse with Dante.—The river Eunoe.—Dante drinks of it, and is fit to ascend to Heaven.



PURGATORY

CANTO I. Invocation to the Muses.—Dawn of Easter on the shore of Purgatory.—The Four Stars.—Cato.—The cleansing of Dante from the stains of Hell.

To run over better waters the little vessel of my genius now hoists its sails, and leaves behind itself a sea so cruel; and I will sing of that second realm where the human spirit is purified and becomes worthy to ascend to heaven.

But here let dead poesy rise again, O holy Muses, since yours I am, and here let Calliope somewhat mount up, accompanying my song with that sound of which the wretched Picae felt the stroke such that they despaired of pardon.[1]

[1] The nine daughters of Pieros, king of Emathia, who, contending in song with the Muses, were for their presumption changed to magpies.

A sweet color of oriental sapphire, which was gathering in the serene aspect of the sky, pure even to the first circle,[1] renewed delight to my eyes soon as I issued forth from the dead air that had afflicted my eyes and my breast. The fair planet which incites to love was making all the Orient to smile, veiling the Fishes that were in her train.[2] I turned me to the right hand, and fixed my mind upon the other pole, and saw four stars never seen save by the first people.[3] The heavens appeared to rejoice in their flamelets. O widowed northern region, since thou art deprived of beholding these!

[1] By "the first circle," Dante seems to mean the horizon.

[2] At the spring equinox Venus is in the sign of the Pisces, which immediately precedes that of Aries, in which is the Sun. The time indicated is therefore an hour or more before sunrise on Easter morning, April 10.

When I had withdrawn from regarding them, turning me a little to the other pole, there whence the Wain had already disappeared, I saw close to me an old man alone, worthy in look of so much reverence that no son owes more unto his father.[1] He wore a long beard and mingled with white hair, like his locks, of which a double list fell upon his breast. The rays of the four holy stars so adorned his face with light, that I saw him, as if the sun had been in front.

[1] These stars are the symbols of the four Cardinal Virtues,— Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, and Justice,—the virtues of active life, sufficient to guide men in the right path, but not to bring them to Paradise. By the first people arc probably meant Adam and Eve, who from the terrestrial Paradise, on the summit of the Mount of Purgatory, had seen these stars, visible only from the Southern hemisphere. According to the geography of the time Asia and Africa lay north of the equator, so that even to their inhabitants these stars were invisible. Possibly the meaning is that these stars, symbolizing the cardinal virtues, had been visible only in the golden age.

This old man, as soon appears, is the younger Cato, and the office here given to him of warden of the souls in the outer region of Purgatory was suggested by the position assigned to him by Virgil in the Aeneid, viii. 670. "Secretosque pios, his dantem jura Catonem."

It has been objected to Virgil's thus putting him in Elysium, that as a suicide his place was in the Mourning Fields. A similar objection may be made to Dante's separating him from the other suicides in the seventh circle of Hell (Canto XIII.). "But," says Conington, "Virgil did not aim at perfect consistency. It was enough for him that Cato was one who from his character in life might be justly conceived of as lawgiver to the dead." So Dante, using Cato as an allegoric figure, regards him as one who, before the coming of Christ, practised the virtues which are required to liberate the soul from sin, and who, as be says in the De Monarchia (ii. 5), "that he might kindle the love of liberty in the world, showed how precious it was, by preferring death with liberty to life without it." This liberty is the type of that spiritual freedom which Dante is seeking, and which, being the perfect conformity of the human will to the will of God, is the aim and fruition of nil redeemed souls.

In the region of Purgatory outside the gate, the souls have not yet attained this freedom; they are on the way to it, and Cato is allegorically fit to warn and spur them on.

"Who are ye that counter to the blind stream have fled from the eternal prison?" said he, moving those venerable plumes. "Who has guided you? Or who was a lamp to you, issuing forth from the deep night that ever makes the infernal valley black? Are the laws of the abyss thus broken? or is a new design changed in heaven that, being damned, ye come unto my rocks?"

My Leader then took hold of me, and with words, and with hands, and with signs, made my legs and my brow reverent. Then he answered him, "Of myself I came not; a Lady descended from Heaven, through whose prayers I succored this man with my company. But since it is thy will that more of our condition be unfolded to thee as it truly is, mine cannot be that to thee this be denied. This man has not seen his last evening, but through his folly was so near thereto that very little time there was to turn. Even as I have said, I was sent to him to rescue him, and there was no other way than this, along which I have set myself. I have shown to him all the guilty people; and now I intend to show him those spirits that purge themselves under thy ward. How I have led him, it would be long to tell thee; from on high descends power that aids me to conduct him to see thee and to hear thee. Now may it please thee to approve his coming. He goes seeking liberty, which is so dear, as he knows who for her refuses life. Thou knowest it, for death for her sake was not hitter to thee in Utica, where thou didst leave the garment that on the great day shall he so bright. The eternal edicts are not violated by us, for this one is alive, and Minos does not bind me; but I am of the circle where are the chaste eyes of thy Marcia, who in her look still prays thee, O holy breast, that for thine own thou hold her. For her love, then, incline thyself to us; let us go on through thy seven realms.[1] Thanks unto thee will I carry back to her, if to be mentioned there below thou deign."

[1] The seven circles of Purgatory.

"Marcia so pleased my eyes while I was on earth," said he then, "that whatsoever grace she wished from me I did it; now, that on the other side of the evil stream she dwells, she can no more move me, by that law which was made when thence I issued forth.[1] But if a Lady of heaven move and direct thee, as thou sayest, there is no need of flattery; suffice it fully to thee that for her sake thou askest me. Go then, and see thou gird this one with a smooth rush, and that thou wash his face so that thou remove all sully from it, for it were not befitting to go with eye overcast by any cloud before the first minister that is of those of Paradise. This little island, round about at its base, down there yonder where the wave heats it, bears rushes upon its soft ooze. No plant of other kind, that might put forth leaf or grow hard, can there have life, because it yields not to the shocks. Thereafter let not your return be this way; the Sun which now is rising will show you to take the mountain by easier ascent."

[1] The law that the redeemed cannot be touched by other than heavenly affections.

So he disappeared, and I rose up, without speaking, and drew me close to my Leader, and turned my eyes to him. He began, "Son, follow my steps; let us turn back, for this plain slopes that way to its low limits."

The dawn was vanquishing the matin hour which fled before it, so that from afar I discerned the trembling of the sea. We set forth over the solitary plain like a man who turns unto the road which he has lost, and, till he come to it, seems to himself to go in vain. When we were where the dew contends with the sun, and, through being in a place where there is shade, is little dissipated, my Master softly placed both his hands outspread upon the grass. Whereon I, who perceived his design, stretched toward him my tear-stained cheeks. Here he wholly uncovered that color of mine which hell had hidden on me.[1]

[1] Allegorically, when the soul has entered upon the way of purification Reason, with the dew of repentance, washes off the stain of sin, and girds the spirit with humility.

We came, then, to the desert shore that never saw navigate its waters one who afterwards had experience of return. Here he girt me, even as pleased the other. O marvel! that such as he plucked the humble plant, it instantly sprang up again there whence he tore it.[1]

[1] The goods of the spirit are not diminished by appropriation.



CANTO II. Sunrise.—The Poets on the shore.—Coming of a boat, guided by an angel, bearing souls to Purgatory.—Their landing.—Casella and his song.—Cato hurries the souls to the mountain.

Now had the sun reached the horizon whose meridian circle covers Jerusalem with its highest point; and the night which circles opposite to it was issuing forth from Ganges with the Scales that fall from her hand when she exceeds;[1] so that where I was the white and red cheeks of the beautiful Aurora by too much age were becoming orange.

[1] Purgatory and Jerusalem are antipodal, and in one direction the Ganges or India was arbitrarily assumed to be their common horizon. The night is here taken as the point of the Heavens opposite the sun, and the sun being in Aries, the night is in Libra. When night exceeds, that is, at the autumnal equinox, when the night becomes longer than the day, the Scales may be said to drop from her hand, since the sun enters Libra.

We were still alongside the sea, like folk who are thinking of their road, who go in heart and linger in body; and lo! as, at approach of the morning, through the dense vapors Mars glows ruddy, down in the west above the ocean floor, such appeared to me,—so may I again behold it!—a light along the sea coming so swiftly that no flight equals its motion. From which when I had a little withdrawn my eye to ask my Leader, again I saw it, brighter become and larger. Then on each side of it appeared to me a something, I know not what, white, and beneath, little by little, another came forth from it. My Master still said not a word, until the first white things showed themselves wings; then, When he clearly recognized the pilot, he cried out, "Mind, mind, thou bend thy knees. Lo! the Angel of God: fold thy hands; henceforth shalt thou see such officials. See how he scorns human means, so that he wills not oar, or other sail than his own wings between such distant shores. See, how he holds them straight toward heaven, stroking the air with his eternal feathers that are not changed like mortal hair."

