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I saw then, for before I had not seen it,

The turning and descending, by great horrors

That were approaching upon divers sides. As falcon who has long been on the wing,

Who, without seeing either lure or bird,

Maketh the falconer say, “Ah me, thou stoopest," Descendeth weary, whence he started swiftly,

Thorough a hundred circles, and alights

Far from his master, sullen and disdainful; Even thus did Geryon place us on the bottom,

Close to the bases of the rough-hewn rock,

And being disencumbered of our persons, He sped away as arrow from the string.

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CANTO XVIII.

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THERE is a place in Hell called Malebolge,

Wholly of stone and of an iron colour,

As is the circle that around it turns. Right in the middle of the field malign

There yawns a well exceeding wide and deep,

Of which its place the structure will recount. Round, then, is that enclosure which remains

Between the well and foot of the high, hard bank,

And has distinct in valleys ten its bottom. As where for the protection of the walls

Many and many moats surround the castles,

The part in which they are a figure forms, Just such an image those presented there ;

And as about such strongholds from their gates

Unto the outer bank are little bridges, So from the precipice's base did crags

Project, which intersected dikes and moats,

Unto the well that truncates and collects them. Within this place, down shaken from the back

Of Geryon, we found us; and the Poet

Held to the left, and I moved on behind. Upon my right hand I beheld new anguish,

New torments, and new wielders of the lash,

Wherewith the foremost Bolgia was replete.
Down at the bottom were the sinners naked;

This side the middle came they facing us,
Beyond it, with us, but with greater steps;

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Even as the Romans, for the mighty host,

The year of Jubilee, upon the bridge,

Have chosen a mode to pass the people over; For all upon one side towards the Castle

Their faces have, and go unto St. Peter's;

On the other side they go towards the Mountain. This side and that, along the livid stone

Beheld I hornëd demons with great scourges,

Who cruelly were beating them behind.
Ah me! how they did make them lift their legs

At the first blows! and sooth not any one

The second waited for, nor for the third. While I was going on, mine eyes by one

Encountered were; and straight I said: “Already

With sight of this one I am not unfed.” Therefore I stayed my feet to make him out,

And with me the sweet Guide came to a stand,

And to my going somewhat back assented; And he, the scourged one, thought to hide himself,

Lowering his face, but little it availed him;

For said I: “Thou that castest down thine eyes, If false are not the features which thou bearest,

Thou art Venedico Caccianimico;

But what doth bring thee to such pungent sauces ?” And he to me: “ Unwillingly I tell it;

But forces me thine utterance distinct,

Which makes me recollect the ancient world. I was the one who the fair Ghisola

Induced to grant the wishes of the Marquis,

Howe'er the shameless story may be told. Not the sole Bolognese am I who weeps here;

Nay, rather is this place so full of them,

That not so many tongues to-day are taught 'Twixt Reno and Savena to say sipa;

And if thereof thou wishest pledge or proof,

Bring to thy mind our avaricious heart." While speaking in this manner, with his scourge

A demon smote him, and said: “Get thee gone,

Pander, there are no women here for coin." I joined myself again unto mine Escort;

Thereafterward with footsteps few we came

To where a crag projected from the bank.
This very easily did we ascend,

And turning to the right along its ridge,
From those eternal circles we departed.

So

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When we were there, where it is hollowed out

Beneath, to give a passage to the scourged,

The Guide said: “Wait, and see that on thee strike The vision of those others evil-born,

Of whom thou hast not yet beheld the faces,

Because together with us they have gone.” From the old bridge we looked upon the train

Which tow'rds us came upon the other border,

And which the scourges in like manner smite.
And the good Master, without my inquiring,
Said to me:

“See that tall one who is coming,
And for his pain seems not to shed a tear;
Still what a royal aspect he retains !

