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Brought to Book. Sign In. Don't have an account? But by the Power, through whom I move my steps along so wild a road, bestow on us one of thy troop, at whose side we may be, and who may show us where one fords, and carry this man upon his back, for he is not a spirit who can travel through the air.
I saw some people in it to their brows. Here tears are shed because of heartless wrongs; here Alexander is, and who for years grieved Sicily, fierce Dionysius. The brow which hath so black a head of hair, is Azzolino; the other which is blond, Obizzo of Este, who in truth was quenched up in the world by his un-natural son.
Thus shallower and shallower became that blood, until it only cooked their feet; here was the place for us to ford the ditch. Justice Divine is over here tormenting that Attila who was a scourge on earth, Pyrrhus, and Sextus; and forever milks the tears, which with the boiling it unlocks, from Rinier da Corneto and Rinier Pazzo, who on the highroads waged so great a war.
Violence against Oneself.
Suicides and Squanderers. Not yet had Nessus reached the other side, when we had set our steps within a wood, which was not marked by any path whatever. No green leaves there, but leaves of gloomy hue; no smooth and straight, but gnarled and twisted, twigs; nor was there any fruit, but poison-thorns. Herein those ugly Harpies make their nest, who drove the Trojans from the Strophades, with gloomy prophecies of future loss.
Wide wings they have, and human necks and faces; their feet are clawed, and feathered their great bellies; they utter wailings on the uncouth trees. Moans I heard uttered upon every side, but saw no person who might make them there; hence, utterly confused, I checked my steps. I think he thought I thought that all those voices were uttered from among those thorny trunks by people hiding there on our account.
Hast thou no spirit of compassion in thee? Men were we once, and now are stocks become; thy hand ought surely to have had more pity, even if the souls of serpents we had been. But tell him who thou wast, that he, by way of compensation, may refresh thy fame up in the world, where he can still return. My mind, to vent its feelings of disdain, and thinking to avoid disdain by death, made me unjust against myself, the just.
And to the world should one of you return, let him assist my memory, which still lies crushed beneath the blow which envy gave it!
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Whenever a wild spirit leaves the body, from which itself hath torn itself away, Minos commits it to the seventh ravine. Into the wood it falls, nor is a place allotted to it; but where Fortune hurls it, there, like a grain of spelt, it germinates. It grows into a sapling and wild tree; the Harpies, feeding then upon its leaves, cause pain to it, and for the pain a vent.
And lo, two on the left, who naked were and scratched, and fled away so rapidly, they shattered all the branches of the wood. The wood behind these two was full of swarthy bitches, ravenous and fleet as greyhounds are, when from their chains unleashed. Into the one who crouched they set their teeth, and tore him into pieces bit by bit; they then made off with those his suffering limbs. Thereat my Escort took me by the hand, and led me to the bush, which all in vain out of its bleeding rents was shedding tears. I made myself a gibbet of my house.
The Third Ring Violence against God. Since love for my own native place constrained me, I gathered up the scattered twigs and leaves, and gave them back to him who now was weak. Thence to the bound we came, where from the third the second ring is severed, and wherein a frightful form of Justice may be seen.
To manifest aright what here was new, I say that we had reached a barren plain, which from its bed removeth every plant. The woeful wood is as a garland round it, as round the former is the dismal moat; there on its very edge we stayed our steps. Its soil was of a dense and arid sand, whose nature differed in no way from that, which once was trodden by the feet of Cato. Vengeance of God, how much by every one thou oughtest to be feared, who readeth here what to these eyes of mine was manifest!
Of naked souls I many flocks beheld, who all wept very sorely, while on each a different law appeared to be imposed. A few lay on the ground upon their backs; and some were seated cuddled up together, while others moved about continually. Most numerous were those that moved around, and least so those that under torment lay, but all the freer had their tongues to wail.
Down on the whole great waste of sand there rained with gentle fall dilated flakes of fire, like flakes of snow that fall on windless Alps. And ever without resting was the dance of wretched hands, that kept, now here, now there, slapping away each latest burning flake. Now follow me, and see that thou meanwhile set not thy feet upon the burning sand, but to the thicket keep them ever close. In silence we went on, and came to where, out of the wood a little stream spirts forth, whose ruddy color makes me shudder still. Its bottom and both sides had turned to stone, as also had the embankments on each side; I hence perceived the crossing-place was there.