Then, as nearer and nearer toward us came the Bird Divine, the brighter he appeared; so that near by my eye endured him not, but I bent it down: and he came on to the shore with a small vessel, very swift and light so that the water swallowed naught of it. At the stern stood the Celestial Pilot, such that if but described he would make blessed; and more than a hundred spirits sat within. "In exitu Israel de Egypto"[1] they all were singing together with one voice, with whatso of that psalm is after written. Then he made the sign of holy cross upon them; whereon they all threw themselves upon the strand; and he went away swift as he had come.

1 "When Israel went out of Egypt." Psalm cxiv.

The crowd which remained there seemed strange to the place, gazing round about like him who of new things makes essay. On all sides the Sun, who had with his bright arrows chased from midheaven the Capricorn,[1] was shooting forth the day, when the new people raised their brow toward us, saying to us, "If ye know, show us the way to go unto the mountain." And Virgil answered, "Ye believe, perchance, that we are acquainted with this place, but we are pilgrims even as ye are. Just now we came, a little before you, by another way, which was so rough and difficult that the ascent henceforth will seem play to us.

[1] When Aries, in which the Sun was rising, is on the horizon, Capricorn is at the zenith.

The souls who had become aware concerning me by my breathing, that I was still alive, marvelling became deadly pale. And as to a messenger who bears an olive branch the folk press to hear news, and no one shows himself shy of crowding, so, at the sight of me, those fortunate souls stopped still, all of them, as if forgetting to go to make themselves fair.

I saw one of them drawing forward to embrace me with so great affection that it moved me to do the like. O shades empty save in aspect! Three times behind it I clasped my hands and as oft returned with them unto my breast. With marvel, I believe, I painted me; wherefore the shade smiled and drew back, and I, following it, pressed forward, Gently it said, that I should pause; then I knew who it was, and I prayed it that to speak with me it would stop a little. It replied to me, "So as I loved thee in the mortal body, so loosed from it I love thee; therefore I stop; but wherefore goest thou?"

"Casella mine, in order to return another time to this place where I am, do I make this journey," said I, "but from thee how has so much time been taken?"[1]

[1] "How has thy coming hither been delayed so long since thy death?"

And he to me, "No wrong has been done me if he[1] who takes both when and whom it pleases him ofttimes hath denied to me this passage; for of a just will[2] his own is made. Truly for three months he has taken with all peace whoso has wished to enter. Wherefore I who was now turned to the seashore where the water of Tiber grows salt was benignantly received by him.[3] To that outlet has he now turned his wing, because always those assemble there who towards Acheron do not descend."

[1] The Celestial Pilot.

[2] That is, of the Divine Will; but there is no explanation of the motive of the delay.

[3] The Tiber is the local symbol of the Church of Rome, from whose bosom those who die at peace with her pass to Purgatory. The Jubilee, proclaimed by Boniface VIII., had begun at Christmas, 1299, so that for three months now the Celestial Pilot had received graciously all who had taken advantage of it to gain remission of their sins.



And I, "If a new law take not from thee memory or practice of the song of love which was wont to quiet in me all my longings, may it please thee therewith somewhat to comfort my soul, which coming hither with its body is so wearied."

"Love which in my mind discourseth with me,"[1] began he then so sweetly that the sweetness still within me sounds.[2] My Master, and I, and that folk who were with him, appeared so content as if naught else could touch the mind of any.

[1] The first verse of a canzone by Dante; the canzone is the second of those upon which he comments in his Convito.

[2] Every English reader recalls Milton's Sonnet to Mr. Henry Lawes:— "Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher Than his Casella, whom he woo'd to sing, Met in the milder shades of purgatory."

Nothing is known of Casella beyond what is implied in Dante's affectionate record of their meeting.

We were all fixed and attentive to his notes; and lo! the venerable old man crying, "What is this, ye laggard spirits? What negligence, what stay is this? Run to the mountain to strip off the slough that lets not God be manifest to you."

As, when gathering grain or tare, the doves assembled at their feeding, quiet, without display of their accustomed pride, if aught appear of which they are afraid, suddenly let the food alone, because they are assailed by a greater care, so I saw that fresh troop leave the song, and go towards the hill-side, like one that goes but knows not where he may come out. Nor was our departure less speedy.



CANTO III. Ante-Purgatory.—Souls of those who have died in contumacy of the Church.— Manfred.

Inasmuch as the sudden flight had scattered them over the plain, turned to the mount whereto reason spurs us, I drew me close to my trusty companion. And how should I without him have run? Who would have drawn me up over the mountain? He seemed to me of his own self remorseful. O conscience, upright and stainless, how bitter a sting to thee is little fault!

When his feet left the haste that takes the seemliness from every act, my mind, which at first had been restrained, let loose its attention, as though eager, and I turned my face unto the hill that towards the heaven rises highest from the sea. The sun, which behind was flaming ruddy, was broken in front of me by the figure that the staying of its rays upon me formed. When I saw the ground darkened only in front of me, I turned me to my side with fear of being abandoned: and my Comfort, wholly turning to me, began to say, "Why dost thou still distrust? Dost thou not believe me with thee, and that I guide thee? It is now evening there where the body is buried within which I cast a shadow; Naples holds it, and from Brundusium it is taken; if now in front of me there is no shadow, marvel not more than at the heavens of which one hinders not the other's radiance. To suffer torments, both hot and cold, bodies like this the Power ordains, which wills not that how it acts be revealed to us. Mad is he who hopes that our reason can traverse the infinite way which One Substance in Three Persons holds. Be content, human race, with the quia;[1]; for if ye had been able to see everything, need had not been for Mary to hear child: and ye have seen desiring fruitlessly men such [2] that their desire would have been quieted, which is given them eternally for a grief. I speak of Aristotle and of Plato, and of many others;" and here he bowed his front, and said no more, and remained disturbed.

[1] Quic is used here, as often in mediaeval Latin, for quod. The meaning is, Be content to know that the thing is, seek not to know WHY or HOW—propter quid—it is as it is.

[2] If human knowledge sufficed.

We had come, meanwhile, to the foot of the mountain; here we found the rock so steep, that there the legs would be agile in vain. Between Lerici and Turbia[1] the most deserted, the most secluded way is a stair easy and open, compared with that. "Now who knows on which hand the hillside slopes," said my Master, staying his step, "so that he can ascend who goeth without wings?"

[1] Lerici on the Gulf of Spezzia, and Turbia, just above Monaco, are at the two ends of the Riviera; between them the mountains rise steeply from the shore, along which in Dante's time there was no road.

And while he was holding his face low, questioning his mind about the road, and I was looking up around the rock, on the left hand appeared to me a company of souls who were moving their feet towards us, and seemed not, so slowly were they coming. "Lift," said I to the Master, "thine eyes, lo! on this side who will give us counsel, if thou from thyself canst not have it." He looked at them, and with air of relief, answered, "Let us go thither, for they come slowly, and do thou confirm thy hope, sweet son.

That people was still as far, I mean after a thousand steps of ours, as a good thrower would cast with his hand, when they all pressed up to the hard masses of the high bank, and stood still and close, as one who goes in doubt stops to look.[1] "O ye who have made good ends, O spirits already elect," Virgil began, "by that peace which I believe is awaited by you all, tell us, where the mountain lies so that the going up is possible; for to lose time is most displeasing to him who knows most."

[1] They stopped, surprised, at seeing Virgil and Dante advancing to the left, against the rule in Purgatory, where the course is always to the right, symbolizing progress in good. In Hell the contrary rule holds.

As the sheep come forth from the fold by ones, and twos, and threes, and the others stand timid, holding eye and muzzle to the ground; and what the first does the others also do, huddling themselves to her if she stop, silly and quiet, and wherefore know not; so I saw then moving to approach, the head of that fortunate flock, modest in face and dignified in gait.

When those in front saw the light broken on the ground at my right side, so that the shadow fell from me on the cliff, they stopped, and drew somewhat back; and all the rest who were coming behind, not knowing why, did just the same. "Without your asking, I confess to you that this is a human body which you see, whereby the light of the sun on the ground is cleft. Marvel not thereat, but believe that not without power that comes from heaven he seeks to surmount this wall." Thus the Master:and that worthy people said, "Turn, enter in advance, then;" with the backs of their hands making sign. And one of them began, "Whoever thou art, turn thy face as thou thus goest; consider if in the world thou didst ever see me?" I turned me toward him, and looked at him fixedly: blond he was, and beautiful, and of gentle aspect, but a blow had divided one of his eyebrows.

