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I saw it, but I did not see within it

Aught but the bubbles that the boiling raised,

And all swell up and resubside compressed.
The while below there fixedly I gazed,

My Leader, crying out : “Beware, beware!"

Drew me unto himself from where I stood.
Then I turned round, as one who is impatient

To see what it behoves him to escape,

And whom a sudden terror doth unman,
Who, while he looks, delays not his departure ;

And I beheld behind us a black devil,

Running along upon the crag, approach.
Ah, how ferocious was he in his aspect !

And how he seemed to me in action ruthless,

With open wings and light upon his feet !
His shoulders, which sharp-pointed were and high,

A sinner did encumber with both haunches,

And he held clutched the sinews of the feet.
From off our bridge, he said: “O Malebranche,

Behold one of the elders of Saint Zita ;

Plunge him beneath, for I return for others
Unto that town, which is well furnished with them.

All there are barrators, except Bonturo;

No into Yes for money there is changed."
He hurled him down, and over the hard crag

Turned round, and never was a mastiff loosened

In so much hurry to pursue a thief.
The other sank, and rose again face downward ;

But the demons, under cover of the bridge,

Cried : “Here the Santo Volto has no place !
Here swims one otherwise than in the Serchio ;

Therefore, if for our gaffs thou wishest not,

Do not uplift thyself above the pitch."
They seized him then with more than a hundred rakes ;

They said : “ It here behoves thee to dance covered,

That, if thou canst, thou secretly mayest pilfer."
Not otherwise the cooks their scullions make

Immerse into the middle of the caldron

The meat with hooks, so that it may not float.
Said tne good Master to me: “That it be not

Apparent thou art here, crouch thyself down

Behind a jag, that thou mayest have some screen ;
And for no outrage that is done to me

Be thou afraid, because these things I know,
For once before was I in such a scuffle."

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Then he passed on beyond the bridge's head,

And as upon the sixth bank he arrived,

Need was for him to have a steadfast front. With the same fury, and the same uproar,

As dogs leap out upon a mendicant,

Who on a sudden begs, where'er he stops, They issued from beneath the little bridge,

And turned against him all their grappling-irons ;

But he cried out : “ Be none of you malignant ! Before those hooks of yours lay hold of me,

Let one of you step forward, who may hear me,

And then take counsel as to grappling me.” They all cried out : “Let Malacoda go ;'

Whereat one started, and the rest stood still,

And he came to him, saying: “What avails it ?" “ Thinkest thou, Malacoda, to behold me

Advanced into this place," my Master said,

“Safe hitherto from all your skill of fence, Without the will divine, and fate auspicious ?

Let me go on, for it in Heaven is willed

That I another show this savage road.” Then was his arrogance so humbled in him,

That he let fall his grapnel at his feet,

And to the others said: “Now strike him not.” And unto me my Guide: “O thou, who sittest

Among the splinters of the bridge crouched down,

Securely now return to me again.” Wherefore I started and came swiftly to him ;

And all the devils forward thrust themselves,

So that I feared they would not keep their compact. And thus beheld I once afraid the soldiers

Who issued under safeguard from Caprona,

Seeing themselves among so many foes. Close did I press myself with all my person

Beside my Leader, and turned not mine eyes

From off their countenance, which was not goo 1. They lowered their rakes, and “Wilt thou have me hit him,"

They said to one another, “ on the rump?”.

And answered: “ Yes; see that thou nick hiin with it." But the same demon who was holding parley

With my Conductor turned him very quickly,

And said: "Be quiet, be quiet, Scarmiglione;"
Then said to us : “ You can no farther go

Forward upon this crag, because is lying
All shattered, at the bottom, the sixth arch.

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And if it still doth please you to go onward,

Pursue your way along upon this rock;

Near is another crag that yields a path. Yesterday, five hours later than this hour,

One thousand and two hundred sixty-six

Years were complete, that here the way was Lroken. I send in that direction some of mine

To see if any one doth air himself;

Go ye with them; for they will not be vicious Step forward Alichino and Calcabrina,"

Began he to cry out, “ and thou, Cagnazzo;

And Barbariccia do thou guide the ten. Come forward, Libicocco and Draghignazzo,

And tuskëd Ciriatto and Graffiacane,

And Farfarello and mad Rubicante; Search ye all round about the boiling pitch;

Let these be safe as far as the next crag,

That all unbroken passes o'er the dens." “O me! what is it, Master, that I see?