Whilom as trusty cradle for her son Rhea selected it, and when he wept, to hide him better, caused a shouting there. Within that mountain stands a great Old Man, who holds his shoulders toward Damiata turned, and who, as at his mirror, looks at Rome. Each of these parts, except the golden one, is broken by a cleft, whence trickle tears, which, when collected, perforate that cave.
The Third Ring Violence against Nature. An old fame in the world proclaims them blind, a greedy, envious, overweening folk; see to it that thou cleanse thee from their ways! Thy fortune hath in store for thee such honor, that either party shall be hungry for thee; but distant from the goat shall be the grass. What of my course you tell, I write, and keep, with other texts, for a Lady to explain, who can, if ever I attain to her.
I only wish that this be clear to you, that I, if but my conscience chide me not, am ready for whatever Fortune wills. Not new unto mine ears is such reward; hence, as she lists, let Fortune turn her wheel, and let the country clown his mattock ply!
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Know then, in brief, that clerics were they all, and mighty men of letters of great fame, soiled by the self same sin when in the world. It pains me still but to remember them. As champions oiled and nude are wont to do, when looking for an advantageous grip, before they come to giving blows and wounds; thus, as he wheeled, each turned his face toward me, so that his feet continuous journey made in opposite direction to his neck.
He, in whose footprints thou dost see me tread, was, though he go both nude and hairless now, of higher rank then thou believest him. He was the grandson of the good Gualdrada; his name was Guido Guerra, and when alive, his wisdom and his sword accomplished much. But since I should have burned and baked myself, fear was victorious over my good will, which made me eager to embrace them there. Of your own town am I, and evermore have I your doings and your honored names related, and heard mentioned, with regard.
I leave the gall, and for the sweet fruit go, which my veracious Leader promised me; but to the center must I first descend. Thus with uplifted face I cried; whereat the three, who this as answer understood, looked at each other, as one looks at truth. Amen could not have been as quickly said, as they then disappeared; my Teacher, therefore, thought it advisable for us to leave. I had a cord around about me girt, wherewith I once had thought that I could capture the Leopard with the brightly colored hide.
When from me I had wholly loosened it, even as my Leader had commanded me, I coiled it up and held it out to him. Thereat upon his right he turned around, and hurled it to some distance from the edge down into that profound and dark abyss. I swear to thee, that through that coarse, dark air I saw a shape, which would have chilled with wonder however brave a heart, come swimming up, as he returns, who, going down at times to clear an anchor clinging to a reef, or aught else lying hidden in the sea, above extends, and draweth in below.
The Third Ring Violence against Art. Its face was as the face of a just man, so pleasing outwardly was its complexion; the body of a serpent all the rest. As flat-boats sometimes lie upon the shore, in water partly, partly on the land; and as among the greedy Germans yonder,. Out of their eyes their woe was bursting forth; first here, then there, they helped them with their hands, now from the flames, now from the heated soil.
When on the face of some I set mine eyes, on whom the woeful fire is falling there, I knew not one of them; but I perceived that from the neck of each there hung a pouch, which had a certain color and design, wherewith their eyes appeared to feed themselves. And as I, looking, came into their midst, azure upon a yellow pouch I saw, which had the form and semblance of a lion.
Then, as my gaze continued on its course, another I beheld, as red as blood, exhibiting a goose more white than butter. Now go thy way; and since thou livest still, know that my fellow townsman, Vitaliano, will sit beside me here upon my left. And I, afraid lest any longer stay might anger him who warned me to be brief, turned from those weary spirits back again. By stairs like these shall we descend hereafter; climb thou in front, for midst I wish to be, so that the tail may do no injury.
Wide be thy wheels, and gradual thy descent; bethink thee of the unwonted load thou hast. The latter, swimming, slowly wends his way, wheels and descends, but I perceive it not, save by the wind below and in my face. The waterfall I now heard on the right, making a horrid roar beneath us; hence, I outward thrust my head with eyes turned down. More fearful of the abyss I then became, for fires I now beheld, and wailings heard; hence, trembling, I clung closer with my thighs.
And then, for I perceived it not before, by the great torments which on divers sides drew near, I saw our wheeling and descent. Upon the right side I beheld new cause for sympathy, new pains, and scourgers new, wherewith the first trench was completely filled. This side and that, upon the dark, stone floor, horned demons with great scourges I beheld, who from behind were fiercely whipping them.
