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‘ [103] has been four days in the tomb.’1 As a guide of the will in civil affairs the Emperor; in spiritual, the Pope.2 Dante is not one of those reformers who would assume the office of God to ‘make all things new.’ He knew the power of tradition and habit, and wished to utilize it for his purpose. He found the Empire and the Papacy already existing, but both needing reformation that they might serve the ends of their original institution. Bad leadership was to blame; men fit to gird on the sword had been turned into priests, and good preachers spoiled to make bad kings.3 The spiritual had usurped to itself the prerogatives of the temporal power.

Rome, that reformed the world, accustomed was
Two suns to have which one road and the other,
Of God and of the world, made manifest.
One has the other quenched, and to the crosier
The sword is joined, and ill beseemeth it,

Because, being joined one feareth not the other.

Purgatorio, XVI. 106-112.

Both powers held their authority directly from God, ‘not so, however, that the Roman Prince is not in some things subject to the Roman Pontiff, since that human felicity [to be attained only by peace, justice, and good government, possible only under a single ruler] is in some sort ordained to the end of immortal felicity. Let Caesar use that reverence toward Peter which a first-born son ought to use toward a father; that, shone upon by the light of paternal grace, he may ’

1 Convito, Tr. IV. c. 7. ‘Qui descenderit ad inferos, non ascendet.’ Job VII. 9.

2 But it may he inferred that he put the interests of mankind above both. ‘For citizens,’ he says, ‘exist not for the sake of consuls, nor the people for the sake of the king, but, on the contrary, consuls for the sake of citizens, and the king for the sake of the people.’

3 Paradiso, VIII. 145, 146.

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