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But let the Malebranche cease a little,

So that these may not their revenges fear,

And I, down sitting in this very place, For one that I am will make seven come,

When I shall whistle, as our custom is

To do whenever one of us comes out." Cagnazzo at these words his muzzle lifted,

Shaking his head, and said : “ Just hear the trick

Which he has thought of, down to throw himself !” Whence he, who snares in great abundance had,

Responded : “I by far too cunning am,

When I procure for mine a greater sadness.” Alichin held not in, but running counter

Unto the rest, said to him : “If thou dive,

I will not follow thee upon the gallop, But I will beat my wings above the pitch ;

The height be left, and be the bank a shield,

To see if thou alone dost countervail us." O thou who readest, thou shalt hear new sport !

Each to the other side his eyes averted;

He first, who most reluctant was to do it. The Navarrese selected well his time;

Planted his feet on land, and in a moment

Leaped, and released himself from their design. Whereat each one was suddenly stung with shame,

But he most who was cause of the defeat ;

Therefore he moved, and cried : “ Thou art o'ertaken." But little it availed, for wings could not

Outstrip the fear; the other one went under,

And, Aying, upward he his breast directed. Not otherwise the duck upon a sudden

Dives under, when the falcon is approaching,

And upward he returneth cross and weary. Infuriate at the mockery, Calcabrina

Flying behind him followed close, desirous

The other should escape, to have a quarrel. And when the barrator had disappeared,

He turned his talons upon his companion,

And grappled with him right above the moat. But sooth the other was a doughty sparhawk

To clapperclaw him well; and both of them

Fell in the middle of the boiling pond.
A sudden intercessoi was the heat ;

But ne'ertheless of rising there was naught,
To such degree they had their wings belimed

Lamenting with the others, Barbariccia

Made four of them fly to the other side

With all their gaffs, and very speedily
This side and that they to their posts descended;

They stretched their hooks towards the pitch-ensnarea

Who were already baked within the crust,
And in this manner busied did we leave them.

CANTO XXIII.

SILENT, alone, and without company

We went, the one in front, the other after,

As go the Minor Friars along their way.
Upon the fable of Æsop was directed

My thought, by reason of the present quarrel,

Where he has spoken of the frog and mouse ;
For mo and issa are not more alike

Than this one is to that, if well we couple

End and beginning with a steadfast mind.
And even as one thought from another springs,

so afterward from that was born another,

Which the first fear within me double made.
Thus did I ponder: “ These on our account

Are laughed to scorn, with injury and scoff

So great, that much I think it must annoy them.
If anger be engrafted on ill-will,

They will come after us more merciless

Than dog upon the leveret which he seizes,"
I felt my hair stand all on end already

With terror, and stood backwardly intent,

When said I : "Master, if thou hidest not
Thyself and me forthwith, of Malebranche

I am in dread; we have them now behind us;

I so imagine them, I already feel them."
And he: “If I were made of leaded glass,

Thine outward image I should not attract

Sooner to me than I imprint the inner.
Just now thy thoughts came in among my own,

With similar attitude and similar face,

So that of both one counsel sole I made.
If peradventure the right bank so slope

That we to the next Bolgia can descend,
We shall escape from the imagined chase."

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Not yet he finished rendering such opinion,

When I beheld them come with outstretched wings,

Not far remote, with will to seize upon us. My Leader on a sudden seized me up,

Even as a mother who by noise is wakened,

And close beside her sees the enkindled Hames, Who takes her son, and flies, and does not stop,

Having more care of him than of herself,

So that she clothes her only with a shift; And downward from the top of the hard bank

Supine he gave him to the pendent rock,

That one side of the other Bolgia walls. Ne'er ran so swiftly water through a sluice

To turn the wheel of any land-built mill,

When nearest to the paddles it approaches, As did

my

Master down along that border,
Bearing me with him on his breast away,

As his own son, and not as a companion.
Hardly the bed of the ravine below

His feet had reached, ere they had reached the hill

Right over us; but he was not afraid ; For the high Providence, which had ordained

To place them ministers of the fifth moat,

The power of thence departing took from all. A painted people there below we found,

Who went about with footsteps very slow,

Weeping and in their semblance tired and vanquished. They had on mantles with the hoods low down

Before their eyes, and fashioned of the cut

That in Cologne they for the monks are made. Without, they gilded are so that it dazzles;

But inwardly all leaden and so heavy

That Frederick used to put them on of straw. O everlastingly fatiguing mantle !

