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Of Farinata and Tegghiaio say,
They who so well deserv'd, of Giacopo,

Arrigo, Mosca, and the rest, who bent
Their minds on working good. Oh! tell me where
They bide, and to their knowledge let me come.
For I am press'd with keen desire to hear,
If heaven's sweet cup or poisonous drug of hell 85
Be to their lip assign’d.” He answer'd straight :
“ These are yet blacker spirits. Various crimes
Have sunk them deeper in the dark abyss.
If thou so far descendest, thou mayst see them.
But to the pleasant world when thou return'st, 99
Of me make mention, I entreat thee, there.
No more I tell thee, answer thee no more.'

This said, his fixed eyes he turn'd askance, A little ey'd me, then bent down his head, And 'midst his blind companions with it fell.

95 When thus my guide : “No more his bed he leaves, Ere the last angel-trumpet blow. The Power Adverse to these shall then in glory come, Each one forthwith to his sad tomb repair, Resume his fleshly vesture and his form,

And hear the eternal doom re-echoing rend
The vault.” So pass'd we through that mixture foul
Of spirits and rain, with tardy steps; meanwhile
Touching, though slightly, on the life to come.
For thus I question’d : “Shall these tortures, Sir ! 105
When the great sentence passes, be increas'd,
Or mitigated, or as now severe ?"

He then: “ Consult thy knowledge; that decides
That as each thing to more perfection grows,
It feels more sensibly both good and pain.

Though ne'er to true perfection may arrive
This race accurs'l, yet nearer then than now
They shall approach it.” Compassing that path
Circuitous we journeycl, and discourse
Much more than I relate between us pass’d:

115 Till at the point, whence the steps led below, Arriv'l, there Plutus, the great foc, we found.



6 An me! O Satan ! Satan!” loud exclaim'd
Plutus, in accent hoarse of wild alarm :
And the kind sage, whom no event surpris’d,
To comfort me thus spake : “Let not thy fear
Harm thee, for power in him, be sure, is none

5 To hinder down this rock thy safe descent.” Then to that swoln lip turning, “ Peace!” he cried, “ Curs'd wolf ! thy fury inward on thyself Prey, and consume thee! Through the dark profound Not without cause he passes. So 't is willid

10 On high, there where the great Archangel pour'd Heav'n's vengeance on the first adulterer proud.”

As sails full spread and bellying with the wind
Drop suddenly collaps’d, if the mast split;
So to the ground down dropp'd the cruel fiend. 15

Thus we, descending to the fourth steep ledge,
Gain’d on the dismal shore, that all the woe
Hems in of all the universe. Ah me!
Almighty Justice! in what store thou heap'st
New pains, new troubles, as I here beheld!

20 Wherefore doth fault of ours bring us to this?

E'en as a billow, on Charybdis rising, Against encounter'd billow dashing breaks ; Such is the dance this wretched race must lead, Whom more than elsewhere numerous here I found, 25 From one side and the other, with loud voice, Both rollid on weights by main force of their breasts, Then smote together, and each one forthwith Roll'd them back voluble, turning again, Exclaiming these, “Why holdest thou so fast ?” 30 Those answering, “And why castest thou away?” So still repeating their despiteful song, They to the opposite point on either hand Travers’d the horrid circle: then arriv'd, Both turn’d them round, and through the middle space Conflicting met again. At sight whereof

36 I, stung with grief, thus spake: “O say, my guide ! What race is this? Were these, whose heads are shorn,

No use.

On our left hand, all sep’rate to the church ?”

He straight replied : “In their first life these all 40 In mind were so distorteil, that they made, According to due measure, of their wealth,

This clearly from their words collect, Which they howl forth, at each extremity Arriving of the circle, where their crime

45 Contrary in kind disparts them. To the church Were separate those, that with no hairy cowls Are crown'd, both Popes and Cardinals, o'er whom Av’rice dominion absolute maintains."

I then : “Mid such as these some needs must be, 50 Whom I shall recognize, that with the blot Of these foul sins were stain’d.” IIe answering thus: “Vain thought conceiv'st thou. That ignoble life, Which made them vile before, now makes them dark, And to all knowledge indiscernible.

