Dante, Inferno Canto 28 (3rd part)

I am being loaded up
The carrier pigeon won’t get off the ground,
Their foresight, combined with natural skill at politicking,
Almost as if they tricked me into betraying the laws of Earth,
And I almost fell for it.

—And let the two chief men of Fano know,
Messers Guido and Angiolello, both,
That, unless our foresight here is completely wrong,
Near La Cattolica, somewhere about,
They’ll be dropped overboard, with some lead,
Courtesy of a tyrant with one eye.
Little Malatesta of Rimini.

There’s one here, who wishes he’d never seen that place.

Not even that stretch of the Mediterranean,
Between Cyprus and Majorca, where Greeks,
Pirates, committed terrible crimes
Will have seen anything as evil and treacherous.
Having invited them to parley
He’ll ensure they never need to think politics again.

But would the future be changed?
If I had spoken earlier… well, we will never know, will we.
And I:

—Who is the one who wishes he’d never seen Rimini?
Tell me that.

There was another of his own next to him,
He grabbed hold of the jaw, worked it a little:

—See, nothing comes out,
This is the one, but he doesn’t talk.
Banished by Pompey, he went to the other side,
Urged Caesar on, successfully,
Strike now, every day prepared and not attacking is a day lost,
We cannot wait forever.
He doesn’t talk now,
His tongue sliced off deep in his throat,

Curio, who’d been so quick to speak up.
He it was who persuaded Caesar to cross the Rubicon
Near Rimini. From cis-Alpine Gaul into Italy, breaking the treaty,
And precipitated war.
Iacta alea est. Now silenced.

Another, whose hands had been chopped off,
Raised his stumps to the air,
Uninterested in the blood falling on his face:

—But you’ll remember Mosca de’ Lamberti, won’t you?
It rebounded on me, when I said:
‘The action will bring its purpose’,
When I suggested the murder of the Guelph Buondelmonte,
For breaking his marriage engagement.
That brought the Guelphs and Ghibellines to civil war,
Close to home, in dark green and terracotta Tuscany,

‘And share the death out between all of us’,
I might have added.
But he knew his griefs,
Away he went, incomplete, weighed under.

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