I have erewhile seen horsemen
Begin the storming, and their muster make,
And sometimes starting off for their escape;
have I seen upon your land,
, and foragers go forth,
Tournaments stricken, and the joust
Sometimes with trumpets
and sometimes with bells
With kettle-drums, and signals of the castles,
And with our own, and with outlandish
But never yet with bagpipe
Did I see horsemen
move, nor infantry
Nor ship by any sign of land or star.
We went upon our way with the ten demon
Ah, savage company! but in the church
With saints, and in the tavern
with the gluttons
Ever upon 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
by arching of the back,
That they should counsel take to save their vessel,
Thus sometimes, to alleviate his pain,
One of the sinners
And in less time conceal it than it lighten
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 sinner
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;
, 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.
, see that thou do lay
Thy claws upon him, so that thou mayst flay
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
Near to the side of him my Leader drew,
Asked of him whence he was; and he replied:
"I in the kingdom
My mother placed me servant to a lord
For she had borne me to a ribald knave,
er 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."
, 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;
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
: "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
Would that I still were covered up with him,
For I should fear
not either claw nor hook!"
: "We have borne too much;"
And with his grapnel
seized him by the arm,
So that, by rending, he tore off a tendon
wished to pounce upon him
Down at the legs; whence their Decurion
Turned round and round about with evil
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
of all fraud
Who had the enemies of his lord
And dealt so with them each exults
Money he took, and let them smoothly off,
As he says; and in other office
was he, not mean but sovereign
Foregathers with him one Don Michael Zanche
; 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
"If you desire either to see or hear,"
The terror-stricken recommenced thereon,
, I will make them come.
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."
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.
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
But little it availed, for wings could not
Outstrip the fear
; the other one went under,
And, flying, upward he his breast
Not otherwise the duck upon a sudden
Dives under, when the falcon
And upward he returneth cross and weary.
at the mockery, Calcabrina
Flying behind him followed close, desirous
The other should escape
, to have a quarrel
And when the barrator
He turned his talons upon his companion,
And grappled with him right above the moat.
the other was a doughty sparhawk
him well; and both of them
Fell in the middle of the boiling pond.
A sudden intercessor
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-ensnared,
Who were already baked within the crust,
And in this manner busied did we leave them.