Dante meets the two sisters in Purgatory, and Leah describes, with Dantesque pithiness, the difference between them.
For other quotations concerning rather more similar sisters, see Jane Eyre, or a few examples of sister-shared insanity in Mervyn Peake’s sprawling work of imagination, Gormenghast: one regarding thinking and one regarding roofs.
‘Whoever wants to ask my name should know
It’s Leah, and I pluck, with hands so fair,
The making of a garland as I go.
I like the look, but love the open air.
My sister Rachel, on the other hand,
Sits always at her glass, as keen to see
Her own bright eyes as I am for the land
Beneath my feet. But there you are, that’s me:
I like to do, she likes to understand.’
See also our illustrated quote-rich celebration of Dante’s Divine Comedy in Clive James’ superb translation.
Source: Dante, The Divine Comedy (Purgatory, Canto 27), trans. Clive James (New York: Liveright Publishing, 2013), p. 313
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