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.Of its purity, its sole volitionmakes proof, which wholly free to change its company, seizes the soul and aids it with will.It wills indeed at first; but that impulse allows it not, which divine justice sets against will, asit was [formerly] toward sin, [so now] toward the torment.And I, who have lain in this woefive hundred years and more, have but now felt a free will for a better threshold.Wherefore thou didst feel the earthquake, and hear the pious spirits throughout the mount render praiseto that Lord, by whom may they soon be led upward. Thus said he to him; and because onedelights in drinking in proportion as one s thirst is great, I should not skill to say how greatbenefit he did me.And my sage Leader:  Now I see the net which holds you here, and howthe snare is broken; wherefore it quakes here, and whereof ye rejoice together.Now pleaseit thee that I know who thou wast, and that I understand in thy words wherefore thou hastlain so many ages here.  At the time that the good Titus, with the aid of the most high King,avenged the wounds whence issued the blood sold by Judas, with the name which most lastsand most honours, was I there, answered that spirit  famous enough, but not as yet withfaith.So sweet was the spirit of my voice, that Tolosan as I was, Rome drew me to herself,where I merited to adorn my temples with myrtle.Statius the folk still name me there: I sangof Thebes and of the great Achilles; but I fell in the way with the second burthen.To myardor were seed the sparks which warmed me of the divine flame, whence more than athousand have been kindled; I speak of the neid, which was mother to me, and was to mea nurse in poet s art; without it I had not stayed a drachm s weight.And to have lived onearth when Virgil lived, I would agree to a year more than I owe, to my issue from bondage.These words turned Virgil to me with a face which in its silence said,  Be silent; but virtuecannot all it would; for laughter and tears follow so much the passion from which eachsprings, that they least obey will in the most truthful men.I at all events smiled, as the manwho makes a sign; wherefore the shade held its peace and looked me in the eyes, where thesemblance fixes itself most.And,  So mayest thou bring so great Labor to a goodconsummation, said he,  why did thy face but now show me a flash of laughter? Now amI caught on one side and the other; the one makes me hold my peace, the other conjures meto say; wherefore I sigh, and am perceived. Say, said my Master to me,  and have no fearof speaking; but speak and tell him that which he asks with so great care. Wherefore I:  Itmay be that thou marvellest, ancient spirit, at the smile which I gave; but I will that greateradmiration seize thee.This who guides on high my eyes is that Virgil from whom thou tookestforce to sing of men and gods.If thou didst suppose other occasion for my laughter, leave itfor untrue; and believe that it was those words which thou spakest of him. Already he wasbending to embrace my Teacher s feet; but he said:  Brother, do it not, for thou art a shade,and a shade thou seest. And he, rising:  Now canst thou comprehend the greatness of thelove which warms me toward thee, when I forget our emptiness, handling the shadows as itwere a solid thing. C A N T O XXII.ARGUMENT.They ascend to the sixth circle, while Statius explains how he was turned from his sin, and led to become a Christianby the reading of certain passages of Virgil.Presently they reach a tree of strange form, and afterwards hear voicesuttering examples of the virtue of abstinence.ALREADY the Angel was left behind us the Angel who had turned us to the sixth circle,having erased from my face one stroke; and those who have their desire to justice he hadpronounced to us Blessed, and his voices with sitiunt and naught else, furnished forth this.And I lighter than through the other passages was going my way in such wise that withoutany Labor I followed upward the swift spirits; when Virgil began:  Love, set on fire of virtue,always kindles another, so only that its flame appear outwardly.Wherefore, from the hourwhen Juvenal descended among us in the border of Hell, who made known to me thyaffection, my goodwill toward thee was as great as ever bound me for an unseen person, sothat now these steps will appear to me short [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]