Ah, how they caused them to lift them up their heels, when by the first blows smitten!
Certainly none waited for the second, or the third. Nor am I here the only Bolognese that weeps; nay, this place is so full of us, that not so many tongues are taught today between Savena and Reno to say sipa; and if thereof thou wouldst have pledge or proof, recall to mind our avaricious breasts. There are no women here to sell for coin. This we ascended with the greatest ease, and turning to the right along its ridge, we left those everlasting circling walls. How royal an appearance he still keeps!
Jason is he, who, by his doughtiness and wit, deprived the Colchians of their ram. He passed the isle of Lemmos on his way, after its pitiless and daring women had given up to death their every male. He left her there with child, and all alone; him to this punishment that fault condemns; and for Medea, too, is vengeance wrought. With him go those that in this way deceive; be this enough to know of this first ditch, and of those, too, that in its fangs it holds. We thence heard people in the following trench who whined and groaned, and with their muzzles puffed, while smiting their own bodies with their palms.
The banks were crusted over with a mould by vapor from below, which, sticking there, offensive to both eyes and nose became.
Dante and The Divine Comedy: He took us on a tour of Hell
Thither we came, and from it in the ditch people I saw immersed in excrement, which seemed from human privies to have come. Fraud The Third Trench. O Simon Magus, O his wretched followers, since ye the things of God, which ought to be the brides of righteousness, rapaciously adulterate for silver and for gold; it now behooves the trumpet sound for you, for in the third great trench your station is! Wisdom Supreme, how great the art thou showest in Heaven, on earth, and in the evil world! How justly, too, thy virtue makes awards! I saw that on its sloping sides and bottom the livid-colored stone was full of holes, all of one width, while each of them was round.
The soles of all were, both of them, on fire; because of which their joints so strongly twitched, they would have snapped green twigs and cords of grass. And as a flame on oily things is wont to move along the outer surface only; so likewise was it there from heels to toes. I there was like a friar that confesses a base assassin, who, on being planted, calls him again, that death may be delayed. By several years the writing lied to me. Art thou so quickly sated with the wealth, for which thou didst not fear to seize by fraud, and outrage next, the Lady beautiful? I, in like manner, shall down yonder fall, when he arrives, whom I believed thou wast, when I of thee the sudden question asked.
But now already longer is the time, that I, thus up-side down, have cooked my feet, than he will planted stay with ruddy soles; for after him shall come from westward lands a lawless shepherd of still uglier deed, and fit to cover him and me. Renewed shall Jason be, of whom in Maccabees one reads; and as to that one his king yielded, even so who governs France shall yield to this.
Therefore keep still, for thou art rightly punished; and take good care of that ill-gotten wealth, which caused thee to be valiant against Charles. And were it not for this, that I am still forbidden by reverence for the Keys supreme thou hadst in keeping in the joyful life,. The Evangelist was thinking of your shepherds, when she, who on the waters hath her seat, was seen by him to fornicate with kings; the one who with the seven heads was born, and from the ten horns her support received, while virtue still was pleasing to her spouse.
Ah, Constantine, of how much ill was mother, not thy conversion, but the dower-gift the earliest wealthy Father took from thee! I verily believe it pleased my Leader, he heeded with so glad a look throughout the utterance of those true, clear words of mine. He therefore took me up with both his arms, and when he had me wholly on his breast, he climbed again the path down which he came; nor tired of holding me in his embrace, but bore me to the summit of the arch, which crosses from the fourth bank to the fifth. When there, he gently set his burden down, gently, because that crag was rough and steep, and would be difficult for goats to cross; from thence another trench was shown to me.
Fraud The Fourth Trench. Diviners and Soothsayers. About strange punishments must I make verses, and furnish matter for the twentieth song of this first lay, which treats of those submerged. Already had I wholly given myself to looking down at its uncovered bottom, which with the tears of agony was bathed; when people in the great round trench I saw come weeping silently, and at the pace, at which in this world litanies advance.
Then, as my sight fell on them lower down, wondrously twisted each of them appeared between the chin and where the chest begins; for toward his loins his face was turned around, and backward it behooved him to advance, because of foresight they had been deprived. So may God let thee, Reader, gather fruit from this thy reading, think now for thyself how I could ever keep my own face dry,. Here liveth piety when wholly dead is pity. Who, then, guiltier is than he who lets his feelings judge Divine Decrees?