When I had humbly disclaimed having ever seen him, he said, "Now look!" and he showed me a wound at the top of his breast. Then he said, smiling, "I am Manfred,[1] grandson of the Empress Constance; wherefore I pray thee, that when thou returnest, thou go to my beautiful daughter,[2] mother of the honor of Sicily and of Aragon, and tell to her the truth if aught else be told. After I had my body broken by two mortal stabs, I rendered myself, weeping, to Him who pardons willingly. Horrible were my sins, but the Infinite Goodness has such wide arms that it takes whatever turns to it. If the Pastor of Cosenza,[3] who was set on the hunt of me by Clement, had then rightly read this page in God, the bones of my body would still be at the head of the bridge near Benevento, under the guard of the heavy cairn. Now the rain bathes them, and the wind moves them forth from the kingdom, almost along the Verde, whither he transferred them with extinguished light.[4] By their [5] malediction the Eternal Love is not so lost that it cannot return, while hope hath speck of green. True is it, that whoso dies in contumacy of Holy Church, though he repent him at the end, needs must stay outside[6] upon this bank thirtyfold the whole time that he has been in his presumption,[7] if such decree become not shorter through good prayers. See now if thou canst make me glad, revealing to my good Constance how thou hast seen me, and also this prohibition,[8] for here through those on earth much is gained."

[1] The natural son of the Emperor Frederick II. He was born in 1231; in 1258 he was crowned King of Sicily. In 1263 Charles of Anjou was called by Pope Urban IV. to contend against him, and in 1266 Manfred was killed at the battle of Benevento.

[2] Constance, the daughter of Manfred, was married to Peter of Aragon. She had three sons, Alphonso, James, and Frederick. Alphonso succeeded his father in Aragon, and James in Sicily, but after the death of Alphonso James became King of Aragon. and Frederick King of Sicily. Manfred naturally speaks favorably of them, but Dante himself thought ill of James and Frederick. See Canto VII., towards the end.

[3] The Archbishop of Cosenza, at command of the Pope, Clement IV., took the body of Manfred from his grave near Benevento, and threw it unburied, as the body of one excommunicated, on the bank of the Verde.

[4] Not with candles burning as in proper funeral rites.

[5] That is, of Pope or Bishop.

[6] Outside the gate of Purgatory.

[7] This seems to be a doctrine peculiar to Dante. The value of the prayers of the good on earth in shortening the period of suffering of the souls in Purgatory is more than once referred to by him, as well as the virtue of the intercession of the souls in Purgatory for the benefit of the living. [8] The prohibition of entering within Purgatory.



CANTO IV. Ante-Purgatory.—Ascent to a shelf of the mountain.—The negligent, who postponed repentance to the last hour.—Belacqua.

When through delights, or through pains which some power of ours may experience, the soul is all concentrated thereon, it seems that to no other faculty it may attend; and this is counter to the error which believes that one soul above another is kindled in us.[1] And therefore, when a thing is heard or seen, which may hold the soul intently turned to it, the time passes, and the man observes it not: for one faculty is that which listens, and another is that which keeps the soul entire; the latter is as it were bound, and the former is loosed.

[1] Were it true that, as according to the Platonists, there were more than one soul in man, he might give attention to two things at once. But when one faculty is free and called into activity, the rest of the soul is as it were bound in inaction.

Of this had I true experience, hearing that spirit and wondering; for full fifty degrees had the sun ascended,[1] and I had not noticed it, when we came where those souls all together cried out to us, "Here is what you ask."

[1] It was now about nine o'clock A. M.

A larger opening the man of the farm often hedges up with a forkful of his thorns, when the grape grows dark, than was the passage through which my Leader and I behind ascended alone, when the troop departed from us. One goes to Sanleo, and descends to Noli, one mounts up Bismantova[1] to its peak, with only the feet; but here it behoves that one fly, I mean with the swift wings and with the feathers of great desire, behind that guide who gave me hope and made a light for me. We ascended in through the broken rock, and on each side the border pressed on us, and the ground beneath required both feet and hands.

[1] These all are places difficult of access.

When we were upon the upper edge of the high bank on the open slope, "My Master," said I, "what way shall we take?" And he to me, "Let no step of thine fall back, always win up the mountain behind me, till some sage guide appear for us."

The summit was so high it surpassed the sight and the side steeper far than a line from the mid quadrant to the centre.[1] I was weary, when I began, "O sweet Father, turn and regard howl remain alone if thou dost not stop." "My son," said he, "far as here drag thyself," pointing me to a ledge a little above, which on that side circles all the hill. His words so spurred me, that I forced myself, scrambling after him, until the belt was beneath my feet. There we both sat down, turning to the east, whence we had ascended, for to look back is wont to encourage one. I first turned my eyes to the low shores, then I raised them to the sun, and wondered that on the left we were struck by it. The Poet perceived clearly that I was standing all bewildered at the chariot of the light, where between us and Aquilo,[2] it was entering. Whereupon he to me, "If Castor and Pollux were in company with that mirror [3] which up and down guides with its light, thou wouldst see the ruddy Zodiac revolving still closer to the Bears, if it went not out of its old road.[4] How that may be, if thou wishest to be able to think, collected in thyself imagine Zion and this mountain to stand upon the earth so that both have one sole horizon, and different hemispheres; then thou wilt see that the road which Phaethon, to his harm, knew not how to drive, must needs pass on the one side of this mountain, and on the other side of that, if thy intelligence right clearly heeds." "Surely, my Master," said I, "never yet saw I so clearly, as I now discern there where my wit seemed deficient; for the mid-circle of the supernal motion, which is called Equator in a certain art,[4] and which always remains between the sun and the winter, for the reason that thou tellest, from here departs toward the north, while the Hebrews saw it toward the warm region. But, if it please thee, willingly I would know how far we have to go, for the hill rises higher than my eyes can rise." And he to me, "This mountain is such, that ever at the beginning below it is hard, and the higher one goes the less it hurts; therefore when it shall seem so pleasant to thee that the going up will be easy to thee as going down the current in a vessel, then wilt thou be at the end of this path; there repose from toil await: no more I answer, and this I know for true."

[1] A steeper inclination than that of an angle of forty-five degrees.

[2] The North.

[3] The brightness of the sun is the reflection of the Divine light.

[4] If the sun were in the sign of the Gemini instead of being in Aries it would make the Zodiac ruddy still farther to the north. In Purgatory the sun being seen from south of the equator is on the left hand, while at Jerusalem, in the northern hemisphere, it is seen on the right.

[5] Astronomy.

And when he had said his word, a voice near by sounded, "Perchance thou wilt be first constrained to sit." At the sound of it each of us turned, and we saw at the left a great stone which neither he nor I before had noticed. Thither we drew; and there were persons who were staying in the shadow behind the rock, as one through indolence sets himself to stay. And one of them, who seemed to me weary, was seated, and was clasping his knees, holding his face down low between them. "O sweet my Lord," said I, "look at him who shows himself more indolent than if sloth were his sister." Then that one turned to us and gave heed, moving his look only up along his thigh, and said, "Now go up thou, for thou art valiant." I recognized then who he was, and that effort which was still quickening my breath a little hindered not my going to him, and after I had reached him, he scarce raised his head, saying, "Hast thou clearly seen how the sun over thy left shoulder drives his chariot?"

His slothful acts and his short words moved my lips a little to a smile, then I began, "Belacqua,[1] I do not grieve for thee now,[2] but tell me why just here thou art seated? awaitest thou a guide, or has only thy wonted mood recaptured thee?" And he, "Brother, what imports the going up? For the bird of God that sitteth at the gate would not let me go to the torments. It first behoves that heaven circle around me outside the gate, as long as it did in life, because I delayed good sighs until the end; unless the prayer first aid me which rises up from a heart that lives in grace: what avails the other which is not heard in heaven?"

[1] Belacqua, according to Benvenuto da Imola, was a Florentine, a maker of citherns and other musical instruments; he carved with great care the necks and heads of his citherns, and sometimes he played on them. Dante, because of his love of music, had been well acquainted with him.

[2] He had feared lest Belacqua might be in Hell.

And now the Poet in front of me was ascending, and he said, "Come on now: thou seest that the meridian is touched by the sun, and on the shore the night now covers with her foot Morocco."



CANTO V. Ante-Purgatory.—Spirits who had delayed repentance, and met with death by violence, but died repentant.—Jacopo del Cassero.—Buonconte da Montefeltro—Via de' Tolomei.

I had now parted from those shades, and was following the footsteps of my Leader, when behind me, pointing his finger, one cried out, "Look, the ray seems not to shine on the left hand of that lower one, and as if alive he seems to hear himself." I turned my eyes at the sound of these words, and I saw them watching, for marvel, only me, only me, and the light which was broken.

