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bounty. Have my mule and my staff and scrip given back to me as when I came, and I ask no further wages.' The Count would not have him go; but on no account would he remain; and he departed as he had come, and never was it known whence he came, nor whither he went. Many thought that his was a sainted soul."
142. Lord Bacon says in his Essay on Adversity: "Prosperity is the bless
ing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New, which carrieth the greater benediction and the clearer revelation of God's favor. Yet, even in the Old Testament, if you listen to David's harp, you shall hear as many hearse-like airs as carols; and the pencil of the Holy Ghost hath labored more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon."
1. "Hosanna, holy God of Sabaoth, illuminating with thy brightness the happy fires of these realms."
Dante is still in the planet Mercury, which receives from the sun six times more light and heat than the Earth.
5. By Substance is here meant spirit, or angel; the word having the sense of Subsistence. See Canto XIII. Note 58.
7. The rapidity of the motion of the flying spirits is beautifully expressed in these lines.
10. Namely, the doubt in his mind. 14. Bice, or Beatrice.
17. Convito, III. 8: "And in these two places I say these pleasures appear, saying, In her eyes and in her sweet smile; which two places by a beautiful similitude may be called balconies of the Lady who inhabits the edifice of the body, that is, the Soul; since here, although as if veiled, she often shows herself. She shows herself in the eyes 32
so manifestly, that he who looks carefully can recognize her present passion. Hence, inasmuch as six passions are peculiar to the human soul, of which the Philosopher makes mention in hist Rhetoric, that is, grace, zeal, mercy, envy, love, and shame, with none of these can the Soul be impassioned, without its semblance coming to the window of the eyes, unless it be kept within by great effort. Hence one of old plucked out his eyes, so that his inward shame might not appear outwardly, as Statius the poet relates of Theban dipus, when he says, that in eternal night he hid his shame accursed. She shows herself in the mouth, as color behind glass. And what is laughter but a coruscation of the delight of the soul, that is, a light appearing outwardly, as it exists within? And therefore it behoveth man to show his soul in moderate joy, to laugh moderately with dignified severity, and with
Upon the vengeance of the ancient sin."
27. Milton, Par. Lost, I. 1, the story
"Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste Brought death into the world, and all our woe, With loss of Eden, till one greater Man Restore us, and regain the blissful seat."
36. Sincere in the sense of pure. 65. Plato, Timæus, Davis's Tr., X.: "Let us declare then on what account the framing Artificer settled the formation of this universe. He was good; and in the good envy is never engendered about anything whatever. Hence, being free from this, he desired that all things should as much as possible resemble himself."
Also Milton, Par. Lost, I. 259: — "The Almighty hath not built Here for his envy."
And again, VIII. 491 :—
"Thou hast fulfilled
Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign,
67. Dante here discriminates be
tween the direct or immediate inspirations of God, and those influences that come indirectly through the stars. In the Convito, VII. 3, he says: "The goodness of God is received in one manner by disembodied substances, that is, by the Angels (who are without material grossness, and as it were diaphanous on account of the purity of their form), and in another manner by the human soul, which, though in one. part it is free from matter, in another is impeded by it; (as a man who is wholly in the water, except his head, of whom it cannot be said he is wholly in the water nor wholly out of it;) and in another manner by the animals, whose soul is all absorbed in matter, but somewhat ennobled; and in another manner by the metals, and in another by the earth; because it is the most material, and therefore the most remote from and the most inappropriate for the first most simple and noble virtue, which is solely intellectual, that is, God."
And in Canto XXIX. 136:"The primal light, that all irradiates,
By modes as many is received therein, As are the splendors wherewith it is mated." 76. Convito, VII. 3: "Between the angelic nature, which is an intellectual thing, and the human soul there is no step, but they are both almost continuous in the order of gradation. . . . . Thus we are to suppose and firmly to believe, that a man may be so noble, and of such lofty condition, that he shall be almost an angel."
130. The Angels, and the Heavens,
"The Heaven of Venus may be compared to Rhetoric for two properties; the first is the brightness of its aspect, which is most sweet to look upon, more than any other star; the second is its appearance, now in the morning, now in the evening. And these two properties are in Rhetoric, the sweetest of all the sciences, for that is principally its intention. It appears in the morning when the rhetorician speaks before the face of his audience; it appears in the evening, that is, retrograde, when the letter in part remote speaks for the rhetorician."
For the influences of Venus, see Canto IX. Note 33.
2. In the days of "the false and lying gods," when the world was in peril of damnation for misbelief. Cypria, or Cyprigna, was a title of Venus, from the place of her birth, Cyprus.
3. The third Epicycle, or that of Venus, the third planet, was its supposed motion from west to east, while the whole heavens were swept onward from east to west by the motion of the Primum Mobile.