Why quittest thou the war? See how he makes a bosom of his shoulders; because he wished to see too far ahead, he looks behind, and backward goes his way. Behold Tiresias there, who changed his looks, when female he became, from being male, his members being each and all transformed; and afterward he needs must strike again the two entwining serpents with his rod, ere he the plumage of a male regained.
Peschiera next, a fair and mighty fortress, and fit to face both Bergamasks and Brescians, sits where the shore lies lowest round about. Passing that way, the cruel virgin saw a region in the middle of the fen, untilled and naked of inhabitants. There, to escape all human fellowship, and work her arts, she settled with her slaves, and lived, and there she left her empty body. Thereafter men, who all around were scattered, collected in that place, which was a strong one, because it had a fen on every side. But tell me if among these passing people thou seest any one deserving note; for my mind now is wholly bent on that.
That other one, so thin about his flanks, was Michael Scot, who surely understood the artful game of magical deceits. Guido Bonatti see; and see Asdente, who wishes now that he had given heed to cord and leather, but too late repents. See the sad women who abandoned needles, spindles and shuttles, to become diviners; these wrought their spells with herbs and images. Fraud The Fifth Trench. Corrupt Politicians. I saw the pitch, but nothing in it, save the bubbles the boiling raised, and that the whole of it kept swelling up, and settling back compressed.
I then turned round, as one who longs to see the thing which it behooves him to escape, and who, when by a sudden fear unmanned, although he sees, delays not his departure; and I perceived behind us a black devil come running up along the rocky crag. Ah, how ferocious in his looks he was, and in his actions how severe he seemed, with wings outspread, and light upon his feet! One here swims otherwise than in the Serchio! If, therefore, thou dost not desire our hooks, protrude not from the surface of the pitch. Before your grappling hooks take hold of me, let one of you advance, and hear me speak; then take ye counsel as to grappling me.
Let us go on, for it is willed in Heaven that I should show another this wild road. Than this hour five hours later yesterday, twelve hundred, six and sixty years had passed, since here the path was broken. I am sending some of my company in that direction, to see if any yonder air themselves; go on with them, for they will not be bad. Search round about the boiling birdlime pitch; let these be safe as far as that next crag, which all unbroken goes across the dens. If thou as wary art as thou art wont, dost thou not notice how they gnash their teeth, and with their eyebrows threaten us with woe?
Ere now have I seen cavalry break camp, start to attack, or be reviewed, and even, at times, retreat, in order to escape; scouts have I also seen upon your lands, O Aretines; raids, too, have I beheld, and tournaments and tilting-matches fought; with trumpets now, and now with bells, with drums and beacon-signals made from fortresses, with native and with foreign things; but never have I seen horse, or infantry, or ship, by sign of either land or sky, set out with instrument of wind as odd as that.
With the ten demons we were going on; ah, the fierce company! But in a church with saints consort, with gluttons at an inn! Upon the pitch alone was I intent, that I might see all details of the trench and of the people who were burned therein. As dolphins do, when, arching up their backs, they give the warning which bids mariners take measures for the safety of their ship;. I saw, and still it stirs my heart with horror, one waiting thus, as oft, while one frog stays, it happens that another scurries off. And Graffiacane, who was nearest to him, hooking his pitch-smeared tresses, pulled him up, so that an otter he appeared to me.
I knew by now the names of each and all, I noted them so well when they were chosen, and, when they called each other, noticed how. My mother placed me out to serve a lord, for she had borne me to a rascal knave, who both himself and what he owned destroyed. And Draghignazzo also wished to clutch him down at his legs; but their decurion then turned right around at them with threatening looks.
The Divine Comedy | Poem by Dante | faxarytogy.tk
Their money he took, and, as he puts it, let them all off easy, and even in other offices was not a petty, but a first rate grafter. With him Don Michel Zanche of Logodoro associates; and never do their tongues feel tired out by talking of Sardinia. But oh! Look at the other grinning there! More would I say, but am afraid lest that one be making ready now to claw my skin. But let the Evil Claws here stand aside a little, that their vengeance be not feared, and I, while sitting in this very place,. Each turned his eyes the other way; and he the first, who had thereto been most opposed.
