v. 19. Planet.] Venus.
v. 20. Made all the orient laugh.] Hence Chaucer, Knight’s Tale: And all the orisont laugheth of the sight.
It is sometimes read “orient.”
v. 24. Four stars.] Symbolical of the four cardinal virtues, Prudence Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance. See Canto XXXI v. 105.
v. 30. The wain.] Charles’s wain, or Bootes.
v. 31. An old man.] Cato.
v. 92. Venerable plumes.] The same metaphor has occurred in Hell Canto xx. v. 41:
—the plumes, That mark’d the better sex.
It is used by Ford in the Lady’s Trial, a. 4. s. 2.
Now the down
Of softness is exchang’d for plumes of age.
v. 58. The farthest gloom.] L’ultima
sera. Ariosto, Oroando
Furioso c. xxxiv st. 59:
Che non hen visto ancor l’ultima sera.
And Filicaja, c. ix. Al Sonno.
v. 79. Marcia.]
Da fredera prisci
Illibata tori: da tantum nomen inane
Connubil: liceat tumulo scripsisse, Catonis
Lucan, Phars. 1. ii. 344.
v. 110. I spy’d the trembling of the ocean stream.] Connubil il tremolar della marina.
Trissino, in the Sofonisba.]
E resta in tremolar l’onda marina
And Fortiguerra, Rleelardetto, c. ix. st. 17. —visto il tremolar della marine.
v. 135. another.] From Virg, Aen. 1. vi. 143. Primo avulso non deficit alter
v. 1. Now had the sun.] Dante was now antipodal to Jerusalem, so that while the sun was setting with respect to that place which he supposes to be the middle of the inhabited earth, to him it was rising.
v. 6. The scales.] The constellation Libra.
v. 35. Winnowing the air.] Trattando l’acre con l’eterne penne.
80 Filicaja, canz. viii. st. 11. Ma trattar l’acre coll’ eterne plume
v. 45. In exitu.] “When Israel came out of Egypt.” Ps. cxiv.
v. 75. Thrice my hands.] Ter conatus ibi eollo dare brachia eircum, Ter frustra eomprensa manus effugit imago, Par levibus ventis voluerique simillima sommo. Virg. Aen. ii. 794.
Compare Homer, Od. xl. 205.
v. 88. My Casella.] A Florentine, celebrated for his skill in music, “in whose company,” says Landine, “Dante often recreated his spirits wearied by severe studies.” See Dr. Burney’s History of Music, vol. ii. c. iv. p. 322. Milton has a fine allusion to this meeting in his sonnet to Henry Lawes.
v. 90. Hath so much time been lost.] Casella had been dead some years but was only just arrived.
v. 91. He.] The eonducting angel.
v. 94. These three months past.] Since the time of the Jubilee, during which all spirits not condemned to eternal punishment, were supposed to pass over to Purgatory as soon as they pleased.