Pray let us go," I said, “ without an escort,

If thou knowest how, since for myself I ask none. Ii thou art as observant as thy wont is.

Dost thou not see that they do gnash their teeth,

And with their brows are threatening woe to us ?” And he to me: “I will not have thee fear;

Let them gnash on, according to their fancy,

Because they do it for those boiling wretches." Along the left-hand dike they wheeled about ;

But first had each one thrust his tongue between

His teeth towards their leader for a signal; And he had made a trumpet of his rump.


I have erewhile seen horsemen moving camp,

Begin the storming, and their muster make,

And sometimes starting off for their escape ; Vaunt-couriers have I seen upon your land,

O Aretines, and foragers go forth,

Tournaments stricken, and the joustings run,
Sometimes with trumpets and sometimes with bells,

With kettle-drums, and signals of the castles,
And with our own, and with outlandish things

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Ever upon

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But never yet with bagpipe so uncouth

Did I see horsemen move, nor infantry,

Nor ship by any sign of land or star.
We went upon our way with the ten deinons;

Ah, savage company! but in the church
With saints, and in the tavern with the gluttons!

the pitch was my intent,
To see the whole condition of that Bolgia,

And of the people who therein were burned.
Even as the dolphins, when they make a sign

To mariners by arching of the back,

That they should counsel take to save their vessel, Thus sometimes, to alleviate his pain,

One of the sinners would display his back,

And in less time conceal it than it lightens. As on the brink of water in a ditch

'The frogs stand only with their muzzles out,

So that they hide their feet and other bulk, So upon every side the sinners stood;

But ever as Barbariccia near them came,

Thus underneath the boiling they withdrew. I saw, and still my heart doth shudder at it,

One waiting thus, even as it comes to pass

One frog remains, and down another dives; And Graffiacan, who most confronted him,

Grappled him by his tresses smeared with pitch,

And drew him up, so that he seemed an otter. I knew, before, the names of all of them,

So had I noted them when they were chosen,

And when they called each other, listened how. “O Rubicante, see that thou do lay

Thy claws upon him, so that thou mayst flay him,"

Cried all together the accursed ones. And I: “My Master, see to it, if thou canst,

That thou mayst know who is the luckless wight,

Thus come into his adversaries' hands." Near to the side of him my Leader drew,

Asked of him whence he was; and he replied :

“I in the kingdom of Navarre was born; My mother placed me servant to a lord,

For she had borne me to a ribald knave,

Destroyer of himself and of his things.
Then I domestic was of good King Thibault;

I set me there to practise barratry,
For which I pay the reckoning in this heat.”







And Ciriatto, from whose mouth projected,

On either side, a tusk, as in a boar,

Caused him to feel how one of them could rip. Among malicious cats the mouse had come;

But Barbariccia clasped him in his arms,

And said : “Stand ye aside, while I enfork him." And to my Master he turned round his head;

“Ask him again,” he said, “if more thou wish

To know from him, before some one destroy him." The Guide : “Now tell then of the other culprits ;

Knowest thou any one who is a Latian,

Under the pitch" And he: “I separated Lately from one who was a neighbour to it;

Would that I still were covered up with him,

For I should fear not either claw nor hook !" And Libicocco: “We have borne too much ;"

And with his grapnel seized him by the arm,

So that, by rending, he tore off a tendon. Eke Draghignazzo wished to pounce upon him

Down at the legs ; whence their Decurion

Turned round and round about with evil look. When they again somewhat were pacified,

Of him, who still was looking at his wound,

Demanded my Conductor without stay : “Who was that one, from whom a luckless parting

Thou sayest thou hast made, to come ashore ?"

And he replied: “It was the Friar Gomita, He of Gallura, vessel of all fraud,

Who had the enemies of his Lord in hand,

And dealt so with them each exults thereat; Money he took, and let them smoothly off,

As he says; and in other offices

A barrator was he, not mean but sovereign. Foregathers with him one Don Michael Zanche

Of Logodoro; and of Sardinia

To gossip never do their tongues feel tired. O me! see that one, how he grinds his teeth;

Still farther would I speak, but am afraid

Lest he to scratch my itch be making ready." And the grand Provost, turned to Farfarello,

Who rolled his eyes about as if to strike,

Said : “Stand aside there, thou malicious bird.” “ If you desire either to see or hear,"

The terror-stricken recommenced thereon,
“Tuscans or Lombards, I will make them come,

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