II riproduce fedelmente 1' opera antica, prima che i restauri praticati nel dipinto 1' anno 1' avessero non poco alterata, rifacendo 1' occhio sinistro con parte della guancia, e variando la forma del cappuccio e il colore delle vesti.
L' occhio fu. II cappuccio originalmente era bianco ma soppannato in rosso, rossa la cappa e soppannata in bianco, di sotto alla quale scorgevasi un farsetto di color verde che ora non pii si vede. Dal che apparisce che il bianco, il rosso e il verde erano i simbolici colori, ne' quali solevasi Dante rappresentare, non altrimenti che la sua Beatrice da lui descritta nel Purgatorio: 'Sotto candido vel cinta d' oliva Donna m' apparve sotto verde manto, Vestita di color di fiamma viva.
From this original drawing now at Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire, was made the Arundel reproduction. The photograph, which is the frontispiece of the Album Volume of the Vernon Dante, was taken by Lord Vernon's son, William Warren Vernon, from the original drawing at the beginning of Rimasto cosi lungamente occulto e dimenticato, fu finalmente ricercato e scoverto per opera dei Signori Bezzi e Wilde, nel , dietro gl' indizi loro dati dal Seymour Kirkup sui ricordi lasciatine dal F Villani e dal Vasari.
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Easter I. Immediately after Dante's return from the holy water of Wednesday, Eunoi Purg. Dante, like Beatrice, is able to gaze upon the Sun's rays Dante, awe-struck at the extraordinary increase of sunlight around him, is informed by Beatrice that he is swiftly rising from earth into heaven Canto II. Dante finds himself in a pale shimmering light 25, He has reached the first planet, the Heaven of the Moon 29, Canto III.
Dante discerns the faces of certain beings before him, but so dimly, that he thinks they are but reflections of real images behind him i6-i8. Beatrice tells him that they are real spirits of those who have failed to keep holy vows 29, Dante addresses the spirit of his kinswoman, Piccarda de' Donati Piccarda tells Dante who she was And why she and her fellow-spirits have been relegated so low down in heaven Ixi 6.
But that they are perfectly resigned to the will of God 70 One of her companions is the spirit of the Empress Constance i8. Canto IV. Two doubts are perplexing Dante: Beatrice tells him what they are i6, r7. Her words have emanated from the. Spirit of God, the Fountain of all Truth Dante tells Beatrice of a further doubt II Canto V.
Having removed Dante's further doubt concerning the binding force of vows, Beatrice subsides into silence, and Dante also remains speechless They quit the sphere of the Moon, and ascend into that of Mercury 9I They are accosted by the spirits of those who, in their lifetime, were energetic in the pursuit of honour and glory.
These spirits throng round Dante, as fish do round any food thrown into their pond 00oo Canto VI. The spirit names himself to Dante, speaking of his Imperial dignity as a thing of the past Io. He informs Dante of his work as a legislator And how he became a convert to the Faith I6-I8. And that Bellisarius was his chief general He censures the Ghibellines who claim a right to the Roman Eagle, the symbol of Empire, and the Guelphs who set themselves against it 3I The record of the Eagle entitles it to universal respect 34, The qualifications of the spirits in the sphere of Mercury I Romeo, the great minister of Raymond Berenger, Count of Provence, whose four daughters Rom6o married to Kings Canto VII.
Justinian breaks forth into a hymn celebrating the Church both before and after Christ I The spirits of Justinian and his companions fade away Beatrice will clear away certain doubts which are perplexing Dante's mind Canto VIII. Dante becomes aware of his transition into the Planet Venus by perceiving the increasing loveliness of Beatrice I He discerns bright spirits that shine as sparks in a flame.
These are the souls of lovers who loved with a pure love The spirit of Charles Martel, of Hungary, approaches He does not name himself, but he tells Dante that, had he lived, he would have let him taste of the fruit of his love, and not only to gaze upon the blossoms and foliage which precede that fruit His younger brother Robert was the niggardly son of a munificent father He blames men in the world who, ignoring the disposition inspired by heavenly influences, continually turn the greatest intellects to mistaken ends II Canto IX. Dante names Charles and " his Clemence" [whom I take to be his wife, daughter of Rudolph of Hapsburg].
He says that the spirit of Charles quitted him and turned back to the All-Sufficing God The spirit of Cunizza da Romano accosts Dante 13, Because during her lifetime she yielded to the influence of love, she is now relegated to the Sphere of Venus 32, She speaks of the spirit nearest to her, Folco of Marseilles After predicting the misfortunes that are to befall her native land, the massacres in Padua, the violent death of Riccardo da Cammino, and the cruel treachery of the Bishop of Feltre, she ceases to speak 64, Dante having asked Folco who he is, that spirit gives a description of the Mediterranean Sea, and tells Dante that he was born on that coast Ixiii 7.
