[Virgil]: … "Are you as foolish as the rest?
Here pity only lives when it is dead;
for who can be more impious than he
who links God’s judgment to passivity?" (Inf. XX, 27-30)
O you who read, hear now of this new sport…
The Navarrese, in nick of time, had planted
his feet upon the ground; then in an instant
he jumped and freed himself from their commander.
At this each demon felt the prick of guilt,
and most, he who had led his band to blunder;
so he took off and shouted: "You are caught!"
But this could help him little; wing were not
more fast than fear; the sinner plunged right under;
the other, flying up, lifted his chest…
But Calcabrina, raging at the trick,
flew after Alichino; he was keen
to see the sinner free and have a brawl;
and once the Navarrese had disappeared,
he turned his talons on his fellow demon
and tangled with him just above the ditch.
But Alichino clawed him well –
he was indeed a full-grown kestrel; and both fell
into the middle of the boiling pond.
The heat was quick to disentangle them,
but still there was no way they could get out;
their wings were stuck,
enmeshed in glue-like pitch. (Inf. XXII, 118-144)
[Dante]: … "In that hollow upon which
just now, I kept my eyes intent, I think
a spirit born of my own blood laments
the guilt which, down below, costs one so much."
At this my master said: "Don’t let your thoughts
about him interrupt you from here on:
attend to other things, let him stay there;
for I saw him below the little bridge,
his finger pointing at you, threatening,
and heard him called by name – Geri del Bello…"
"My guide, it was his death by violence,
for which he still is not avenged," I said,
"by anyone who shares his shame, that made
him so disdainful now; and – I suppose –
for this he left without a word to me,
and this has made me pity him the more." (Inf. XXIX, 18-36)