In the Convito, II. 4, Dante says:
Upon the back of this circle (the Equatorial) in the Heaven of Venus, of which we are now treating, is a little sphere, which revolves of itself in this heaven, and whose orbit the astrologers call Epicycle." And again, II. 7: "All this heaven moves and revolves with its Epicycle from east
to west, once every natural day; but whether this movement be by any Intelligence, or by the sweep of the Primum Mobile, God knoweth ; in me it would be presumptuous to judge."
Milton, Par. Lost, VIII. 72:
"From man or angel the great Architect
Hath left to their disputes; perhaps to move
To save appearances; how gird the sphere
See also Nichol, Solar System, p. 7: "Nothing in later times ought to obscure the glory of Hipparchus, and, as some think, the still greater Ptolemy. Amid the bewilderment of these planetary motions, what could they say, except that the gods never act without design'; and thereon resolve to discern it? The motion of the Earth was concealed from them: nor was aught intelligible or explicable concerning the wanderings of the planets, except the grand revolution of the sky. around the Earth. That Earth, small to us, they therefore, on the ground of phenomena, considered the centre of the Universe, thinking, perhaps, not more confinedly than persons in repute in modern days. Around that centre all motion seemed to pass in order the most regular; and if a few bodies appeared to interrupt the regularity of that order, why not conceive the existence of some arrangement by which they might be reconciled with it? It was a strange, but most ingenious idea. They could not tell how, by any simple system of circular and uniform motion, the ascertained courses of the planets, as directly observed, were to be accounted for; but they made a most artificial scheme, that still saved the immobility of the
Earth. Suppose a person passing around a room holding a lamp, and all the while turning on his heel. If he turned round uniformly, there would be no actual interruption of the uniform circular motion both of the carrier and the carried; but the light, as seen by an observer in the interior, would make strange gyrations. Unable to account otherwise for the irregularities of the planets, they mounted them in this manner, on small circles, whose centres only revolved regularly around the Earth, but which, during their revolutionary motion, also revolved around their own centres. Styling these cycles and epicycles, the ancient learned men framed that grand system of the Heavens concerning which Ptolemy composed his Syntax.''
7. Shakespeare, Love's Labor Lost, III. 1:
"This wimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy;
This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid;
9. Cupid in the semblance of Ascanius. Eneid, I. 718, Davidson's Tr.: "She clings to him with her eyes, her whole soul, and sometimes fondles him in her lap, Dido not thinking what a powerful god is settling on her, hapless one. Meanwhile he, mindful of his Acidalian mother, begins insensibly to efface the memory of Sichæus, and with of Sichæus, and with a living flame
tries to prepossess her languid affections, and her heart, chilled by long disuse."
10. Venus, with whose name this canto begins.
12. Brunetto Latini, Tresor, I. Ch. 3, says that Venus "always follows the sun, and is beautiful and gentle, and is called the Goddess of Love."
Dante says, it plays with or caresses the sun, 66 now behind, and now in front." When it follows, it is Hesperus, the Evening Star; when it precedes, it is Phosphor, the Morning Star.
21. The rapidity of the motion of the spirits, as well as their brightness, is in proportion to their vision of God. Compare Canto XIV. 40:
"Its brightness is proportioned to the ardor,
The ardor to the vision; and the vision
23. Made visible by mist and cloudrack.
27. Their motion originates in the Primum Mobile, whose Regents, or Intelligences, are the Seraphim.
34. The Regents, or Intelligences, of Venus are the Principalities.
37. This is the first line of the first canzone in the Convito, and in his commentary upon it, II. 5, Dante says: "In the first place, then, be it known,
that the movers of this heaven are substances separate from matter, that is, Intelligences, which the common people call Angels." And farther on, II. 6: "It is reasonable to believe that the motors of the Heaven of the Moon are of the order of the Angels; and those of Mercury are the Archangels; and those of Venus are the Thrones." It will be observed, however, that in
line 34 he alludes to the Principalities as the Regents of Venus; and in Canto IX. 61, speaks of the Thrones as reflecting the justice of God:
"Above us there are mirrors, Thrones you call them,
From which shines out on us God Judicant "; thus referring the Thrones to a higher heaven than that of Venus.
40. After he had by looks asked and gained assent from Beatrice.
46. The spirit shows its increase of joy by increase of brightness. As Picarda in Canto III. 67:
"First with those other shades she smiled a little;
Thereafter answered me so joyously,
She seemed to burn in the first fire of love."
And Justinian, in Canto V. 133: "Even as the sun, that doth conceal himself By too much light, when heat has worn
The tempering influence of the vapors dense, By greater rapture thus concealed itself
In its own radiance the figure saintly."
49. The spirit who speaks is Charles Martel of Hungary, the friend and benefactor of Dante. He was the eldest son of Charles the Lame (Charles II. of Naples) and of Mary of Hungary. He was born in 1272, and in 1291 married the "beautiful Clemence," daughter of Rudolph of Hapsburg, Emperor of Germany. He died in 1295, at the age of twenty-three, to which he alludes in the words,
"The world possessed me
Short time below."
58. That part of Provence, embracing Avignon, Aix, Arles, and Mar