The spirit names himself and avows that in life he followed the influence of the planet Venus Folco names Rahab, and her merits rI5-I Folco says that the Pope's neglect of the Holy Land is due to the avaricious love of the whole priesthood for the accursed flower, meaning the Lily stamped on the florin , and that for this greed religious study has been thrust aside II Canto X.
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Dante ascends to the Fourth Sphere of Heaven, the Sun, so instantaneously that he is not aware of it Dante says that in vain would he attempt to describe the splendour of the souls in this Fourth Sphere 4I Dante is encircled by the spirits of the twelve great Theologians He is addressed by St. Thomas Aquinas, who names his master Albertus Magnus, and himself, as Dominicans After naming the Benedictine monk and legist, Gratian, St.
Thomas points out Peter Lombard Io6-Io8. Solomon, so wise, that no one else even equalled him II4. Dionysius, the Areopagite, who wrote about the Celestial Hierarchy 16, After alluding to Orosius, and Boethius, St. Thomas groups together St. Isidore, the Venerable Bede, and Richard de St. Canto XI. Thomas, a Dominican, sings the praises of St. Francis of Assisi. Providence ordained two Princes, St.
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Francis and St. Dominic, to be the especial guides of the Church the Bride of Christ, the former of Seraphic fervency, the latter Cherubic in his light of learning The piety of St. Francis in early life Poverty was the Bride of St. Francis, whom St. Thomas now names for the first time He mentions Bernardo of Quintavalle, Egidio, and Silvestro, who followed Francis in becoming bare-footed friars The foundation of the Order of St.
Thomas tells Dante that when St. Francis retired to Alvernia, he received in his hands and feet the stigmata of Christ, and then died in the bosom of Poverty IO7 -I Dominic, a worthy colleague of St. Francis, and the head of the Order to which he, St. Thomas, belongs Dominic's flock in Dante's time seek for honours and dignities instead of keeping to their original vow , I Canto XII.
The garland of Dominican spirits revolving round Dante is suddenly enclosed by a similar garland of Franciscan spirits One of the Franciscan spirits, St. Bonaventura, from the outer garland commences to praise St.
Dominic 3I Calaroga in Spain the birthplace of St. Dominic, the ardent lover of the Christian Faith Dominic sold all he had and gave to the poor, following the counsel of Our Lord Dominic made a fierce onslaught against heresy 98 -IOI. Bonaventura names the twelve spirits of the outer garland, beginning with himself and two obscure but holy friars II3I. Then follow Hugh de St. Canto XIII. Thomas Aquinas speaking again, explains to Dante that he is right in thinking the wisdom of Solomon inferior to that of Adam and of Christ.
Ixv Canto XIV. Solomon speaks of the glorious appearance of the Blessed after the resurrection of the Body Dante finds that he has been transported with Beatrice into the Fifth Sphere 83, They have reached the fiery tinted Sphere of Mars Dante sees the spirits of the saintly warriors who fought for Christ. These, shining in different degrees, formed the sign of the Cross Ioo-Io2. They flit rapidly along the two lines of the Cross, both perpendicularly and horizontally Iog9-iI.
The hymn of praise "Risurgi e vinci" sung by the spirits bind him with fetters of love I Canto XV. The warrior spirits pause in their melody, in order that Dante may speak i. Cacciaguida, an ancestor of Dante, darts from one arm of the Cross of the Holy Warriors to the foot of that same Cross The spirit addresses Dante in Latin as his kinsman He tells Dante that, although he can read the wish in Dante's heart, Dante must unfold his desire Dante entreats the spirit to accept his mute expression of thanks, and to reveal his name, addressing him as a living topaz The spirit replies: "Thou art my descendant, I was thy ancestor.
Thy great-grandfather was my son. He is still enduring penance for Pride in Purgatory. Pray for him " Cacciaguida sketches in outline the simple and peaceful life of Florence in his own days His birth, his baptism in San Giovanni, his kinsmen, and his marriage II He became a Crusader and a knight, was killed by the Saracens, and came to Heaven Canto XVI. Cacciaguida's words arouse a feeling in Dante of pride of lineage, quickly suppressed I. Dante asks Cacciaguida who were his ancestors, in what year was he born, what was the population of Florence in his time, and who were its chief citizens Cacciaguida was born in iog9, his ancestors lived in the district of Porta San Piero; the population of Florence was small, but were all of pure descent I.
