| Quote #4
[Virgil to the Late-Repentant souls]: “…please tell
Virgil, like Cato, understands that time is of the essence in Purgatory; he thus loses no time in asking every penitent soul he meets what is the quickest way up the mountain.
| Quote #5
[Manfred]: “But it is true that anyone who dies
One of the reasons that everyone in Purgatory is in such a rush to get to the top of Mount Purgatory is that many of them have been there for so long. As Manfred explains here, each penitent must languish in ante-Purgatory – not even Purgatory proper – “for thirty times the span / he spent in his presumptuousness.” In other words, every soul must stay for thirty lifetimes out on the shores before even beginning the labors of purgation. Prayer is the one expedient that can speed up waiting time.
| Quote #6
Compared to you [Florence], Athens and Lacedaemon,
In general, haste is seen as a positive thing in Purgatory. Here, however, Dante shows the other side of haste. In his diatribe against Florence, he lampoons the city for “chang[ing] laws and coinage, offices / and customs” so often and so quickly (from “October” to “mid-November”) that nothing can get done in the city and it falls prey to the bickering of politicians who cannot make up their minds.