v. 28. Why.] Quid non mortalia pecaora cogis Anri sacra fames? Virg. Aen. 1. iii. 57
Venturi supposes that Dante might have mistaken the meaning of the word sacra, and construed it “holy,” instead of “cursed.” But I see no necessity for having recourse to so improbable a conjecture.
v. 41. The fierce encounter.] See Hell, Canto vii. 26.
v. 46. With shorn locks.] Ibid. 58.
v. 57. The twin sorrow of Jocasta’s womb.] Eteocles and Polynices
v. 71. A renovated world.] Virg. Ecl. iv. 5
v. 100. That Greek.] Homer
v. 107. Of thy train. ] Of those celebrated in thy Poem.”
v. 112. Tiresias’ daughter.] Dante appears to have forgotten that he had placed Manto, the daughter of Tiresias, among the sorcerers. See Hell Canto xx. Vellutello endeavours, rather awkwardly, to reconcile the inconsistency, by observing, that although she was placed there as a sinner, yet, as one of famous memory, she had also a place among the worthies in Limbo.
Lombardi excuses our author better, by observing that Tiresias had a daughter named Daphne. See Diodorus Siculus, 1. iv. 66.
v. 139. Mary took more thought.] “The blessed virgin, who answers for yon now in heaven, when she said to Jesus, at the marriage in Cana of Galilee, ‘they have no wine,’ regarded not the gratification of her own taste, but the honour of the nuptial banquet.”
v. 142 The women of old Rome.] See Valerius Maximus, 1. ii. c. i.
v. 9. My lips.] Psalm ii. 15.
v. 20. The eyes.] Compare Ovid, Metam. 1. viii. 801
v. 26. When Mary.] Josephus, De Bello Jud. 1. vii. c. xxi. p. 954 Ed Genev. fol. 1611. The shocking story is well told
v. 27. Rings.]
In this habit
Met I my father with his bleeding rings
Their precious stones new lost.
Shakespeare, Lear, a. 5. s. 3
v. 28. Who reads the name.] “He, who pretends to distinguish the letters which form Omo in the features of the human face, “might easily have traced out the M on their emaciated countenances.” The temples, nose, and forehead are supposed to represent this letter; and the eyes the two O’s placed within each side of it.
v. 44. Forese.] One of the brothers of Piccarda, she who is again spoken of in the next Canto, and introduced in the Paradise, Canto iii.
V. 72. If the power.] “If thou didst delay thy repentance to the last, when thou hadst lost the power of sinning, how happens it thou art arrived here so early?”
v. 76. Lower.] In the Ante-Purgatory. See Canto ii.
v. 80. My Nella.] The wife of Forese.
v. 87. The tract most barb’rous of Sardinia’s isle.] The Barbagia is part of Sardinia, to which that name was given, on account of the uncivilized state of its inhabitants, who are said to have gone nearly naked.