"Why is thy mind so hampered," said the Master, "that thou slackenest thy going? What matters to thee that which here is whispered? Come after me, and let the people talk. Stand as a tower firm, that never wags its top for blowing of the winds; for always the man in whom thought on thought wells up removes from himself his aim, for the force of one weakens the other." What could I answer, save "I come"? I said it, overspread somewhat with the color, which, at times, makes a man worthy of pardon.

And meanwhile across upon the mountain side, a little in front of us, were coming people, singing "Miserere," verse by verse. When they observed that I gave not place for passage of the rays through my body, they changed their song into a long and hoarse "Oh!" and two of them, in form of messengers, ran to meet us, and asked of us, "Of your condition make us cognizant." And my Master, "Ye can go back, and report to them who sent you, that the body of this one is true flesh. If, as I suppose, they stopped because of seeing his shadow, enough is answered them; let them do him honor and he may he dear to them."

Never did I see enkindled vapors at early night so swiftly cleave the clear sky, nor at set of sun the clouds of August, that these did not return up in less time; and, arrived there, they, with the others, gave a turn toward us, like a troop that runs without curb. "These folk that press to us are many, and they come to pray thee," said the Poet; "wherefore still go on, and in going listen." "O soul," they came crying, "that goest to be happy with those limbs with which thou wast born, a little stay thy step; look if thou hast ever seen any one of us, so that thou mayest carry news of him to earth. Ah, why dost thou go on? Ah, why dost thou not stop? We were of old all done to death by violence, and sinners up to the last hour; then light from Heaven made us mindful, so that both penitent and pardoning we issued forth from life, at peace with God, who fills our hearts with the desire to see him." And I, "Although I gaze upon your faces, not one I recognize; but if aught that I can do be pleasing to you, spirits wellborn,[1] speak ye, and I will do it by that peace which makes me, following the feet of such a guide, seek for itself from world to world." And one began, "Each of us trusts in thy good turn without thy swearing it, provided want of power cut not off the will; wherefore I, who alone before the others speak, pray thee, if ever thou see that land that sits between Romagna and the land of Charles,[2] that thou be courteous to me with thy prayers in Fano, so that for me good orisons be made, whereby I may purge away my grave offences. Thence was I; but the deep wounds, wherefrom issued the blood in which I had my seat,[3] were given me in the bosom of the Endoneuria,[4] there where I thought to be most secure; he of Este had it done, who held me in wrath far beyond what justice willed. But if I had fled toward Mira,[5] when I was overtaken at Oriaco, I should still be yonder where men breathe. I ran to the marsh, and the reeds and the mire hampered me so that I fell, and there I saw a lake made by my veins upon the ground."

[1] Elect from birth to the joys of Paradise, in contrast with the ill-born, the miscreants of Hell.

[2] The March of Ancona, between the Romagna and the kingdom of Naples, then held by Charles II. of Anjou. It is Jacopo del Cassero who speaks. He was a noted and valiant member of the leading Guelph family in Fano. On his way to take the place of Podesta of Milan, in 1298, he was assassinated by the minions of Azzo VIII. of Este, whom he had offended.

[3] The life of all flesh is the blood thereof." Levit., xvii. 14. Or, according to the Vulgate, "Anima carnis in sanguine est."

[4] That is to say, in the territory of the Paduans, whose city was reputed to have been founded by Antenor.

[5] Mira is a little settlement on the bank of one of the canals of the Brenta. Why flight thither would have been safe is mere matter of conjecture.

Then said another, "Ah! so may that desire be fulfilled which draws thee to the high mountain, with good piety help thou mine. I was of Montefeltro, and am Buonconte.[1] Joan or any other has no care for me, wherefore I go among these with downcast front." And I to him, "What violence, or what chance so carried thee astray from Campaldino,[2] that thy burial place was never known?" "Oh!" replied he, "at foot of the Casentino crosses a stream, named the Archiano, which rises in the Apennine above the Hermitage.[3] Where its proper name becomes vain[4] I arrived, pierced in the throat, flying on foot, and bloodying the plain. Here I lost my sight, and I ended my speech with the name of Mary, and here I fell, and my flesh remained alone. I will tell the truth, and do thou repeat it among the living. The Angel of God took me, and he of Hell cried out, "O thou from Heaven, why dost thou rob me?[5] Thou bearest away for thyself the eternal part of him for one little tear which takes him from me; but of the rest I will make other disposal." Thou knowest well how in the air is condensed that moist vapor which turns to water soon as it rises where the cold seizes it. He joined that evil will, which seeketh only evil, with intelligence, and moved the mist and the wind by the power that his own nature gave. Then when the day was spent he covered the valley with cloud, from Pratomagno to the great chain, and made the frost above so intense that the pregnant air was turned to water. The rain fell, and to the gullies came of it what the earth did not endure, and as it gathered in great streams it rushed so swiftly towards the royal river that nothing held it back. The robust Archiano found my frozen body near its outlet, and pushed it into the Arno, and loosed on my breast the cross which I made of myself when the pain overcame me. It rolled me along its banks, and along its bottom, then with its spoil it covered and girt me."

[1] Son of Count Guido da Montefeltro, the treacherous counsellor who had told his story to Dante in Hell, Canto XXVII. Joan was his wife.

[2] The battle of Campaldino, in which Dante himself, perhaps, took part, was fought on the 11th of June, 1289, between the Florentine Guelphs and the Ghibellines of Arezzo. Buonconte was the captain of the Aretines. Campaldino is a little plain in the upper valley of the Arno.

[3] The convent of the Calmaldoli, founded by St. Romualdo of Ravenna, in 1012.

[4] Being lost at its junction with the Arno.

[5] St. Francis and one of the black Cherubim had had a similar contention, as will be remembered, over the soul of Buonconte's father.

"Ah! when thou shalt have returned unto the world, and rested from the long journey," the third spirit followed on the second, "be mindful of me, who am Pia.[1] Siena made me, Maremma unmade me; he knows it who with his gem ringed me, betrothed before."

[1] This sad Pia is supposed to have belonged to the Sienese family of the Tolomei, and to have been the wife of Nello or Paganello de' Pannocchieschi, who was reported to have had her put to death in his stronghold of Pietra in the Tuscan Maremma. Her fate seems the more pitiable that she does not pray Dante to seek for her the prayers of any living person. The last words of Pia are obscure, and are interpreted variously. Possibly the "betrothed before" hints at a source of jealousy as the motive of her murder.



CANTO VI. Ante-Purgatory.—More spirits who had deferred repentance till they were overtaken by a violent death.—Efficacy of prayer.—Sordello.—Apostrophe to Italy.

When a game of dice is broken up, he who loses remains sorrowful, repeating the throws, and, saddened, learns; with the other all the folk go along; one goes before and one plucks him from behind, and at his side one brings himself to mind. He does not stop; listens to one and the other the man to whom he reaches forth his hand presses on him no longer, and thus from the throng he defends himself. Such was I in that dense crowd, turning my face to them this way and that; and, promising, I loosed myself from them.

Here was the Aretine,[1] who from the fierce arms of Ghin di Tacco had his death; and the other who was drowned when running in pursuit. Here Federigo Novello [2] was praying with hands outstretched, and he of Pisa, who made the good Marzucco seem strong.[3] I saw Count Orso; and the soul divided from its body by spite and by envy, as it said, and not for fault committed, Pierre do la Brosse,[5] I mean; and here let the Lady of Brabant take forethought, while she is on earth, so that for this she be not of the worse flock.

[1] The Aretine was Messer Benincasa da Laterina, a learned judge, who had condemned to death for their crimes two relatives of Ghin di Tacco, the most famous freebooter of the day, whose headquarters were between Siena and Rome. Some time after, Messer Benincasa sitting as judge in Rome, Ghino entered the city with a band of his followers, made his way to the tribunal, slew Benincasa, and escaped unharmed.

[2] Another Aretine, of the Tarlati family, concerning whose death the early commentators are at variance. Benvenuto da Imola says that, hotly pursuing his enemies, his horse carried him into a marsh, from which he could not extricate himself, so that his foes turned upon him and slew him with their arrows.

[3] Federigo, son of the Count Guido Novello, of the circumstances of whose death, said to have taken place in 1291, nothing certain is known. Benvenuto says, he was multum probus, a good youth, and therefore Dante mentions him.

[4] Of him of Pisa different stories are told. Benvenuto says, "I have heard from the good Boccaccio, whom I trust more than the others, that Marzucco was a good man of the city of Pisa, whose son was beheaded by order of Count Ugolino, the tyrant, who commanded that his body should remain unburied. In the evening his father went to the Count, as a stranger unconcerned in the matter, and, without tears or other sign of grief, said, 'Surely, my lord, it would be to your honor that that poor body should be buried, and not left cruelly as food for dogs.' Then the Count, recognizing him, said astonished, 'Go, your patience overcomes my obduracy,' and immediately Marzucco went and buried his son."

