-I’arte umana, &c.
v. 111. Creation’s holy book.] Genesis, c. iii. v. 19. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.”
v. 119. The wain.] The constellation Bootes, or Charles’s wain.
v. 17. The king of Athens.] Theseus, who was enabled, by the instructions of Ariadne, the sister of the Minotaur, to destroy that monster.
v. 21. Like to a bull.] [Greek here]
Homer Il. xvii 522
As when some vig’rous youth with sharpen’d axe
A pastur’d bullock smites behind the horns
And hews the muscle through; he, at the stroke
Springs forth and falls.
v. 36. He arriv’d.] Our Saviour, who, according to Dante, when he ascended from hell, carried with him the souls of the patriarchs, and other just men, out of the first circle. See Canto iv.
v. 96. Nessus.] Our poet was probably induced,
by the following
line in Ovid, to assign to Nessus the task of conducting them
over the ford:
Nessus edit membrisque valens scitusque vadorum.
Metam, l. ix.
And Ovid’s authority was Sophocles, who says of this Centaur—
[Greek here] Trach.570
He in his arms, Evenus’ stream
Deep flowing, bore the passenger for hire
Without or sail or billow cleaving oar.
v. 110. Ezzolino.] Ezzolino, or Azzolino di Romano, a most cruel tyrant in the Marca Trivigiana, Lord of Padua, Vicenza, Verona, and Brescia, who died in 1260. His atrocities form the subject of a Latin tragedy, called Eccerinis, by Albertino Mussato, of Padua, the contemporary of Dante, and the most elegant writer of Latin verse of that age. See also the Paradise, Canto ix. Berni Orl. Inn. l ii c. xxv. st. 50. Ariosto. Orl. Fur. c. iii. st. 33. and Tassoni Secchia Rapita, c. viii. st 11.
v. 111. Obizzo’ of Este.] Marquis of Ferrara and of the Marca d’Ancona, was murdered by his own son (whom, for the most unnatural act Dante calls his step-son), for the sake of the treasures which his rapacity had amassed. See Ariosto. Orl. Fur. c. iii. st 32. He died in 1293 according to Gibbon. Ant. of the House of Brunswick. Posth. Works, v. ii. 4to.
v. 119. He.] “Henrie, the brother of this Edmund, and son to the foresaid king of Almaine (Richard, brother of Henry iii. of England) as he returned from Affrike, where he had been with Prince Edward, was slain at Viterbo in Italy (whither he was come about business which he had to do with the Pope) by the hand of Guy de Montfort, the son of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, in revenge of the same Simon’s death. The murther was committed afore the high altar, as the same Henrie kneeled there to hear divine service.” A.D. 1272, Holinshed’s chronicles p 275. See also Giov. Villani Hist. I. vii. c. 40.