Pagina:Baretti - Prefazioni e polemiche.djvu/111



moved the Almighty to make me. Me, except his angels, the eldest of created things. I atti to ali eternit)’. Ye who enter here, quit hope for ever» .

Not far from the infernal gate he comes to a place where the souls of indolent and slothful people are imprisoned, together \vith those angels who kept themselves neutra! in the war between the Omnipotent and his rebel angels:

Quivi sospiri, pianti ed alti guai risonavan per l’aer senza stelle, ecc. (i).

«There sighs and tears and loud-resounding woes filled the dark air unblest \\-ith even a star. There different languages ali horrid and confused, complaining words, accents of rage, loud shreeks and whispered anguish, heightened with clashing hands, form a harsh tumult in the ever-darkened air. Such is the sound as when a whirl-\vind ’s furious blast drives the loose sands in clouds of whirling dust. Those have no hope of death, and their dull lives are spent in such a shameful obscurit)’, that ever>- other fate they wish and envy. Lost in oblivion, their whole lives are blanks. Eternai raercy and justice disdain them. Let us not speak of them, but look and pass».

From thence, Dante and Virgil come to the infernal river, on the other side of which are the drear>’ habitations of the wicked. On the shore of the fatai flood stands innumerable souls waiting to be wafted to the opposite side:

... quell’anime, ch’eran lasse e nude, cangiar colore e dibatterò i denti, ecc. (2).

  • Those shivering souls moved slowly on. Pale were their

looks and their trembling teeth clashed against each other... Blaspheming God, execrating their parents, their country, their fore-fathers, the hour of their birth and the whole human race. Then clustering ali in crowds with horrid yells, they reach

(1) III, vw. 22-3, 25-30, 46-51 [Ed.].

(2) III, vv. loo-ioi, 103-8 [Eki.].