[5] Of Count Orso nothing is known with certainty.

[6] Pierre de is Brosse was chamberlain and confidant of Philip the Bold of France. He lost the king's favor, and charges of wrong-doing being brought against him he was hung. It was reported that his death was brought about through jealousy by Mary of Brabant, the second wife of Philip. She lived till 1321, so that Dante's warning may have reached her ears.

When I was free from each and all those shades who prayed only that some one else should pray, so that their becoming holy may be speeded, I began, "It seems that thou deniest to me, O Light of mine, expressly, in a certain text, that orison can bend decree of Heaven, and this folk pray only for this, — shall then their hope be vain? or is thy saying not rightly clear to me?[1]

[1] Virgil represents Palinurus as begging to be allowed to cross the Styx, while his body was still unburied and without due funeral rites. To this petition the Sibyl answers:—Desine fata Deum flecti sperare precando:—Cease to hope that the decrees of the gods can be changed by prayer."—Aeneid, vi. 376.

And he to me, "My writing is plain, and the hope of these is not fallacious, if well it is regarded with sound mind; for top of judgment vails not itself because a fire of love may, in one instant, fulfil that which he who is stationed here must satisfy. And there where I affirmed this proposition, defect was not amended by a prayer, because the prayer was disjoined from God. But truly in regard to so deep a doubt decide thou not, unless she tell thee who shall be a light between the truth and the understanding.[1] I know not if thou understandest; I speak of Beatrice. Thou shalt see her above, smiling and happy, upon the summit of this mountain."

[1] The question, being one that relates to the Divine will, cannot be answered with full assurance by human reason.

And I, "My lord, let us go on with greater speed, for now I mu not weary as before; and behold now how the bill casts its shadow." "We will go forward with this day," he answered, "as much further as we shall yet be able; but the fact is of other form than thou supposest. Before thou art there-above thou wilt see him return, who is now hidden by the hill-side so that thou dost not make his rays to break. But see there a soul which seated all alone is looking toward us; it will point out to us the speediest way." We came to it. O Lombard soul, how lofty and scornful wast thou; and in the movement of thine eyes grave and slow! It said not anything to us, but let us go on, looking only in manner of a lion when he couches. Virgil, however, drew near to it, praying that it would show to us the best ascent; and it answered not to his request, but of our country and life it asked us. And the sweet Leader began, "Mantua,"—and the shade, all in itself recluse, rose toward him from the place where erst it was, saying, "O Mantuan, I am Sordello of thy city,"[1]—and they embraced each other.

[1] Sordello, who lived early in the thirteenth century, was of the family of the Visconti of Mantua. He left his native land and gave up his native tongue to live and write as a troubadour in Provence, but his fame belonged to Italy.

Ah, servile Italy, hostel of grief! ship without pilot in great tempest! not lady of provinces, but a brothel! that gentle soul was so ready, only at the sweet sound of his native land, to give glad welcome here unto his fellow-citizen: and now in thee thy living men exist not without war, and of those whom one wall and one moat shut in one doth gnaw the other. Search, wretched one, around the shores, thy seaboard, and then look within thy bosom, if any part in thee enjoyeth peace! What avails it that for thee Justinian should mend the bridle, if the saddle be empty? Without this, the shame would be less. Ah folk,[1] that oughtest to be devout and let Caesar sit in the saddle, if thou rightly understandest what God notes for thee! Look how fell this wild beast has become, through not being corrected by the spurs, since thou didst put thy hand upon the bridle. O German Albert, who abandonest her who has become untamed and savage, and oughtest to bestride her saddle-bows, may a just judgment from the stars fall upon thy blood, and may it be strange and manifest, so that thy successor may have fear of it! [2] For thou and thy father, retained up there by greed, have suffered the garden of the empire to become desert. Come thou to see Montecchi and Cappelletti, Monaldi and Filippeschi,[3] thou man without care: those already wretched, and these in dread. Come, cruel one, come, and see the distress of thy nobility, and cure their hurts; and thou shalt see Santafiora[4] how safe it is. Come to see thy Rome, that weeps, widowed and alone, and day and night cries, "My Caesar, wherefore dost thou not keep me company?" Come to see the people, how loving it is; and, if no pity for us move thee, come to be shamed by thine own renown! And if it be lawful for me, O Supreme Jove that wast on earth crucified for us, are thy just eyes turned aside elsewhere? Or is it preparation, that in the abyss of thy counsel thou art making for some good utterly cut off from our perception? For the cities of Italy are all full of tyrants, and every churl that comes playing the partisan becomes a Marcellus?[5]

[1] The Church-folk, the clergy, for whom God has ordained, — "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's."

[2] Albert of Hapsburg, son of the Emperor Rudolph, was elected King of the Romans in 1298, but like his father never went to Italy to he crowned. He was murdered by his nephew, John, called the parricide, in 1308, at Konigsfelden. The successor of Albert was Henry VII. of Luxemborg, who came to Italy in 1311, was crowned at Rome in 1312, and died at Buonconvento the next year. His death ended the hopes of Dante.

[3] Famous families, the first two of Verona, the last two of Orvieto, at enmity with each other in their respective cities,—types of a common condition.

[4]The Counts of Santafiora were once the most powerful Ghibelline nobles in the Sienese territory. Their power had declined since the Hohenstaufen Emperors had been succeeded by the Hapsburgs, and they were now subjected to the Guelphs of Siena.

[5] That is, a hitter opponent of the empire, as the Consul M. Claudius Marcellus was of Caesar.

My Florence! surely thou mayst be content with this digression, which toucheth thee not, thanks to thy people that for itself takes heed. Many have justice at heart but shoot slowly, in order not to come without counsel to the bow; but thy people has it on the edge of its lips. Many reject the common burden, but thy people, eager, replies without being called on, and cries, "I load myself." Now be thou glad, for thou hast truly wherefore: thou rich, thou in peace, thou wise. If I speak the truth, the result hides it not. Athens and Lacedaemon, that made the ancient laws and were so civilized, made toward living well a little sign, compared with thee that makest such finespun provisions, that to mid November reaches not, what thou in October spinnest. How often in the time that thou rememberest, law, money, office, and custom, hast thou changed, and renewed thy members! And if thou mind thee well and see the light, thou wilt see thyself resembling a sick woman, who cannot find repose upon the feathers, but with her tossing seeks to relieve her pain.



CANTO VII. Virgil makes himself known to Sordello.—Sordello leads the Poets to the Valley of the Princes who have been negligent of salvation.—He points them out by name.

After the becoming and glad salutations had been repeated three and four times, Sordello drew back and said, "Ye, who are ye?" "Before the souls worthy to ascend to God were turned unto this mountain, my bones had been buried by Octavian; I am Virgil, and for no other sin did I lose heaven, but for not having faith," thus then replied my Leader.

As is he who suddenly sees a thing before him whereat he marvels, and doth and doth not believe, saying, "It is, it is not,"—so seemed that shade, and then he bent down his brow, and humbly turned again toward him and embraced him where the inferior takes hold.

"O glory of the Latins," said he, "through whom our language showed what it could do, O honor eternal of the place wherefrom I was, what merit or what grace shows thee to me? If I am worthy to hear thy words, tell me if thou comest from Hell, and from what cloister." "Through all the circles of the realm of woe," replied he to him, "am I come hither; Power of Heaven moved me, and with it I come. Not by doing, but by not doing have I lost the sight of the high Sun whom thou desirest, and who by me was known late. A place there is below not sad with torments but with darkness only, where the lamentations sound not as wailings, but are sighs; there stay I with the little innocents bitten by the teeth of death before they were exempt from human sin; there stay I with those who were not vested with the three holy virtues, and without vice knew the others and followed all of them.[1] But if thou knowest and canst, give us some direction whereby we may come more speedily there where Purgatory has its true beginning." He replied, "A certain place is not set for us; it is permitted me to go upward and around; so far as I can go I join myself to thee as guide. But see how already the day declines, and to go up by night is not possible; therefore it is well to think of some fair sojourn. There are souls here on the right apart; if thou consentest to me I will lead thee to them, and not without delight will they be known to thee." "How is this?" was answered, "he who might wish to ascend by night, would he be hindered by another, or would he not be able to ascend?" And the good Sordello drew his finger on the ground, saying, "See, only this line thou couldst not pass after set of sun; not because aught else save the nocturnal darkness would give hindrance to going up; that hampers the will with impotence.[2] One could, indeed, in it[3] turn downward and walk the hillside wandering around, while the horizon holds the day shut up." Then my Lord, as if wondering, said, "Lead us, then, there where thou sayest one may have delight while waiting."

