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What avarice does is here made manifest
In the purgation of these souls converted,
And no more bitter pain the Mountain has. Even as our eye did not uplift itself
Aloft, being fastened upon earthly things,
So justice here has merged it in the earth. As avarice had extinguished our affection
For every good, whereby was action lost,
So justice here doth hold us in restraint, Bound and imprisoned by the feet and hands;
And so long as it pleases the just Lord
Shall we remain immovable and prostrate." I on my knees had fallen, and wished to speak;
But even as I began, and he was ’ware,
Only by listening, of my reverence, “What cause,” he said, “has downward bent thee thus ?
And I to him: “For your own dignity,
Standing, my conscience stung me with remorse." Straighten thy legs, and upward raise thee, brother,"
He answered : “Err not, fellow-servant am I
With thee and with the others to one power. If e'er that holy, evangelic sound,
Which sayeth neque nubent, thou hast heard,
Well canst thou see why in this wise I speak. Now go; no longer will I have thee linger,
Because thy stay doth incommode my weeping,
With which I ripen that which thou hast said.
, unless indeed our house Malevolent may make her by example, And she alone remains to me on earth."
IlL strives the will against a better will ;
Therefore, to pleasure him, against my pleasure
I drew the sponge not saturate from the water. Onward I moved, and onward moved my Leader,
Through vacant places, skirting still the rock,
As on a wall close to the battlements;
The malady which all the world pervades,
Accursed mayst thou be, thou old she-wolf,
That more than all the other beasts hast prey,
Because of hunger infinitely hollow !
To think conditions here below are changed,
When will he come through whom she shall depart? Onward we weni with footsteps slow and scarce,
ind I attentive to the shades I heard
Piteously weeping and bemoaning them; And I by peradventure heard "Sweet Mary!"
Uttered in front of us amid the weeping
Even as a woman does who is in child-birth; And in continuance : “How poor thou wast
Is manifested by that hostelry
Where thou didst lay thy sacred burden down." Thereafterward I heard : “O good Fabricius,
Virtue with poverty didst thou prefer
To the possession of great wealth with vice." So pleasurable were these words to me
That I drew farther onward to have knowledge
Touching that spirit whence they seemed to come. He furthermore was speaking of the largess
Which Nicholas unto the maidens gave,
In order to conduct their youth to honour. “O soul that dost so excellently speak,
Tell me who wast thou,” said I, “and why only
Thou est renew these praises well deserved ? Not without recompense sb - be thy word,
If I return to finish ne short journey
Of that life which is flying to its end." And he: “I'll tell thee, not for any comfort
I may expect from earth, but that so much
Grace shines in thee or ever thou art dead. I was the root of that malignant plant
Which overshadows all the Christian world,
So that good fruit is seldom gathered from it; But if Douay and Ghent, and Lille and Bruges
Had power, soon vengeance would be taken on it;
And this I pray of Him who judges all Hugh Capet was I called upon the earth ;
From me were born the Louises and Philips,
By whom in later days has France been goverried.
What time the ancient kings had perished all,
I found me grasping in my hands the rein
Of the realm's government, and so great power
Of new acquest, and so with friends abounding, That to the widowed diadem promoted
The head of mine own offspring was, from whom
The consecrated bones of these began. So long as the great dowry of Provence
Out of my blood took not the sense of shame,
'Twas little worth, but still it did no harm. Then it began with falsehood and with force
Its rapine; and thereafter, for amends,
Took Ponthieu, Normandy, and Gascony. Charles came to Italy, and for amends
A victim made of Conradin, and then
Thrust Thomas back to heaven, for amends. A time I see, not very distant now,
Which draweth forth another Charles from France,
The better to make known both him and his. Unarmed he goes, and only with the lance
That Judas jousted with; and that he thrusts
So that he makes the paunch of Florence burst. He thence not land, but sin and infamy,
Shall gain, so much more grievous to himself
As the more light such damage he accounts. The other, now gone forth, ta'en in his slip,
See I his daughter sell, and chaffer for her
As corsairs do with other female slaves. What more, O Avarice, canst thou do to us,
Since thou my blood so to thyself hast drawn,
It careth not for its own proper flesh ? That less may seem the future ill and past,
I see the flower-de-luce Alagna enter,
And Christ in his own Vicar captive made. I see him yet another time derided;
I see renewed the vinegar and gall,
And between living thieves I see him slain. I see the modern Pilate so relentless,
This does not sate him, but without decretal
He to the temple bears his sordid sails ! When, O my Lord! shall I be joyful made
By looking on the vengeance which, concealed,
Makes sweet thine anger in thy secrecy ?
Of the Holy Ghost, and which occasioned thee
So long has been ordained to all our prayers
As the day lasts; but when the night comes on,
Contrary sound we take instead thereof.
Of whom a traitor, thief, and parricide
Made his insatiable desire of gold ;
That followed his inordinate demand,
At which forevermore one needs but laugh.
And how he stole the spoils; so that the wrath
Of Joshua still appears to sting him here.
We laud the hoof-beats Heliodorus had,
And the whole mount in infamy encircles
Here finally is cried : O Crassus, tell us,
For thou dost know, what is the taste of gold?'
According to desire of speech, that spurs us
To greater now and now to lesser pace.
Erewhile alone I was not; yet near by
No other person lifted up his voice."
And made endeavour to o'ercome the road
As much as was permitted to our power,
The mountain tremble, whence a chill seized on me,
As seizes him who to his death is going.
Before Latona made her nest therein
To give birth to the two eyes of the heaven.
Such that the Master drew himself towards me,
Saying, "Fear not, while I am guiding thee."
Were saying, from what near I comprehended,
Where it was possible to hear the cry.
Even as the shepherds who first heard that song,
Until the trembling ceased, and it was finished.
Watching the shades that lay upon the ground.
No ignorance ever with so great a strife
Had rendered me importunate to know,
If erreth not in this my memory,
Nor out of haste to question did I dare,
Nor of myself I there could aught perceive;
The natural thirst, that ne'er is satisfied
Excepting with the water for whose grace
The woman of Samaria besought, Put me in travail, and haste goaded me
Along the encumbered path behind my Leader
And I was pitying that righteous vengeance ; And lo! in the same manner as Luke writeth
That Christ appeared to two upon the way
From the sepulchral cave already risen,
Down gazing on the prostrate multitude,
Nor were we ware of it, until it spake,
We turned us suddenly, and Virgilius rendered
To him the countersign thereto conforming. Thereon began he: “In the blessed council,
Thee may the court veracious place in peace,
That me doth banish in eternal exile ! " Hlow," said he, and the while we went with speed,
"If ye are shades whom God deigns not on high, Who
his stairs so far has guided you ?” And said my Teacher : “ If thou note the marks
Which this one bears, and which the Angel traces
Well shalt thou see he with the good must reign. But because she who spinneth day and night
For him had not yet drawn the distaff off,
Which Clotho lays for each one and compacts, Ilis soul, which is thy sister and my own,
In coming upwards could not come alone,
By reason that it sees not in our fashion.
Of Hell to be his guide, and I shall guide him