Again we turned us, still to the left hand

Along with them, intent on their sad plaint; But owing to the weight, that weary folk

Came on so tardily, that we were new

In company at each motion of the haunch. Whence I unto my Leader : “See thou find

Some one who may by deed or name be known,

And thus in going move thine eye about.”
And one, who understood the Tuscan speech,

Cried to us from behind : “Stay ye your feet,
Yc, who so run athwart the dusky air!

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Perhaps thou'lt have from me what thou demandest."

Whereat the Leader turned him, and said : “ Wait,

And then according to his páce proceed.”
I stopped, and two beheld I show great haste

Of spirit, in their faces, to be with me;

But the burden and the narrow way delayed them When they came up, long with an eye askance

They scanned me without uttering a word.

Then to each other turned, and said together : “ He by the action of his throat seems living ;

And if they dead are, by what privilege

Go they uncovered by the heavy stole?"
Ther said to me: “ Tuscan, who to the college

Of miserable hypocrites art come,

Do not disdain to tell us who thou art."
And I to them: “Born was I, and grew up

In the great town on the fair river of Arno,

And with the body am I've always had.
But who are ye, in whom there trickles down

Along your cheeks such grief as I behold?

And what pain is upon you, that so sparkles?” And one replied to me: “These orange cloaks

Are made of lead so heavy, that the weights

Cause in this way their balances to creak.
Frati Gaudenti were we, and Bolognese ;

I Catalano, and he Loderingo

Named, and together taken by thy city,
As the wont is to take one man alone,

For maintenance of its peace ; and we were such

That still it is apparent round Gardingo.” “O Friars," began 1, "your iniquitous ..."

But said no more ; for to mine eyes there rushed

One crucified with three stakes on the grourd. When me he saw, he writhed himself all over,

Blowing into his beard with suspirations ;

And the Friar Catalan, who noticed this,
Said to me : “ This transfixed one, whom thou seest,

Counselled the Pharisees that it was meet

To put one man to torture for the people.
Crosswise ard naked is he on the path,

As thou perceivest; and he needs must feel,

Whoever passes, first how much he weighs;
And in like mode his father-in-law is punished

Within this moat, and the others of the council-
Which for the Jews was a malignant seed.”

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And thereupon I saw Virgilius marvel

O'er him who was extended on the cross

So vilely in eternal banishment. Then he directed to the Friar this voice :

“Be not displeased, if granted thee, to tell us

If to the right hand any pass slope down By which we two may issue forth from here,

Without constraining some of the black angels

To come and extricate us from this deep." Then he made answer : “ Nearer than thou hopest

There is a rock, that forth from the great circle

Proceeds, and crosses all the cruel valleys,
Save that at this 'tis broken, and does not bridge it ;

You will be able to mount up the ruin,

That sidelong slopes and at the bottom rises." The Leader stood awhile with head bowed down ;

Then said : “ The business badly he recounted

Who grapples with his hook the sinners yonder." And the Friar : “ Many of the Devil's vices

Once heard I at Bologna, and among them,

That he's a liar and the father of lies.” Thereat my Leader with great strides went on,

Somewhat disturbed with anger in his looks;

Whence from the heavy-laden I departed After the prints of his beloved feet.

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CANTO XXIV.

IN that part of the youthful year wherein

The Sun his locks beneath Aquarius tempers,

And now the nights draw near to half the day, What time the hoar-frost copies on the ground

The outward semblance of her sister white,

But little lasts the temper of her pen, The husbandman, whose forage faileth him,

Rises, and looks, and seeth the champaign

All gleaming white, whereat he beats his flank, Returns in doors, and up and down laments,

Like a poor wretch, who knows not what to do ;

Then he returns, and hope revives again,
Seeing the world has changed its countenance

In little time, and takes his shepherd's crook,
And forth the little lambs to pasture drives.

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