Inferno Canto XV

Inferno 15

And he: ‘O my son, let it not displease you
if Brunetto Latino for a while turns back
with you and lets the troop go on.’

vv. 31-33

Third round of the Seventh Circle: those who have done violence to Nature. – Brunetto Latini. – Prophecies of misfortune to Dante.

Dante and Virgil walked along a kind of dyke between the river and the fiery sands, which Dante compares to those of the Flemings. They came across a group of men who were trudging along the sands; one of them recognized Dante and greeted him affectionately. At first Dante could not tell who it was because of the effect of the heat on his face, but then he respectfully greeted him as Ser Brunetto. They spoke together, walking slowly (Brunetto was not allowed to stop). Dante explained how he happened to be journeying through Hell and Brunetto predicted a happy ending to his journey. He said that if he had not died, he would have helped Dante more in his work, and warned him of the ingratitude of the people who came down from Fiesole, who were presumptuous, avaricious, and envious. Brunetto said that Dante would have an honorable future and should not bind himself to a party since neither of them deserved him. In return, Dante said that he wished Brunetto were still alive, and said that he would always remember his kind paternal image and the teaching he had received. He also said that he was not afraid of Fortune, to Virgil’s commendment. Dante wanted to know who Brunetto’s companions were, but he told him that most of them were not worth knowing, though some were men of letters and fame. They were all stained by the same sin, and included Priscian and Francesco among others. Brunetto then had to leave Dante, and asked him to hold his Tesoro dear. He ran ahead as though winning a race at Verona.

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