The Navarrese chose well his time, stood firmly upon the ground, and, jumping suddenly, from what they purposed freed himself thereby. A sudden separator was the heat; but rising thence was quite impossible, they had their wings so limed with sticky pitch. Then Barbariccia, vexed as were the rest, his mates, had four of them with all their hooks fly to the other bank; on both sides then they speedily descended to their posts, and stretched their hooks out toward the pitch-belimed, who now were cooked inside their crusted hides; and, thus embarassed, we abandoned them.
Fraud The Sixth Trench. Silent, alone, and unaccompanied, we went along, one first and one behind, as Minor Friars go when on the road. Even now thy thoughts were coming among mine with outlook and intent so similar, that I with both a single purpose formed. If it be true the right bank slopeth so, that to the following trench we can descend, we shall escape from this imagined chase. My Leader then took hold of me at once, even as a mother, by the noise aroused, and seeing close to her the burning flames, seizes her child and flees, and doth not stop, since caring more for him than for herself, even long enough to clothe her with a shift; and downward from the ridge of that hard bank, his back he yielded to the hanging rock, which closes one side of the following trench.
A painted people found we there below, who, moving with exceedingly slow steps, shed tears, and in their looks appeared subdued and weary. Cloaks they had equipped with cowls lowered before their eyes, and cut like those which in Cologne are fashioned for her monks. So gilded outside are they that they dazzle; but inside all are lead, and of such weight, that those which Frederick clothed men with were straw.
O cloak that wearies through eternity! We turned again, as ever, to the left, along with them, intent on their sad plaint; but, owing to the weight, that weary folk came on so slowly, that new company we had at every motion of our legs. From me, perhaps, shalt thou receive what thou dost ask. But who are ye, adown whose cheeks there drips, as I perceive, so great a woe, and what the penalty which sparkles on you thus?
Stretched crosswise, as thou seest, on the road, and naked, he is forced to be the first to feel how much whoever passes weighs. And in like fashion suffer in this ditch his father-in-law, and others of the council which proved a seed of evil for the Jews. Fraud The Seventh Trench. First having well surveyed the ruined arch, after some counsel taken with himself, his arms he opened, and took hold of me.
My breath was so exhausted from my lungs, when up at last, that I could go no further; nay, on arriving I sat down at once. Therefore get up! Not to seem weak, I talked as on I went; this from the next trench caused a voice to come, which was incapable of forming words. Though I was on the summit of the arch which crosses here, I know not what it said; but moved to anger seemed the one who spoke.
Among this cruel and most dismal swarm people were running, nude and terrified, and with no hope of hole or heliotrope. Their hands were bound behind their back with snakes, whose tail and head were thrust between their loins, and tied together in a knot in front. Then lo, a serpent hurled himself at one, who near our bank was standing, and transfixed him there where the neck is to the shoulders joined. Never were o or i so quickly written, as he took fire, and, burning up, must needs turn wholly into ashes as he fell;. And as is he who falls, nor knoweth how, by demon force, which pulls him to the ground, or other inhibition binding man, and who, on getting up again, looks round wholly bewildered by the great distress which he has felt, and, as he looks, heaves sighs; such was that sinner, after he had risen.
O Power of God, how truly just thou art, that in revenge dost deal such blows as these! But now, lest thou enjoy this sight of me, if thou art ever out of these dark lands, thine ears to my announcement ope, and hear: Pistoia first despoils herself of Neri; then Florence changes folk and government. From Val di Magra Mars draws forth a bolt by turbid clouds enveloped; next, with wild and cruel storm, a battle will be fought upon the Picene Plain; then suddenly the bolt will cleave the mist in such a way, that every Bianco will thereby be wounded. If thou art slow now, Reader, to believe what I shall tell, no marvel will it be, for I, who saw it, hardly grant I did.
As toward them I was holding up my brows, lo, a six-footed serpent hurls itself in front of one, and clings to him all over; with both its middle feet it clasped his paunch, and with its fore feet seized upon his arms; then with its teeth it wounded both his cheeks; it spread its hind feet out along his thighs, and thrusting next its tail between the two, it stretched it upward all along his back.
And thereupon, as if hot wax they were, they stuck together, and their colors mixed, till neither seemed to be what it had been; just as a browish hue precedes the flame on burning paper which is not yet black, while, equally, the white part dies away. From the four previous strips two arms were made; the thighs and legs, the belly and the chest became such members as were never seen. Cancelled therein was every former aspect; the transformed figure seemed both two and none; and thus appearing slowly moved away. And in that part through which our nourishment is first received, it transfixed one of them, and then fell down, stretched out in front of him.
