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James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Dante. (search)
Inferno, II. 94. The donna gentil is Lucia, the prevenient Grace, the light of God which shows the right path and guides the feet in it. With Dante God is always the sun, which leadeth others right by every road. (Inferno, I. 18.) The spiritual and unintelligible Sun, which is God. (Convito, Tr. III. c. 12.) His light enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world, but his dwelling is in the heavens. He who wilfully deprives himself of this light is spiritually dead in sin. So when in Mars he beholds the glorified spirits of the martyrs he exclaims, O Elios, who so arrayest them! (Paradiso, XIV. 96.) Blanc (Vocabolario, sub voce) rejects this interpretation. But Dante, entering the abode of the Blessed, invokes the good Apollo, and shortly after calls him divina virtu. We shall have more to say of this hereafter.), partaking of the divine essence by a kind of eternal marriage, while with other intelligences she is united in a less measure as a mistress of whom no lover takes