55 For ever they shall meet in this rude shock: These from the tomb with clenched grasp shall rise, Those with close-shaven locks. That ill they gave, And ill they kept, hath of the beauteous world Depriv'd, and set them at this strife, which needs 60 No labour'd phrase of mine to set if off. Now may'st thou see, my son ! how brief, how vain, The goods committed into fortune's hands, For which the hunian race keep such a coil ! Not all the gold, that is beneath the moon,

65 Or ever hath been, of these toil-worn souls Might purchase rest for one." I thus rejoin'd: “My guide! of thee this also would I learn; This fortune, that thou speak’st of, what it is, Whose talons grasp the blessings of the world?” 70

He thus: “O beings blind! what ignorance Besets you? Now my judgment hear and mark. He, whose transcendent wisdom passes all, The heavens creating, gave them ruling powers To guide them; so that each part shines to each, 75 Their light in equal distribution pour’d. By similar appointment he ordain'd Over the world's bright images to rule

Superintendence of a guiding hand
And general minister, which at due time

May change the empty vantages of life
From race to race, from one to other's blood,
Beyond prevention of man's wisest care:
Wherefore one nation rises into sway,
Another languishes, c'en as her will

85 Decrees, from us conceald, as in the grass The serpent train. Against her nought avails Your utmost wisdom. She with foresight plans, Judges, and carries on her reign, as theirs The other powers divine. Her changes know

90 Nore intermission : by necessity She is made swift, so frequent come who claim Succession in her favours. This is she, So execrated e'en by those, whose debt To her is rather praise; they wrongfully

95 With blame requite her, and with evil word; But she is blessed, and for that recks not: Amidst the other primal beings glad Rolls on her sphere, and in her bliss exults. Now on our way pass we, to heavier woe

100 Descending: for each star is falling now, That mounted at our entrance, and forbids Too long our tarrying." We the circle cross'd To the next steep, arriving at a well, That boiling pours itself down to a foss

105 Sluic'd from its source. Far murkier was the wave Than sablest grain : and we in company Of the' inky waters, journeying by their side, Enter'd, though by a different track, beneath. Into a lake, the Stygian nam'd, expands

110 The dismal stream, when it hath reach'd the foot Of the grey wither'd cliffs. Intent I stood To gaze, and in the marish sunk descried A miry tribe, all naked, and with looks Betok ning rage. They with their hands alone 11 Struck not, but with the head, the breast, the feet, Cutting each other piecemeal with their fangs.

The good instructor spake: “Now seest thou, son!



The souls of those, whom anger overcame.
This too for certain know, that underneath
The water dwells a multitude, whose sighs
Into these bubbles make the surface heave,
As thine

eye tells thee wheresoe'er it turn.
Fix'd in the slime they say: 'Sad once were we
"In the sweet air made gladsome by the sun,
Carrying a foul and lazy mist within :
• Now in these murky settlings are we sad.
Such dolorous strain they gurgle in their throats.
But word distinct can utter none." Our route
Thus compass'd we, a segment widely stretch'd
Between the dry embankment, and the core
Of the loath'd pool, turning meanwhile our eyes
Downward on those who gulp'd its muddy lees;
Nor stopp'd, till to a tower's low base





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My theme pursuing, I relate that ere
We reach'd the lofty turret's base, our eyes
Its height ascended, where 'two cressets hung
We mark’d, and from afar another light
Return the signal, so remote, that scarce

5 The eye could catch its beam. I turning round To the deep source of knowledge, thus inquir'd:

Say what this means ? and what that other light In answer set ? what agency doth this ? ” “ There on the filthy waters," he replied,

10 “E'en now what next awaits us mayst thou see, If the marsh-gender'd fog conceal it not."

Never was arrow from the cord dismiss'd,
That ran its way so nimbly through the air,
As a small bark, that through the waves I spied

15 Toward us coming, under the sole sway Of one that ferried it, who cried aloud : “ Art thou arriv'd, fell spirit ? "_" Phlegyas, Phlegyas, This time thou criest in vain," my lord replied ; “No longer shalt thou have us, but while o'er


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