Purgatorio Canto XX

Purgatorio 20

‘O soul that speak of so much goodness,
tell me who you were,’ I said, ‘and why you alone
rehearse these deeds so fit for praise.

vv. 34-36

Fifth Ledge: the Avaricious. – The Spirits celebrate examples of Poverty and Bounty. – Hugh Capet. – His discourse on his descendants. – Trembling of the Mountain.

Dante, unable to stand against Adrian’s “worthier will,” moves forward, although “the sponge” of his curiosity is “not full yet.” Dante bemoans the “age-old wolf” of avarice and hears, among the weeping, examples of generosity: Mary, Fabricius, and Saint Nicholas. After Dante asks which soul has just mentioned these examples, he learns that this penitent is Hugh Capet, once king of France. Hugh tells of the sins his sons will commit and their lust for power. He predicts that a Charles from France will “acquire, not land, / but sin and shame.” He sees, in the future, a “new Pilate” and wonders when God will exact vengeance on these sinners. His dialogue continues; he explains that at night, they must remember examples of avarice: Pygmalion, Midas, Achan, Sapphira, Polymnestor, and Crassus. All of the penitents here must give “voice to goodness,” though some speak louder or softer; and with this, Hugh Capet asserts that he was not speaking alone. Dante and Virgil continue on, when suddenly an earthquake shakes Mount Purgatory; Dante feels “a chill, / like the chill of death,” but soon voices are singing Gloria in excelsis Deo. The two pilgrims stand still until both the earthquake and singing stop. As they continue, Dante is disturbed by not being able to understand what has happened.

Riassunto in inglese tratto da https://www.gradesaver.com/divine-comedy-purgatorio

Canto adopted by A.I.D.O. Provinciale Ravenna.

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