The pierced man gazed at it, but nothing said; nay, firmly on his feet he stood, and yawned, as if attacked by fever or by sleep. He at the serpent looked, and it at him; one through his wound, the other through its mouth smoked hard, and each smoke with the other mingled.
They blended each with each in such a way that, while the serpent fork-wise clove its tail, the wounded man together drew his feet. And then its hinder feet, together twisted, became the member which a man conceals, while from his own the wretch had two thrust forth. And while the smoke was veiling both of them with novel hues, and generated hair on one side, and deprived of it the other, the one stood up, and down the other fell, nor turned aside for that the impious eyes, beneath which each of them was changing face. The one who stood, drew his in toward his temples; and from the excessive matter coming there ears issued on his undeveloped cheeks; and that, which ran not back, but was retained, of this superfluous matter, gave the face a nose, and thickened suitably its lips.
He who was lying down thrusts forth his muzzle, and backward through his head withdraws his ears, even as a snail doth with its horns; his tongue, which single used to be, and prompt to speech, divides itself, while in the other case, the split one closes, and the smoking stops. The soul which had become a savage beast flees hissing through the trench; the other spits behind him as he talks. Fraud The Eighth Trench. Fraudulent Counselors. Among the thieves five such as these I found, thy citizens, whence shame accrues to me, nor to great honor risest thou thereby.
We went away, and up the flight of stairs, the bournes had formed for our descent before, my Teacher climbed again, and drew me with him; and as we followed up the lonely path among the rocks and boulders of the crag, our feet proceeded not without our hands. I sorrowed then, and now again I sorrow, when I direct my mind to what I saw, and curb my genius more than I am wont,.
As many glow-worms as the countryman, — who on the hillside takes his rest, when he, who lights the world, least hides his face from us, while to the gnat the fly is giving way, — sees down along the valley where, perchance, he gathers in his grapes, or ploughs his field; with just as many flames the whole eighth trench was gleaming bright, as I perceived at once, when I was where its bottom came in view. Risen up to look, I so stood on the bridge, that without being pushed I would have fallen, had I not grasped a great projecting rock.
Leave speech to me, who have a clear idea of what thou wouldst; for they, since Greeks they were, might be, perchance, disdainful of thy words. Both its shores. I then beheld, as far away as Spain, Morocco and the island of the Sards, and all the rest that sea bathes round about. Bethink you of the seed whence ye have sprung; for ye were not created to lead the life of stupid animals, but manliness and knowledge to pursue. Five times rekindled, and as often quenched, had been the light beneath the moon, since first we entered on the passage of the deep, when lo, a mountain loomed before us, dim by reason of the distance, and so high it seemed to me, that I had seen none such.
The town which made the long resistance once, and of the French a sanguinary heap, beneath the green paws finds itself again. The cities of Lamone and Santerno the little lion of the white lair rules, who changes sides from summer-time to winter; and that whose flank is by the Savio bathed, lives, as it sits twixt plain and mount, a free state half, and half a tyranny. And now, I pray thee, tell me who thou art, nor harder be than others here have been, so may thy name maintain itself on earth.
All covert practices and hidden ways I knew; and I so carried on their arts, that to the ends of earth their fame was noised. When I perceived at last that I had reached that period of my life, when each should strike his sails and coil his ropes, what hitherto had given me pleasure I thereat disliked; I yielded then, repenting and confessing, and that, alas, poor me! To lock and unlock Heaven is in my power, as thou dost know; two, therefore, are the Keys, my predecessor held in small esteem. When he had thus completed his discourse, the flame departed from us with its grief, twisting and lashing its sharp-pointed horn.
Fraud The Ninth Trench. Sowers of Discord. All tongues would certainly fall short of it, by reason of our speech and of our mind, whose means are small for taking in so much. No cask, indeed, by loss of middle-board or stave, is opened as was one I saw, split from the chin to where one breaketh wind; while down between his legs his entrails hung, his pluck appeared, and that disgusting sack, which maketh excrement of what is swallowed. Behold how torn apart Mahomet is! Ali in tears moves on ahead of me, cloven in his face from forelock down to chin; and all the others whom thou seest here disseminators were, when still alive, of strife and schism, and hence are cloven thus.
