Infant of Lubeck to Ini, Ine

Infant of Lubeck, Christian Henry Heinecken. At one year old he knew the chief events of the Pentateuch!! at thirteen months he knew the history of the Old Testament!! at fourteen months he knew the history of the New Testament!! at two and a half years he could answer any ordinary question of history or geography!! and at three years old he knew German, French, and Latin!! (See Precocious Genius.)

Inferno (The), in thirty-four cantos, by Dantê [Alighieri] (1300). While wandering through a wood (this life), the poet comes to a mountain (fame), and begins to climb it, but first a panther (pleasure), then a lion (ambition), and then a she-wolf (avarice) stand in his path to stay him. The appearance of Virgil (human wisdom), however, encourages him (canto i.), and the Mantuan tells him he is sent by three ladies [Beatrice (faith), Lucia (grace), an d Me rcy ] to cond uct him through the realms of hell (canto ii.). O n they proceed together till they come to a portal bea ring th is inscription : ALL HOPE ABANDON, YE WHO E NTER HERE; they pass th rough, and come to that ne utral realm, where dwell the spirits of those not good enough for heaven nor bad enough for hell, “the praiseless an d the blameles s dead.” Passing through this b order-land, they command old Cha ron to ferry them across the Acheron to Limbo (canto iii.), and here they behold the ghosts of the unbaptized, “blameless of sin” but not members of the Christian Church. Homer is here, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan, who enroll Dantê “sixth of the sacred band.” On leaving Limbo, our adventurer follows his guide through the seven gates which lead to the inferno, an enormous funnel-shaped pit, divided into stages. The outer, or first “circle,” is a vast meadow, in which roam Electra (mother of Dardanus the founder of Troy), Hector, Æneas, and Julius Cæsar; Camilla and Penthesilea; Latinus and Junius Brutus; Lucretia, Marcia (Cato’s wife), Julia (Pompey’s wife), and Cornelia; and here “apart retired,” they see Saladin, the rival of Richard the Lion-heart. Linos is here and Orpheus; Aristotle, Socratês, and Plato; Democritos who ascribed creation to blind chance, Diogenês the cynic, Heraclitos, Empedoclês, Anaxagoras, Thales, Dioscoridês, and Zeno; Cicero and Seneca, Euclid and Ptolemy, Hippocratês and Galen, Avicen, and Averroês the Arabian translator and commentator of Aristotle (canto iv.). From the first stage they descend to the second, where Minos sits in judgment on the ghosts brought before him. He indicates what circle a ghost is to occupy by twisting his tail round his body: two twists signify that the ghost is to be banished to the second circle; three twists, that it is to be consigned to the third circle, and so on. Here, says the poet, “light was silent all,” but shrieks and groans and blasphemies were terrible to hear. This circle is the hell of carnal and sinful love, where Dant ê recognizes Semiramis, Dido, Cleopatra, and Helen; Achillês and Paris; Tristan, the lover of his uncle’s wife Isoldê; Lancelot, the lover of queen Guinever; and Francesca, the lover of Paolo her brother-in-law (canto v.). The third circle is a place of deeper woe. Here fall in ceaseless showers, hail, black rain, and sleety flaw; the air is cold and dun; and a foul stench rises from the soil. Cerberus keeps watch here, and this part of the inferno is set apart for gluttons, like Ciacco . From this stage the two poets pass on to the “fourth steep ledge,” presided over by Plutus (canto vi.), a realm which “hems in all the woe of all the universe.” Here are gathered the souls of the avaricious, who wasted their talents, and made no right use of their wealth. Crossing this region, they come to the “fifth steep,” and see the Stygian Lake of inky hue. This circle is a huge bog in which “the miry tribe” flounder, and “gulp the muddy lees.” It is the abode of those who put no restraint upon their anger (canto vii.). Next comes the city of Dis, where the souls of heretics are “interred in vaults” (cantos viii., ix.). Here Dantê recognizes Farinata (a leader of the Ghibelline faction), and is informed that the emperor Frederick II. and cardinal Ubaldini are amongst the number (canto x.). The city of Dis contains the next three circles (canto xi.), through which Nessus conducts them; and here they see the Minotaur and the Centaurs, as Chiron who nursed Achillês and Pholus the passionate. The first circle of Dis (the sixth) is for those who by force or fraud have done violence to man, as Alexander the Great, Dionysius of Syracuse, Attila, Sextus, and Pyrrhus (canto xii.). The next (the seventh circle) is for those who have done violence to themselves, as suicides; here are the Harpies, and here the souls are transformed to trees (canto xiii.). The eighth circle is for the souls of those who have done violence to God, as

  By PanEris using Melati.

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