v. 123. I do, not know a man.] Luke, c. i. 34.
v. 126. Callisto.] See Ovid, Met. 1. ii. fab. 5.
v. 70. Caesar.] For the opprobrium east on Caesar’s effeminacy, see Suetonius, Julius Caesar, c. 49.
v. 83. Guinicelli.] See Note to Canto xi. 96.
v. 87. lycurgus.] Statius, Theb. 1. iv. and v. Hypsipile had left her infant charge, the son of Lycurgus, on a bank, where it was destroyed by a serpent, when she went to show the Argive army the river of Langia: and, on her escaping the effects of Lycurgus’s resentment, the joy her own children felt at the sight of her was such as our Poet felt on beholding his predecessor Guinicelli.
The incidents are beautifully described in Statius, and seem to have made an impression on Dante, for he again (Canto xxii. 110.) characterizes Hypsipile, as her-Who show’d Langia’s wave.
v. 111. He.] The united testimony of Dante, and of Petrarch, in his Triumph of Love, e. iv. places Arnault Daniel at the head of the Provencal poets. That he was born of poor but noble parents, at the castle of Ribeyrae in Perigord, and that he was at the English court, is the amount of Millot’s information concerning him (t. ii. p. 479).
The account there given of his writings is not much more satisfactory, and the criticism on them must go for little better than nothing.
It is to be regretted that we have not an opportunity of judging for ourselves of his “love ditties and his tales of prose "
Versi d’amore e prose di romanzi.
Our Poet frequently cities him in the work De Vulgari Eloquentia. According to Crescimbeni, (Della Volg. Poes. 1. 1. p. 7. ed. 1698.) He died in 1189.
v. 113. The songster of Limoges.] Giraud de Borneil, of Sideuil, a castle in Limoges. He was a troubadour, much admired and caressed in his day, and appears to have been in favour with the monarchs of Castile, Leon, Navarre, and Arragon He is quoted by Dante, De Vulg. Eloq., and many of his poems are still remaining in Ms. According to Nostradamus he died in 1278. Millot, Hist. Litt. des Troub. t. ii. p. 1 and 23. But I suspect that there is some error in this date, and that he did not live to see so late a period.
v. 118. Guittone.] See Cano xxiv. 56.
v. 123. Far as needs.] See Canto xi. 23.
v. 132. Thy courtesy.] Arnault is here made to speak in his own tongue, the Provencal. According to Dante, (De Vulg. Eloq. 1. 1. c. 8.) the Provencal was one language with the Spanish. What he says on this subject is so curious, that the reader will perhaps not be displeased it I give an abstract of it.