But who art thou, that musest on the crag, perhaps to put off going to the torture adjudged thine accusation of thyself? I, who am dead, must needs conduct him here from circle unto circle down through Hell; and this is true, as that I speak to thee. But I remained to look upon the throng, and such a thing I saw as I should be afraid to tell of without further proof; if it were not that conscience reassures me, the good companion which, beneath the breastplate of conscious purity, emboldens man.
See whether any be as great as this! And that thou with thee mayst bear news of me, know that Bertran de Born I am, the man who gave the youthful king the ill support. Of sire and son I mutual rebels made; Ahithophel by Absalom and David, with his malicious goadings, did no more. Because I severed those who thus were joined, I bear my brain around with me, alas!
Fraud The Tenth Trench. Falsifiers of Metals. Why is it that thine eyes still rest down there among the wretched mutilated shades? Thou didst not thus when in the other trenches; consider, then, if thou propose to count them, that this trench circles two-and-twenty miles, and that the moon is now beneath our feet; short is the time allowed us still, and more there is to see, than what thou seest here. So wholly wast thou then intent on him who formerly possessed Hautefort, that thou, till he departed, didst not look beyond. Such pain as there would be, if from the hospitals of Val di Chiana, Maremma and Sardinia, from July until September, all diseases came.
Adown the last bank of the lengthy crag we went, as ever to the left; and then much clearer was my vision toward the bottom, wherein the servant of the Most High Lord, Justice infallible, is punishing the falsifiers she recordeth here. I do not think it were a sadder sight to see the whole race in Aegina sick, when so suffused with poison was the air, that all the animals, down to the little worm, fell dead, and when the ancient race of people, according to what poets hold for truth, out of the seed of ants restored themselves; than now it was, to see the spirits languish down in that gloomy ditch in different heaps.
Without conversing, step by step we moved, both looking at and listening to the sick, who could not raise their bodies. But to the last trench of the ten Minos, who may not make mistakes, condemned me for the alchemy I practised in the world. Surely not the French by far! One reached Capocchio, and so thrust his tusks into his neck behind, that, dragging him, he made his belly scrape the solid ground.
And one I saw, who like a lute were shaped, if he had only had his groin cut off down in the region where a man is forked. The heavy dropsy which unmates the limbs in such a way with ill-digested humor, that face and paunch no longer correspond, was causing him to keep his lips apart, as doth the hectic, who, because of thirst, turns one lip chinward, and the other up. When living, I had all that I desired, and now, alas, I crave a drop of water. The rigid Justice, which is scourging me, takes from the very place in which I sinned the means to give my sighs a greater flight.
One is in here already, if the shades, who go around here raging, tell the truth, but what is that to me whose limbs are bound? Through them am I in such a family, for they persuaded me to coin the florins, which had at least three carats of alloy.
We turned our backs upon the woeful vale over the bank which girds it round about, and passed across without a single word. Here less than night it was, and less than day, so that my sight advanced not far; but here I heard a horn give forth so loud a sound, that it had rendered any thunder faint; this led mine eyes, as counter to its path they followed, wholly to a single place.
After the woeful rout, when Charlemagne the holy army of his knights had lost, Roland blew not so terrible a blast. Already now was I distinguishing the face of one, his shoulders and his breast, most of his paunch, and, down his sides, both arms. Search at thy neck, and thou wilt find the cord which holds it tied, O spirit of confusion, and see it lying on thy mighty breast. Let us leave him alone, nor talk in vain; for such is every tongue to him, as his to others is, for that is known to none. Ephialtes is his name; his haughty undertaking he attempted what time the Giants caused the Gods to fear; the arms he plied he moveth now no more.
He is much further on, whom thou wouldst see, and bound he is, and shaped like this one, save that more ferocious in his looks he seems. Then more than ever yet did I fear death, nor for it was there need of more than fear, had it not been that I perceived his bonds. We thereupon proceeded further still, and to Antaeus came, who full five ells, beside his head, protruded from the pit. He can still give fame to thee on earth, since he is living, and still looks forward to long life, if Grace recall him not untimely to itself.
The Teacher thus; then he in haste stretched out the hands, whose mighty pressure Hercules once felt, and took my Leader. But lightly at the bottom, which devours Judas and Lucifer, he set us down; nor, thus bent over, did he linger there, but raised himself, as on a ship a mast. Cocytus Traitors to their Relatives, and to their Country.
Related The Divine Comedy
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