That Jason is, who by his heart and cunning

The Colchians of the Ram made destitute. He by the isle of Lemnos passed along

After the daring women pitiless

Had unto death devoted all their males. There with his tokens and with ornate words

Did he deceive Hypsipyle, the maiden

Who first, herself, had all the rest deceived. There did he leave her pregnant and forlorn;

Such sin unto such punishment condemns him,

And also for Medea is vengeance done. With him go those who in such wise deceive;

And this sufficient be of the first valley

To know, and those that in its jaws it holds." We were already where the narrow path

Crosses athwart the second dike, and forms

Of that a buttress for another arch.
Thence we heard people, who are making moan

In the next Bolgia, snorting with their muzzles,

And with their palms beating upon themselves The margins were incrusted with a mould

By exhalation from below, that sticks there,

And with the eyes and nostrils wages war. The bottom is so deep, no place suffices

To give us sight of it, without ascending

The arch's back, where most the crag impends. Thither we came, and thence down in the moat

I saw a people smothered in a filth

That out of human privies seemed to flow;
And whilst below there with mine eye I search,

I saw one with his head so foul with ordure,
It was not clear if he were clerk or layman,

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He screamed to me: “Wherefore art thou so eager

To look at me more than the other foul ones ?"

And I to him: “Because, if I remember, I have already seen thee with dry hair,

And thou'rt Alessio Interminei of Lucca ;

Therefore I eye thee more than all the others.” And he thereon, belabouring his pumpkin :

“ The flatteries have submerged me here below,

Wherewith my tongue was never surfeited.” Then said to me the Guide : “See that thou thrust

Thy visage somewhat farther in advance,

That with thine eyes thou well the face attain Of that uncleanly and dishevelled drab,

Who there doth scratch herself with filthy nails,

And crouches now, and now on foot is standing. Thais the harlot is it, who replied

Unto her paramour, when he said, 'Have I

Great gratitude from thee ?'— Nay, marvellous ;' And herewith let our sight be satisfied.”

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135

CANTO XIX.

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O SIMON MAGUS O forlorn disciples,

Ye who the things of God, which ought to be

The brides of holiness, rapaciously For silver and for gold do prostitute,

Now it behoves for you the trumpet sound,

Because in this third Bolgia ye abide. We had already on the following tomb

Ascended to that portion of the crag

Which o'er the middle of the moat hangs plumb. Wisdom supreme, O how great art thou showest

In heaven, in earth, and in the evil world,

And with what justice doth thy power distribute ! I saw upon the sides and on the bottom

The livid stone with perforations filled,

All of one size, and every one was round. To me less ample seemed they not, nor greater

Than those that in my beautiful Saint John

Are fashioned for the place of the baptisers,
And one of which, not many years ago,

I broke for some one, who was drowning in it;
Be this a seal all men to undeceive.

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Out of the mouth of each one there protruded

The feet of a transgressor, and the legs

Up to the calf, the rest within remained. In all of them the soles were both on fire ;

Wherefore the joints so violently quivered,

They would have snapped asunder withes and bands. Even as the flame of unctuous things is wont

To move upon the outer surface only,

So likewise was it there from heel to point. Master, who is that one who writhes himself,

More than his other comrades quivering,"

I said, “and whom a redder flame is sucking ?” And he to me: “If thou wilt have me bear thee

Down there along that bank which lowest lies,

From him thou'lt know his errors and himself.” And I: “What pleases thee, to me is pleasing ;

Thou art my Lord, and knowest that I depart not

From thy desire, and knowest what is not spoken.” Straightway upon the fourth dike we arrived;

We turned, and on the left-hand side descended

Down to the bottom full of holes and narrow. And the good Master yet from off his haunch

Deposed me not, till to the hole he brought me

Of him who so lamented with his shanks. “Whoe'er thou art, that standest upside down,

O doleful soul, implanted like a stake,"

To say began I, “if thou canst, speak out.” I stood even as the friar who is confessing

The false assassin, who, when he is fixed,

Recalls him, so that death may be delayed. And he cried out : “Dost thou stand there already,

Dost thou stand there already, Boniface ?

By many years the record lied to me. Art thou so early satiate with that wealth,

For which thou didst not fear to take by fraud

The beautiful Lady, and then work her woe?” Such I became, as people are who stand,

Not comprehending what is answered them,

Ás if bemocked, and know not how to answer. Then said Virgilius : "Say to him straightway,

'I am not he, I am not he thou thinkest.'”

And I replied as was imposed on me.
Whereat the spirit writhed with both his feet,

Then, sighing, with a voice of lamentation
Said to me: “ Then what wantest thou of me?

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