v. 26. One crucified.] Haman. See the book of Esther, c. vii. v. 34. A damsel.] Lavinia, mourning for her mother Amata, who, impelled by grief and indignation for the supposed death of Turnus, destroyed herself. Aen. 1. xii. 595.
v. 43. The broken slumber quivering ere it dies.] Venturi suggests that this bold and unusual metaphor may have been formed on that in Virgil.
Tempus erat quo prima quies mortalibus aegris Incipit, et dono divun gratissima serpit. Aen. 1. ii. 268.
v. 68. The peace-makers.] Matt. c. v. 9.
v. 81. The love.] “A defect in our love towards God, or lukewarmness in piety, is here removed.”
v. 94. The primal blessings.] Spiritual good.
v. 95. Th’ inferior.] Temporal good.
v. 102. Now.] “It is impossible for any being, either to hate itself, or to hate the First Cause of all, by which it exists. We can therefore only rejoice in the evil which befalls others.”
v. 111. There is.] The proud.
v. 114. There is.] The envious.
v. 117. There is he.] The resentful.
v. 135. Along Three circles.] According to the allegorical commentators, as Venturi has observed, Reason is represented under the person of Virgil, and Sense under that of Dante. The former leaves to the latter to discover for itself the three carnal sins, avarice, gluttony and libidinousness; having already declared the nature of the spiritual sins, pride, envy, anger, and indifference, or lukewarmness in piety, which the Italians call accidia, from the Greek word. [Greek here]
v. 1. The teacher ended.] Compare Plato, Protagoras, v. iii. p. 123. Bip. edit. [Greek here] Apoll. Rhod. 1. i. 513, and Milton, P. L. b. viii. 1. The angel ended, &c.
v. 23. Your apprehension.] It is literally, “Your apprehensive faculty derives intention from a thing really existing, and displays the intention within you, so that it makes the soul turn to it.” The commentators labour in explaining this; and whatever sense they have elicited may, I think, be resolved into the words of the translation in the text.
v. 47. Spirit.] The human soul, which differs from that of brutes, inasmuch as, though united with the body, it has a separate existence of its own. v. 65. Three men.] The great moral philosophers among the heathens.
v. 78. A crag.] I have preferred the reading of Landino, scheggion, “crag,” conceiving it to be more poetical than secchion, “bucket,” which is the common reading. The same cause, the vapours, which the commentators say might give the appearance of increased magnitude to the moon, might also make her seem broken at her rise.
v. 78. Up the vault.] The moon passed with a motion opposite to that of the heavens, through the constellation of the scorpion, in which the sun is, when to those who are in Rome he appears to set between the isles of Corsica and Sardinia.