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Why longer sleep'st thou? Cahorsines and Gascons
Then by the spirit, that doth never leave
Its amorous dalliance with my lady's looks, 53. Pope John XXII. was from Cahors; west, and sees below him the Atlantic Ocean Clement V., his predecessor, was a Gascon. beyond the Strait of Gibraltar. Hell, xix. 86.
74. Region = clima = zone. The old geog54. Blood = the life of the Church.
raphers divided the earth from the equator to 56. It was God who helped Scipio to defeat the poles into zones (climi). The first extended Hannibal.
20° above the equator, and the Twins were on 60. In these words we have the mission of the northern border of this zone, along which Dante's journey to Heaven, - to warn the world Dante had now moved
o the west. and lead it to repent.
76. Gades stands for Spain here. 62. Snowflakes.
77. Strait of Gibraltar, through which Ulys63. She-goat = Capricorn, in which constel- ses sailed. See Hell, xxvi. lation the sun is during mid-winter; here the 78. Phoenicia, whence Jupiter, in the shape time meant is January
of a bull, carried off Europa. Ovid, Met. ii. 832. 65. Vapors = spirits.
80. Dim spot = the earth. 66. Deck the ethereal cope = l'etere adorno 81. Dante is in the Twins; next to this comes farsi = the ether become adorned.
the Bull (Taurus), then Aries, in which the sun 71. Cf. Par. xxii. 124 ff. On entering the now is. heaven of the fixed stars, Dante had found 83. The spirit = la mente innamorata = himself in the sign of the Twins, in the meridian the enamoured mind. of Jerusalem. Now he has moved 90° to the
Back with redoubled ardor were mine eyes
What place for entrance Beatrice chose,
93. Castor and Pollux were twin sons of Leda 106. The Empyrean. and Jupiter.
109. God is the source of motion to all the 94. The Primum Mobile.
spheres, but is uninfluenced by outside things 97. Wish to know the properties or nature himself. of the heavens.
111. As 2 and 5 (fifth and half) are contained 100. The Primum Mobile is the swiftest in 10, so all things are contained in God. heaven, that which contains all the others, and 112. Vase = the Primum Mobile, which begives motion to them, causing them to revolve gins (is root of) the revolutions of the heavens, around the earth (centre), which is motionless. by means of which time is told.
102. Except the soul, etc. is not clear. The 113. Elsewhere = in the other heavens. original is,
Leaves = the motions visible to us. The Pri“E questo cielo non ha altro dove mum Mobile, the root of these motions, is not Che la mente divina."
visible to us. “And this heaven has no place (locality) except o mortal lust! Exclamation of pity for the divine mind.” I.e. each heaven is contained men who, in spite of the celestial things above in the heaven above it. The Primum Mobile, them, run after merely transient things. being the highest heaven, is contained only in 116. Ruddy promise, in the original = le the Empyrean, which stretches out to infinity, susine vere = true pears. and is filled with God's light and love.
Is, by the dripping of perpetual rain,
• Thou, to abate thy wonder, note, that none
Still in the ninth heaven, our Poet is permitted to behold the Divine Essence; and then
sees, in three hierarchies, the nine choirs of angels. Beatrice clears some difficulties which occur to him on this occasion.
So she, who doth imparadise my soul,
118. Abortion = bozzacchioni= pears bitten the sight of God (see line 32), and Italy is withby insects, and thus spoiled.
out her emperor (hence none bears rule), the 120. Ere they grow up.
evil condition of Church and State ought not to 122. At every season of the year, whether it cause wonder. is in Lent or not.
132. Allusion to the error in Cæsar's calen126. The Church, daughter of the spiritual Sun. dar of eleven minutes in a year (corrected by 128. The original is,
Gregory XIII.), which, in the course of time, “Si fa la pelle bianca, nera,
would have made January fall in spring. Nel primo aspetto,"
135. Beatrice prophesies that all these evils “ The white skin is made black in the first shall be changed before long. sight," i.e. the early purity of the Church has 2. Referring to the rebuke of the corruption become corrupt in the sight of God.
in the world, given by Beatrice at the end of 130. Since the papal seat is really empty in last Canto.
The shining of a flambeau at his back,
There wheeled about the point a circle of fire,
“Heaven, and all nature, hangs upon that point.
9. As the words of a song follow the air. point of light, Dante endeavors to render the Dante sees reflected in the eyes of Beatrice a incorporeal nature of God; this point so small brilliant point of light, and turns to see what it nevertheless fills infinity with light. is. This point is God. Allegorically, Beatrice 20. As the Sun and Moon are surrounded by represents Divine Wisdom, or Theology, and halos, so around this point of light revolve the the contemplative spirit first sees God's glory Seraphim, and about these latter the rest of the reflected in her, before seeing it in actuality. nine orders of the celestial hierarchy, those
12. Obscure in the translation. The origi- nearest the point moving most swiftly. nal is,
22. Circle of fire = the Seraphim. “E com' io mi rivolsi, e furon tocchi
23. The Primum Mobile. Li miei da ciò che pare in quel volume, 25. The Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations,
Quandunque nel suo giro ben s' adocchi," Virtues, Powers. “And as I turned and my eyes were struck by 27. Seventh = Principalities, whose circumthat (light) which appears in that heaven (vo- ference is larger than that of the rainbow. lume = the Empyrean), whenever one gazes 31. Yet other two = l'ottavo e il nono = the well (keenly) into its circling."
eighth and the ninth = Archangels and Angels. 17. By means of the infinitesimal size of the 38. ék Tolaútns ápa ápxñs ñpmntai ó oupavos
The circle thereto most conjoined observe;
“ It is no marvel, if thy fingers foiled
kai ý súors. “From that beginning depend 58. Every orb = the nine heavens. These heaven and nature.” Aristot. Metaph. xii. 7. are more or less ample, according to the virtue
39. The circle = that of the Seraphim. they receive from God (which virtue they trans
40. The motion of the different circles de- mit to the heavens below them). Hence the pends on the intensity of their love toward God. larger the heaven, the more virtue is in it; and
41. Dante says he cannot understand why hence the Primum Mobile, which is the largest here in heaven the smallest circle, that nearest and contains most virtue, corresponds to the the point of light, has swiftest motion; while Seraphim, who, being nearest to God, receive the contrary is true of the nine spheres, of most of his virtue. In similar manner, the which the Primum Mobile, farthest from the Cherubim corresponds to the Heaven of Fixed centre, is yet the swiftest.
Stars, the Thrones to Saturn, etc. 46. Divinity = swiftness.
64. Primum Mobile. 47. Centre = earth.
65. That = the Seraphim. 48. Heaven.
67. The true measure, both of angelic orders 52. Exemplar = the revolution of the nine and heavens, is the amount of divine virtue in orders of angels about God. Copy = that of the them, not their size. nine heavens about the earth.
69. The heavens are moved by the different 55. No one has yet tried to solve this prob- orders of angels (intelligence). Cf. Convito, lem; no wonder, then, that Dante finds it hard. ii. 6.