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 Canto XXXIV
      In the fourth and last round of the ninth circle, those who have betrayed
 their benefactors are wholly covered with ice. And in the midst is Lucifer, at
 whose back Dante and Virgil ascend, till by a secret path they reach the
 surface of the other hemisphere of the earth, and once more obtain sight of
 the stars.
 "The banners of Hell's Monarch do come forth
 Toward us; therefore look," so spake my guide,
 "If thou discern him." As, when breathes a cloud
 Heavy and dense, or when the shades of night
 Fall on our hemisphere, seems view'd from far
 A windmill, which the blast stirs briskly round;
 Such was the fabric then methought I saw.
 To shield me from the wind, forthwith I drew
 Behind my guide: no covert else was there.
 Now came I (and with fear I bid my strain
 Record the marvel) where the souls were all
 Whelm'd underneath, transparent, as through glass
 Pellucid the frail stem. Some prone were laid;
 Others stood upright, this upon the soles,
 That on his head, a third with face to feet
 Arch'd like a bow. When to the point we came,
 Whereat my guide was pleased that I should see
 The creature eminent in beauty once,
 He from before me stepp'd and made me pause.
 "Lo!" he exclaim'd, "lo! Dis; and lo! the place,
 Where thou hast need to arm thy heart with strength."
 How frozen and how faint I then became,
 Ask me not, reader! for I write it not;
 Since words would fail to tell thee of my state.
 I was not dead nor living. Think thyself,
 If quick conception work in thee at all,
 How I did feel. That emperor, who sways
 The realm of sorrow, at mid breast from the ice
 Stood forth; and I in stature am more like
 A giant, than the giants are his arms.
 Mark now how great that whole must be, which suits
 With such a part. If he were beautiful
 As he is hideous now, and yet did dare
 To scowl upon his Maker, well from him
 May all our misery flow. Oh what a sight!
 How passing strange it seem'd, when I did spy
 Upon his head three faces: one in front
 Of hue vermilion, the other two with this
 Midway each shoulder join'd and at the crest;
 The right 'twixt wan and yellow seem'd; the left
 To look on, such as come from whence old Nile
 Stoops to the lowlands. Under each shot forth
 Two mighty wings, enormous as became
 A bird so vast. Sails never such I saw
 Outstretch'd on the wide sea. No plumes had they,
 But were in texture like a bat; and these
 He flapp'd i' th' air, that from him issued still
 Three winds, wherewith Cocytus to its depth
 Was frozen. At six eyes he wept: the tears
 Adown three chins distill'd with bloody foam.
 At every mouth his teeth a sinner champ'd,
 Bruised as with ponderous engine; so that three
 Were in this guise tormented. But far more
 Than from that gnawing, was the foremost pang'd
 By the fierce rending, whence oft - times the back
 Was stript of all its skin. "That upper spirit,
 Who hath worst punishment," so spake my guide,
 "Is Judas, he that hath his head within
 And plies the feet without. Of th' other two,
 Whose heads are under, from the murky jaw
 Who hangs, is Brutus:[1] lo! how he doth writhe
 And speaks not. The other, Cassius, that appears
 So large of limb. But night now reascends;
 And it is time for parting. All is seen."
 [1: "Brutus." Landino struggles to extricate Brutus from the unworthy
 lot which is here assigned him. He maintains that by Brutus and Cassius are
 not meant the individuals known by those names, but any who put a lawful
 monarch to death. Yet if Caesar was such, the conspirators might be regarded
 as deserving of their doom. If Dante, however, believed Brutus to have been
 actuated by evil motives in putting Caesar to death, the excellence of the
 patriot's character in other respects would only have aggravated his guilt in
 that particular.]
 I clipp'd him round the neck; for so he bade:
 And noting time and place, he, when the wings
 Enough were oped, caught fast the shaggy sides,
 And down from pile to pile descending stepp'd
 Between the thick fell and the jagged ice.
 Soon as he reach'd the point, whereat the thigh
 Upon the swelling of the haunches turns,
 My leader there, with pain and struggling hard,
 Turn'd round his head where his feet stood before,
 And grappled at the fell as one who mounts;
 That into Hell methought we turn'd again.
 "Expect that by such stairs as these," thus spake
 The teacher, panting like a man forespent,
 "We must depart from evil so extreme:"
 Then at a rocky opening issued forth,
 And placed me on the brink to sit, next join'd
 With wary step my side. I raised mine eyes,
 Believing that I Lucifer should see
 Where he was lately left, but saw him now
 With legs help upward. Let the grosser sort,
 Who see not what the point was I had past,
 Bethink them if sore toil oppress'd me then.
 "Arise," my master cried, "upon thy feet.
 The way is long, and much uncouth the road;
 And now within one hour and a half of noon[2]
 The sun returns." It was no palace - hall
 [2: The Poet uses the Hebrew manner of computing the day, according
 to which the third hour answers to our twelve o'clock at noon.]
 Lofty and luminous wherein we stood,
 But natural dungeon where ill - footing was
 And scant supply of light. "Ere from the abyss
 I separate," thus when risen I began:
 "My guide! vouchsafe few words to set me free
 From error's thraldom. Where is now the ice?
 How standeth he in posture thus reversed?
 And how from eve to morn in space so brief
 Hath the sun made his transit?" He in few
 Thus answering spake: "Thou deemest thou art still
 On the other side the centre, where I grasp'd
 The abhorred worm that boreth through the world.
 Thou wast on the other side, so long as I
 Descended; when I turn'd, thou didst o'erpass
 That point, to which from every part is dragg'd
 All heavy substance. Thou art now arrived
 Under the hemisphere opposed to that,
 Which the great continent doth overspread,
 And underneath whose canopy expired
 The Man, that was born sinless and so lived.
 Thy feet are planted on the smallest sphere,
 Whose other aspect is Judecca. Morn
 Here rises, when there evening sets: and he,
 Whose shaggy pile we scaled, yet standeth fix'd,
 As at the first. On this part he fell down
 From Heaven; and th' earth here prominent before,
 Through fear of him did veil her with the sea,
 And to our hemisphere retired. Perchance,
 To shun him, was the vacant space left here,
 By what of firm land on this side appears,[3]
 That sprang aloof." There is a place beneath,
 From Belzebub as distant, as extends
 The vaulted tomb;[4] discover'd not by sight,
 But by the sound of brooklet, that descends
 This way along the hollow of a rock,
 Which, as it winds with no precipitous course,
 The wave hath eaten. By that hidden way
 My guide and I did enter, to return
 [3: The mountain of Purgatory.]
 [4: "The vaulted tomb" ("La tomba"). This word is used to express the
 whole depth of the infernal region.]
 To the fair world: and heedless of repose
 We climb'd, he first, I following his steps,
 Till on our view the beautiful lights of Heaven
 Dawn'd through a circular opening in the cave:
 Thence issuing we again beheld the stars.