[1] The virtuous Heathen did not possess the so-called theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity; but they practiced the four cardinal virtues of Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude and Justice.

[2] The allegory is plain: the soul can mount the steep of purification only when illuminated by the Sun of Divine Grace.

[3] In the darkness.

Little way had we gone from that place, when I perceived that the mountain was hollowed out in like fashion as the valleys hollow them here on earth. "Yonder," said that shade, "will we go, where the hillside makes a lap of itself, and there will we await the new day." Between steep and level was a winding path that led us into a side of the dale, where more than by half the edge dies away. Gold and fine silver, and scarlet and white, Indian wood lucid and clear,[1] fresh emerald at the instant it is split, would each be vanquished in color by the herbage and by the flowers set within that valley, as by its greater the less is vanquished. Nature had not only painted there, but with sweetness of a thousand odors she made there one unknown and blended.

[1] The blue of indigo.

Upon the green and upon the flowers I saw souls who, because of the valley, were not visible from without, seated here singing "Salve regina." [1] "Before the lessening sun sinks to his nest," began the Mantuan who had turned us thither, "desire not that among these I guide you. From this bank ye will better become acquainted with the acts and countenances of all of them, than received among them on the level below. He who sits highest and has the semblance of having neglected what he should have done, and who moves not his mouth to the others' songs, was Rudolph the Emperor, who might have healed the wounds that have slain Italy, so that slowly by another she is revived.[2] The next, who in appearance comforts him, ruled the land where the water rises that Moldau bears to Elbe, and Elbe to the sea. Ottocar was his name,[3] and in his swaddling clothes he was better far than bearded Wenceslaus, his son, whom luxury and idleness feed.[4] And that small-nosed one, who seems close in counsel with him who has so benign an aspect, died in flight and disflowering the lily;[5] look there how he beats his breast. See the next who, sighing, has made a bed for his cheek with his hand.[6] Father and father-in-law are they of the harm of France; they know his vicious and foul life, and thence comes the grief that so pierces them. He who looks so large-limbed,[7] and who accords in singing with him of the masculine nose,[8] wore girt the cord of every worth, and if the youth that is sitting behind him had followed him as king, truly had worth gone from vase to vase, which cannot be said of the other heirs: James and Frederick hold the realms; [9] the better heritage no one possesses. Rarely doth human goodness rise through the branches, and this He wills who gives it, in order that it may be asked from Him. To the large-nosed one also my words apply not less than to the other, Peter, who is singing with him; wherefore Apulia and Provence are grieving now.[10] The plant is as inferior to its seed, as, more than Beatrice and Margaret, Constance still boasts of her husband.[11] See the King of the simple life sitting there alone, Henry of England; he in his branches hath a better issue.[12] That one who lowest among them sits on the ground, looking upward, is William the marquis,[13] for whom Alessandria and her war make Montferrat and the Canavese mourn."

[1] The beginning of a Church hymn to the Virgin, sung after vespers, of which the first verses are:— Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae! Vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve! Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae; Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes In hac lacrymarum valle.

[2] The neglect of Italy by the Emperor Rudolph (see the preceding Canto) was not to be repaired by the vain efforts of Henry VII.

[3] Ottocar, King of Bohemia and Duke of Austria, had been slain in battle against Rudolph, on the Marchfeld by the Donau, in 1278; "whereby Austria fell to Rudolph." See Carlyle's Frederick the Great, book ii. ch. 7.

[4] Dante repeats his harsh judgment of Wenceslaus in the nineteenth Canto of Paradise. His first wife was the daughter of Rudolph of Hapsburg. He died in 1305.

[5] This is Philip the Bold of France, 1270-1285. Having invaded Catalonia, in a war with Peter the Third of Aragon, he was driven back, and died on the retreat at Perpignan.

[6] Henry of Navarre, the brother of Thibault, the poet-king (Hell, Canto XXII.). His daughter Joan married Philip the Fair, "the harm of France," the son of Philip the Bold.

[7] Peter of Aragon (died 1285), the husband of Constance, daughter of Manfred (see Canto III.); the youth who is seated behind him is his son Alphonso, who died in 1291.

[8] Charles of Anjou.

[9] The kingdoms of Aragon and Sicily; both James and Frederick were living when Dante thus wrote of them. The "better heritage" was the virtue of their father.

[10] Apulia and Provence were grieving under the rule of Charles II., the degenerate son of Charles of Anjou, who died in 1309.

[11] The meaning is doubtful; perhaps it is, that the children of Charles of Anjou and of Peter of Aragon are as inferior to their fathers, as Charles himself, the husband first of Beatrice of Provence and then of Margaret of Nevers, was inferior to Peter, the husband of Constance.

[12] Henry III., father of Edward I.

[13] William Spadalunga was Marquis of Montferrat and Canavese, the Piedmontese highlands and plain north of the Po. He was Imperial vicar, and the bead of the Ghibellines in this region. In a war with the Guelphs, who had risen in revolt in 1290, he was taken captive at Alessandria, and for two years, till his death, was kept in an iron cage. Dante refers to him in the Convito, iv. 11, as "the good marquis of Montferrat."



CANTO VIII. Valley of the Princes.—Two Guardian Angels.—Kino Visconti.—The Serpent.—Corrado Malaspina.

It was now the hour that turns back desire in those that sail the sea, and softens their hearts, the day when they have said to their sweet friends farewell, and which pierces the new pilgrim with love, if he hears from afar a bell that seems to deplore the dying day,—when I began to render hearing vain, and to look at one of the souls who, uprisen, besought attention with its hand. It joined and raised both its palms, fixing its eyes toward the orient, as if it said to God, "For aught else I care not." "Te lucis ante"[1] so devoutly issued from his mouth and with such sweet notes that it made me issue forth from my own mind. And then the others sweetly and devoutly accompanied it through all the hymn to the end, having their eyes upon the supernal wheels. Here, reader, sharpen well thine eyes for the truth, for the veil is now indeed so thin that surely passing through within is easy.[2]

[1] The opening words of a hymn sung at Complines, the last service of the day:

Te locis ante terminum, Rerom Creator poscimus, Ut tus pro clementia Sis presul et custodia:—

"Before the close of light, we pray thee, O Creator, that through thy clemency, thou be our watch and guard."

[2] The allegory seems to be, that the soul which has entered upon the way of repentance and purification, but which is not yet securely advanced therein, is still exposed to temptation, especially when the light of the supernal grace does not shine directly upon it. But if the soul have steadfast purpose to resist temptation, and seek aid from God, that aid will not be wanting. The prayer of the Church which is recited after the hymn just cited has these words: "Visit, we pray thee, O Lord, this abode, and drive far from it the snares of the enemy. Let thy holy Angels bide in it, and guard us in peace." Pallid with self distrust, humble with the sense of need, the soul awaits the fulfilment of its prayer. The angels are clad in green, the symbolic color of hope. Their swords are truncated, because needed only for defence.

I saw that army of the gentle-born silently thereafter gazing upward as if in expectation, pallid and humble; and I saw issuing from on high and descending two angels, with two fiery swords truncated and deprived of their points. Green as leaflets just now born were their garments, which, beaten and blown by their green pinions, they trailed behind. One came to stand a little above us, and the other descended on the opposite bank, so that the people were contained between them. I clearly discerned in them their blond heads, but on their faces the eye was dazzled, as a faculty which is confounded by excess. "Both come from the bosom of Mary," said Sordello, "for guard of the valley, because of the serpent that will come straightway." Whereat I, who knew not by what path, turned me round, and all chilled drew me close to the trusty shoulders.

And Sordello again, "Now let us go down into the valley among the great shades, and we will speak to them; well pleasing will it be to them to see you." Only three steps I think I had descended and I was below; and I saw one who was gazing only at me as if he wished to know me. It was now the time when the air was darkening, but not so that between his eyes and mine it did not reveal that which it locked up before.[1] Towards me he moved, and I moved towards him. Gentle Judge Nino,[2] how much it pleased me when I saw that thou wast not among the damned! No fair salutation was silent between us; then he asked, "How long is it since thou camest to the foot of the mountain across the far waters?"

[1] It was not yet so dark that recognition of one near at hand was difficult, though at a distance it had been impossible.

[2] Nino (Ugolino) de' Visconti of Pisa was the grandson of Count Ugolino, and as the leader of the Pisan Guelphs became his bitter opponent. Sardinia was under the dominion of Pisa, and was divided into four districts, each of which was governed by one of the Pisan nobles, under the title of Judge. Nino had held the judicature of Gallura, where Frate Gomita (see Hell, Canto XXII.) had been his vicar. Nino died in 1296.

