[Dante to Pope Nicholas III]: "I’d utter words much heavier than these,
because your avarice afflicts the world:
it tramples on the good, lifts up the wicked.
You, shepherds, the Evangelist had noticed
when he saw her who sits upon the waters
and realized she fornicates with kings,
She who was born with seven heads and had
the power and support of the ten horns,
as long as virtue was her husband’s pleasure.
You’ve made yourselves a god of gold and silver;
how are you different from idolaters,
save that they worship one and you a hundred?" (Inf. XIX, 103-113)
As I inclined my head still more, I saw
that each, amazingly, appeared contorted
between the chin and where the chest begins;
they had their faces twisted towards their haunches
and found it necessary to walk backward,
because they could not see ahead of them. (Inf. XX, 10-15)
[Ulysses]: "And I and my companions were already
old and slow, when we approached the narrows
where Hercules set up his boundary stones
that men might heed and never reach beyond;
upon my right, I had gone past Seville,
and on the left, already passed Ceuta.
‘Brothers,’ I said, ‘o you, who having crossed
a hundred thousand dangers, reach the west,
to this brief waking-time that still is left
unto your senses, you must not deny
experience of that which lies beyond
the sun, and of the world that is unpeopled.
Consider well the seed that gave you birth:
you were not made to live your lives as brutes,
but to be followers of worth and knowledge.’" (Inf. XXVI, 106-120)