Some great Florentine families are extinct, and their names forgotten He recalls the peaceable condition of Florence , I In his time a victorious State had never dishonoured the standard of its adversary, nor had the Lily of Florence been changed from white to red II Canto XVII. Dante enquires if Cacciaguida can interpret certain predictions made to him in Hell and Purgatory as to his destiny 25, Cacciaguida tells him that he will be driven by calumny from Florence, even as Hippolytus was driven from Athens Dante's future sufferings and humiliations Dante will separate himself from his unworthy fellow-exiles At the Court of Bartolommeo della Scala Dante will meet his brother Can Grande, too young at present to be known Dante shall still be alive when his sinful fellow-citizens, and their punishment, shall be things of the past 97 Cacciaguida charges Dante to speak out the whole truth about his contemporaries II Dante has only been shown the spirits of the great, whether good or bad, and his poem will, like the wind, only attack the highest summits II Dante, passing from the red planet Mars into the Sixth Sphere, the Heaven of Jupiter, perceives that the light has become white instead of red The spirits of those who rightly administered justice on earth form in luminous letters the words Diligitejustitiam qui judicatis terram Ixvii 4.
The letter "M" of this celestial inscription undergoes various changes, and finally its summit shapes itself into the head and neck of an Eagle Dante implores the spirits who form the Eagle, the Emblem of Empire, to entreat God that the Princes of the Earth may not err after the evil example of the Popes I Canto XIX.
The spirits are transformed into the figure of a complete Eagle with outspread wings i, 2. Dante entreats them to solve a doubt 25, The doubt is as to whether a virtuous heathen, dying unbaptized and without the Faith, can be with justice condemned 75, The Eagle censures the presumption of those who venture to sit in judgment on the Justice of God If Dante could not understand certain strains of the Eagle, how could he expect to comprehend the Justice of God?
Many professing Christians will be found among the reprobate, and many who knew not Christ among the elect Io6-io8. The Eagle unfolds a terrible page of the book of Eternity xI 2- 4. Canto XX. The Eagle tells Dante that six spirits of surpassing excellence, among the Princes who governed their realms most justly, form the arc of its eye David forms the pupil of the eye Of the five who form the eye-lid, Trajan comes first 44, Then Hezekiah I.
Next Constantine who wrought evil to the Church by the Donatio Constantini, though with good intentions William II, King of Sicily, whose good reign is regretted by his subjects now under the rule of his unworthy successors 62, Ripheus, the Trojan, a character in Virgil's Eneid, is the fifth of the spirits forming the arc of the Eagle's eye Dante, astonished at finding in heaven two pagans, Ripheus, born before Christ, and Trajan, born after, who had died without believing in Him, learns from the Eagle that they both died Christians in spirit o Canto XXI.
Beatrice informs Dante that they have reached the Sphere of Saturn, the abode of the contemplative spirits I3. Dante sees a ladder of pure gold extending further up than the eye can reach, and numberless shining ones ascending and descending The spirit of San Pier Damiano draws near, and Dante asks him why he has approached, and why, in this heaven only, there is a cessation of the sweet melodies heard in the other Spheres Pier Damiano tells him that mortal hearing could not endure the excess of sweetness of their singing, any more than mortal sight could endure Beatrice's smile He has descended the stairway to greet Dante, not because he has greater love than his fellow-spirits, but to fulfil his duty Pier Damiano describes his retreat on Monte Catria, and tells his name I He denounces the luxury of the Cardinals, whose furred cloaks are so long that their steeds are nearly invisible Other spirits flock down the holy stair at Damiano's words, and utter a shout of indignation I40, I4I.
Canto XXII. Dante sees a hundred of the contemplative spirits upon the heavenly stair. The most radiant one among them, St. Benedict, addresses him Benedict speaks of himself as the founder of the Benedictine Order of Monte Cassino Other bright spirits of his Order Benedict tells Dante that his request to see his face is inopportune, but shall be granted when he reaches the Empyrean 6i, He upbraids the monks of Dante's time; the Rule of his Order has become mere waste paper 74, Ixix 6.
Benedict and his fellow-spirits are swept away up the heavenly stair Beatrice, by a mere sign, impels Dante to ascend the Holy Stair. Dante in Gemini, to whose influence he ascribes his poetic genius 7. Dante can see below him the whole of the inhabited earth, so insignificant, that he compares it to a mere threshing floor I Dante sees Beatrice gazing towards the South, like a bird on its nest watching for the dawn Io-I2.