"Oh," said I to him, "from within the dismal places I came this morning, and I am in the first life, albeit in going thus, I may gain the other." And when my answer was heard, Sordello[1] and he drew themselves back like folk suddenly bewildered, the one to Virgil, and the other turned to one who was seated there, crying, "Up, Corrado,[2] come to see what God through grace hath willed." Then, turning to me, "By that singular gratitude thou owest unto Him who so hides His own first wherefore[3] that there is no ford to it, when thou shalt be beyond the wide waves, say to my Joan, that for me she cry there where answer is given to the innocent. I do not think her mother[4] loves me longer, since she changed her white wimples,[5] which she, wretched, needs must desire again. Through her easily enough is comprehended how long the fire of love lasts in woman, if eye or touch does not often rekindle it. The viper[6] which leads afield the Milanese will not make for her so fair a sepulture as the cock of Gallura would have done." Thus he said, marked in his aspect with the stamp of that upright zeal which in due measure glows in the heart.

[1] The sun was already hidden behind the mountain when Virgil and Dante came upon Sordello. Sordello had not therefore seen that Dante cast a shadow, and being absorbed in discourse with Virgil had not observed that Dante breathed as a living man.

[2] Corrado, of the great Guelph family of the Malaspina, lords of the Lunigiana, a wide district between Genoa and Pisa.

[3] The reason of that which He wills.

[4] Her mother was Beatrice d' Este, who, in 1300, married Galeazzo de' Visconti of Milan.

[5] The white veil or wimple and black garments were worn by widows. The prophecy that she must needs wish for her white wimple again seems merely to rest on Nino's disapproval of her second marriage.

[6] The viper was the cognizance of the Visconti of Milan.

My greedy eyes were going ever to the sky, ever there where the stars are slowest, even as a wheel nearest the axle. And my Leader, "Son, at what lookest thou up there?" And I to him, "At those three torches with which the pole on this side is all aflame." [1] And he to me, "The four bright stars which thou sawest this morning are low on the other side, and these are risen where those were."

[1] These three stars are supposed to symbolize the theological virtues, — faith. hope, and charity, whose light shines when the four virtues of active life grow dim in night.

As he was speaking, lo! Sordello drew him to himself, saying, "See there our adversary," and pointed his finger that he should look thither. At that part where the little valley has no barrier was a snake, perhaps such as gave to Eve the bitter food. Through the grass and the flowers came the evil trail, turning from time to time its head to its back, licking like a beast that sleeks itself. I did not see, and therefore cannot tell how the celestial falcons moved, but I saw well both one and the other in motion. Hearing the air cleft by their green wings the serpent fled, and the angels wheeled about, up to their stations flying back alike.

The shade which had drawn close to the Judge when he exclaimed, through all that assault had not for a moment loosed its gaze from me. "So may the light that leadeth thee on high find in thine own free-will so much wax as is needed up to the enamelled summit,"[1] it began, "if thou knowest true news of Valdimacra[2] or of the neighboring region, tell it to me, for formerly I was great there. I was called Corrado Malaspina; I am not the ancient,[3] but from him I am descended; to mine own I bore the love which here is refined." "Oh," said I to him, "through your lands I have never been, but where doth man dwell in all Europe that they are not renowned? The fame that honoreth your house proclaims its lords, proclaims its district, so that he knows of them who never yet was there; and I swear to you, so may I go above, that your honored race doth not despoil itself of the praise of the purse and of the sword. Custom and nature so privilege it that though the guilty head turn the world awry, alone it goes right and scorns the evil road."[4] And he, "Now go, for the sun shall not lie seven times in the bed that the Ram covers and bestrides with all four feet,[5] before this courteous opinion will be nailed in the middle of thy head with greater nails than the speech of another, if course of judgment be not arrested."

[1] So may illuminating grace find the disposition in thee requisite for the support of its light, until thou shalt arrive at the summit of the Mountain, the earthly Paradise enamelled with perpetual flowers.

[2] A part of the Lunigiana.

[3] The old Corrado Malaspina was the husband of Constance, the sister of King Manfred. He died about the middle of the thirteenth century. The second Corrado was his grandson.

[4] This magnificent eulogy of the land and the family of Malaspina is Dante's return for the hospitality which, in 1306, he received from the Marquis Moroello and other members of the house.

[5] Seven years shall not pass, the sun being at this time in the sign of the Ram.



CANTO IX. Slumber and Dream of Dante.—The Eagle.—Lucia.—The Gate of Purgatory.—The Angelic Gatekeeper.—Seven P's inscribed on Dante's Forehead.—Entrance to the First Ledge.

The concubine of old Tithonus was now gleaming white on the balcony of the orient, forth from the arms of her sweet friend; her forehead was lucent with gems set in the shape of the cold animal that strikes people with its tail.[1] And in the place where we were the night had taken two of the steps with which she ascends, and the third was already bending down its wings, when I, who had somewhat of Adam with me, overcome by sleep, reclined upon the grass, there where all five of us were seated.

[1] By the concubine of old Tithonus, Dante seems to have intended the lunar Aurora, in distinction from the proper wife of Tithonus, Aurora, who precedes the rising Sun, and the meaning of these verses is that " the Aurora before moonrise was lighting up the eastern sky, the brilliant stars of the sign Scorpio were on the horizon, and, finally, it was shortly after 8.30 P.M." (Moore.) "The steps with which the night ascends" are the six hours of the first half of the night, from 6 P.M. to midnight.

At the hour near the morning when the little swallow begins her sad lays,[1] perchance in memory of her former woes, and when our mind, more a wanderer from the flesh and less captive to the thought, is in its visions almost divine,[2] in dream it seemed to me that I saw poised in the sky an eagle with feathers of gold, with wings widespread, and intent to stoop. And it seemed to me that I was there[3] where his own people were abandoned by Ganymede, when he was rapt to the supreme consistory. In myself I thought, "Perhaps this bird strikes only here through wont, and perhaps from other place disdains to carry anyone upward in his feet." Then it seemed to me that, having wheeled a little, it descended terrible as a thunderbolt, and snatched me upwards far as the fire.[4] There it seemed that it and I burned, and the imagined fire so scorched that of necessity the sleep was broken.

[1] The allusion is to the tragic story of Progne and Philomela, turned the one into a swallow, the other into a nightingale. Dante found the tale in Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book vi.

[2] Dante passes three nights in Purgatory, and each night his sleep is terminated by a dream towards the hour of dawn, the time when, according to the belief of classical antiquity, the visions of dreams are symbolic and prophetic. (Moore.)

[3] Mt. Ida.

[4] The sphere of fire by which, according to the mediaeval cosmography, the sphere of the air was surrounded.

Not otherwise Achilles shook himself,—turning around his awakened eyes, and not knowing where he was, when his mother from Chiron to Scyros stole him away, sleeping in her arms, thither whence afterwards the Greeks withdrew him,[1]—than I started, as from my face sleep fled away; and I became pale, even as a man frightened turns to ice. At my side was my Comforter only, and the sun was now more than two hours high,[2] and my face was turned toward the sea. "Have no fear," said my Lord; "be reassured, for we are at a good point; restrain not, but increase all thy force. Thou art now arrived at Purgatory; see there the cliff that closes it around; see the entrance, there where it appears divided. A while ago in the dawn that precedes the day, when thy soul was sleeping within thee, upon the flowers wherewith the place down yonder is adorned, came a lady, and said, "I am Lucia; let me take this one who is sleeping; thus will I assist him along his way.' Sordello remained, and the other gentle forms: she took thee, and when the day was bright, she came upward, and I along her footprints. Here she laid thee down: and first her beautiful eyes showed me that open entrance; then she and slumber went away together." Like a man that in perplexity is reassured, and that alters his fear to confidence after the truth is disclosed to him, did I change; and when my Leader saw me without solicitude, up along the cliff he moved on, and I behind, toward the height.

[1] Statius, in the first book of the Achilleid, tells how Thetis, to prevent Achilles from going to the siege of Troy, bore him sleeping away from his instructor, the centaur Chiron, and carried him to the court of King Lycomedes, on the Island of Scyros, where, though concealed in women's garments, Ulysses and Diomed discovered him. Statius relates how wonderstruck Achilles was when on awaking he found himself at Scyros: Quae loca? qui fluctus? ubi Pelion? onmia versa Atque ignota videt, dubitatque agnoscere matrem—249-50.

[2] The morning of Easter Monday.

[3] Lucia seems to be here the symbol of assisting grace, the gratia operans of the school-men. It was she who was called upon by the Virgin (Hell, Canto II.) to aid Dante when he was astray in the wood, and who had moved Beatrice to go to his succor.

Reader, thou seest well how I exalt my theme, and therefore marvel not if with more art I reenforce it.[1]

[1] These words may be intended to call attention to the doctrine which underlies the imagery of the verse.

The entrance within the gate of Purgatory is the assurance of justification, which is the change of the soul from a state of sin to a state of justice or righteousness. Justification itself consists, according to St. Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica, Prima Secundae, quaest. cxiii. art. 6 and 8), of four parts: first, the infusion of grace; second, the turning of the free will to God through faith; third, the turning of the free will against sin; fourth, the remission of sin. It must be accompanied by the sacrament of penance, which consists of contrition, confession, and satisfaction by works of righteousness.

Outside the gate of Purgatory justification cannot be complete. The souls in the Ante-Purgatory typify those who have entered on the way towards justification, but have not yet attained it. They undergo a period of mortification to sin, of deliberation, as St. Thomas Aquinas says: "Contingit autem quandoque quod praecedit aliqua deliberatio quae non est do substantia justificationis sed via in justificationem." Summa Theol., l. c. art. 7.

We drew near to it, and reached such place that there, where at first there seemed to me a rift, like a cleft which divides a wall, I saw a gate, and three steps beneath for going to it of divers colors, and a gatekeeper who as yet said not a word. And as I opened my eye there more and more, I saw him sitting on the upper step, such in his face that I endured it not.[1] And he had in his hand a naked sword, which so reflected the rays toward us that I often raised my sight in vain. "Tell it from there, what would ye?" began he to say; "where is the guide? Beware lest the coming up be harmful to you." [2] "A lady from Heaven with these things acquainted," replied my Master to him, "only just now said to us, 'Go thither, here is the gate.'" "And may she speed your progress in good," began again the courteous gatekeeper, "come forward then unto our steps."

[1] The angel at the gate appears to be the type of the priest who administers absolution.

[2] Unless grace has been infused into the heart it is a sin to present one's self as ready for the sacrament.

Thither we came to the first great stair; it was of white marble so polished and smooth that I mirrored myself in it as I appear. The second, of deeper hue than perse, was of a rough and scorched stone, cracked lengthwise and athwart. The third, which above lies massy, seemed to me of porphyry as flaming red as blood that spirts forth from a vein. Upon this the Angel of God held both his feet, seated upon the threshold that seemed to me stone of adamant.[1] Up over the three steps my Leader drew me with good will, saying, "Beg humbly that he undo the lock." Devoutly I threw myself at the holy feet; I besought for mercy's sake that he would open for me; but first upon my breast I struck three times.[2] Seven P's upon my forehead he inscribed with the point of his sword,[3] and "See that thou wash these wounds when thou art within," he said.

[1] The first step is the symbol of confession, the second of contrition, the third of satisfaction; the threshold of adamant may perhaps signify the authority of the Church.

[2] Three times, in penitence for sins in thought, in word, and in deed.

[3] The seven P's stand for the seven so-called mortal sins,— Peccati, not specific acts, but the evil dispositions of the soul from which all evil deeds spring,—pride, envy, anger, sloth (accidia), avarice, gluttony, and lust. After justification these dispositions which already have been overcome, must be utterly removed from the soul.

Ashes or earth dug out dry would be of one color with his vestment, and from beneath that he drew two keys. One was of gold and the other was of silver; first with the white and then with the yellow he so did to the door, that I was content.[1] "Whenever one of these keys fails, and turns not rightly in the lock," said he to us, "this passage doth not open. More precious is one[2] but the other requires much art and wit before it unlocks, because it is the one that disentangles the knot. From Peter I hold them; and he told me to err rather in opening than in keeping shut, if but the people prostrate themselves at my feet." Then he pushed the valve of the sacred gate, saying, "Enter, but I give you warning that whoso looks behind returns outside."[3] And when the pivots of that sacred portal, which are of metal, sonorous and strong, were turned within their hinges, Tarpeia roared not so loud nor showed herself so harsh, when the good Metellus was taken from her, whereby she afterwards remained lean.[4]

[1] The golden key is typical of the power to open, and the silver of the knowledge to whom to open.

[2] The gold, more precious because the power of absolution was purchased by the death of the Saviour.

[3] For he who returns to his sins loses the Divine Grace.

[4] This roaring of the gate may, perhaps, be intended to enforce the last words of the angel, and may symbolize the voices of his own sins as the sinner turns his back on them. When Caesar forced the doors of the temple of Saturn on the Tarpeian rock, in order to lay hands on the sacred treasure of Rome, he was resisted by the tribune Metellus.

I turned away attentive to the first tone,[1] and it seemed to me I heard "Te Deum laudamus"[2] in voices mingled with sweet sound. That which I heard gave me just such an impression as we are wont to receive when people stand singing with an organ, and the words now are, now are not caught.

[1] The first sound within Purgatory.

[2] Words appropriate to the entrance of a sinner that repenteth.



CANTO X. First Ledge: the Proud.—Examples of Humility sculptured on the Rock.

When we were within the threshold of the gate, which the souls' wrong love[1] disuses, because it makes the crooked way seem straight, I heard by its resounding that it was closed again. And, if I had turned my eyes to it, what excuse would have been befitting for the fault?

[1] It is Dante's doctrine that love is the motive of every act; rightly directed, of good deeds; perverted, of evil. See Canto XVII.

We were ascending through a cloven rock, which moved on one side and on the other, even as the wave retreats and approaches. "Here must be used a little art," began my Leader, "in keeping close, now here, now there to the side which recedes."[1] And this made our progress so slow that the waning disk of the moon regained its bed to go to rest, before we had come forth from that needle's eye. But when we were free and open above, where the mountain backward withdraws,[2] I weary, and both uncertain of our way, we stopped upon a level more solitary than roads through deserts. The space from its edge, where it borders the void, to the foot of the high bank which rises only, a human body would measure in three lengths; and as far as my eye could stretch its wings, now on the left and now on the right side, such did this cornice seem to me. Thereon our feet had not yet moved when I perceived that bank round about, which, being perpendicular, allowed no ascent, to be of white marble and adorned with such carvings, that not Polycletus merely but Nature would be put to shame there.

[1] The path was a narrow, steep zigzag, which, as it receded on one side and the other, afforded the better foothold.

[2] Leaving an open space, the first ledge of Purgatory.

The Angel who came to earth with the announcement of the peace, wept for for many years, which opened Heaven from its long interdict, appeared before us here carved in a sweet attitude so truly that he did not seem an image that is silent. One would have sworn that he was saying "Ave;" for there was she imaged who turned the key to open the exalted love. And in her action she had these words impressed, "Ecce ancilla Dei!"[1] as exactly as a shape is sealed in wax.

[1] "Behold the handmaid of the Lord!"

"Keep not thy mind only on one place," said the sweet Master, who had me on that side where people have their heart. Wherefore I moved my eyes and saw behind Mary, upon that side where he was who was moving me, another story displayed upon the rock; whereupon I passed Virgil and drew near so that it might be set before my eyes. There in the very marble was carved the cart and the oxen drawing the holy ark, because of which men fear an office not given in charge.[1] In front appeared people; and all of them, divided in seven choirs, of two of my senses made the one say "NO," the other "YES, THEY ARE SINGING."[2] In like manner, by the smoke of the incense that was imaged there, mine eyes and nose were made in YES and NO discordant. There, preceding the blessed vessel, dancing, girt up, was the humble Psalmist, and more and less than king was he in that proceeding. Opposite, figured at a window of a great palace, Michal was looking on even as a lady scornful and troubled.[3]

[1] "And they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house.. . and Uzzah and Ahio drave the new cart....and when they came to Nachon's threshing-floor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God." 2 Samuel, vi. 4-7.

[2] The hearing said "No," the sight said "Yes."

[3] "So David went and brought up the ark of God... into the city of David with gladness. And when they that bare the ark of the Lord had gone six paces he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal, Saul's daughter, looked through a window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart." 2 Samuel, vi. 12-16.

I moved my feet from the place where I was standing to look from near at another story which behind Michal was shining white on me. Here was storied the high glory of the Roman prince, whose worth incited Gregory to his great victory:[1] I speak of Trajan the emperor; and a poor widow was at his bridle in attitude of weeping and of grief. Round about him there seemed a press and throng of knights, and the eagles in the gold above him to the sight were moving in the wind. The wretched woman among all these seemed to be saying, "Lord, do vengeance for me for my son who is slain, whereat I am broken-hearted." And he to answer her, "Now wait till I return;" and she, "My Lord,"—like one in whom grief is hasty,—"if thou return not?" And he, "He who shall be where I am will do it for thee." And she, "What will the good deed of another be to thee if thou art mindless of thine own?" Whereon he, "Now comfort thee; for it behoves that I discharge my own duty ere I go; justice requires it, and pity constrains me." He who hath never seen new thing [2] had produced that visible speech, novel to us, since on earth it is not found.

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