Quotations about:
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          “Master,” said I, “this woe —
     Will it grow less, or still more fiercely burning
     With the Great Sentence, or remain just so?”
“Go to,” said he, “hast thou forgot they learning,
     Which hath it: The more perfect, the more keen,
     Whether for pleasure’s or for pain’s discerning?
Though true perfection never can be seen
     In these damned souls, they’ll be more near complete
     After the Judgement than they yet have been.”

[Per ch’io dissi: “Maestro, esti tormenti
     crescerann’ei dopo la gran sentenza,
     o fier minori, o saran sì cocenti?”.
Ed elli a me: “Ritorna a tua scïenza,
     che vuol, quanto la cosa è più perfetta,
     più senta il bene, e così la doglienza.
Tutto che questa gente maladetta
     in vera perfezion già mai non vada,
     di là più che di qua essere aspetta”.]

Dante Alighieri the poet
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 1 “Inferno,” Canto 6, l. 103ff (6.103-111) (1320) [tr. Sayers (1949)]
    (Source)

Virgil informs Dante that, according to the "science" of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, the souls of the dead, reunited with their bodies at the Last Judgment, will be more "perfect," and thus will more perfectly feel the joy of Heaven, or the torments of Hell.

(Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

Master, I said; When the grand Sentence 's pass'd,
Will an increase of punishment ensue,
Or will't continue thus, or less become.
Return to your Philosophy, he said,
By which you're taught, that the more perfect are
More sensible of good, as well as ill.
And this unhappy Crew expect not e'er
That they at true perfection shall arrive;
But that their Suff'rings will be more severe
After the dreadful Sentence than before.
[tr. Rogers (1782), l. 98ff]

Then I, "Shall equal plagues the damn'd await;
     Shall Hell increase her torments, or abate,
     When the last change their final sentence brings?"
"Let Science solve the doubt," the Bard rejoin'd,
     "The body married to th' immortal mind,
     Or higher transport feels, or fiercer woe:
Then th' ignoble brethren of the sty,
     When the last clarion shakes the faulted sky,
     Shall feel theri pains sublim'd, their tortures grow."
[tr. Boyd (1802), st. 9-10]

For thus I question’d: “Shall these tortures, Sir!
     When the great sentence passes, be increas’d,
     Or mitigated, or as now severe?”
He then: “Consult thy knowledge; that decides
     That as each thing to more perfection grows,
     It feels more sensibly both good and pain.
Though ne’er to true perfection may arrive
     This race accurs’d, yet nearer then than now
     They shall approach it.”
[tr. Cary (1814)]

For thus I asked him: "Shall these torments rage,
     The judgment past, with fury more intense,
     Or such as now, or of their heat assuage?"
Who answered: "Get thee to thy wisdom, whence
     'Tis taught, the creature ot perfection nigher
     Of good and eke of ill hath keener sense.
Albeit this cursed race may ne'er aspire
     The true perfeoction of their kind to feel,
     Yet lower scale expect they not, but higher."
[tr. Dayman (1843)]

     Wherefore I said: "Master, shall these torments increase after the great Sentence, or grow less, or remain as burning?"
     And he to me: "Return to they science, which has it, that the more a thing is perfect, the more it feels pleasure and likewise pain.
     Though these accursed people never attain to true perfection, yet they [look to] be nearer it after than before." [tr. Carlyle (1849)]

It was the reason why I said, "Master!
     When the grand sentence is past, is the pain
     Increased or lessened, or do these remain?"
And he said to me, "What doth thy science teach?
     Whatever thing is perfect's more endued
     To feel the evil, to perceive the good:
To perfect misery will noi they attain,
     The accursed race who suffer in this sphere,
     But nearer then than now they will appear."
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

And then I said -- "These torments, master, say,
     Will they increase after the awful doom,
     Or become less? Will they be sharp as now?"
Then he to me -- "Unto thy science turn,
     Which teaches, the more perfect be the thing,
     It knows the good, it feels the suffering more.
Although this multitude accurs'd may not
     Unto the true perfection ever come,
     After, rather than now, they look for it."
[tr. Johnston (1867)]

Wherefore I said: "Master, these torments here,
     ⁠Will they increase after the mighty sentence,
     ⁠Or lesser be, or will they be as burning?" ⁠
And he to me: "Return unto thy science,
     ⁠Which wills, that as the thing more perfect is,
     ⁠The more it feels of pleasure and of pain.
Albeit that this people maledict
     ⁠To true perfection never can attain, ⁠
     ⁠Hereafter more than now they look to be."
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

Wherefore I said: "Master, these torments, will they increase after the great sentence, or become less, or be as scorching?" And he to me: "Return to thy science, which holds, in proportion as the thing is more perfect, it is more conscious of the good, and so of suffering. Albeit this accursed folk may never go on to true perfection, it expects to be more on the further than on the hither side."
[tr. Butler (1885)]

Wherefore I said; "O master, I would know
     Whether these torments after the great day
     Will lessen, keep as now, or fiercer grow?"
And he to me: "Thy science here essay,
     Which wills that more a thing is perfect nursed,
     The more it feels both good and evil sway.
And though in truth this people, all accursed,
     With true perfection never can be dight,
     Then, more than now, it looks to feel the worst."
[tr. Minchin (1885)]

Wherefore I said, “Master, these torments will they increase after the great sentence, or will they become less, or will they be just as burning?” And he to me, “Return to thy science, which declares that the more perfect a thing is the more it feels the good, and so the pain. Though this accursed people never can attain to true perfection, it expects thereafter to be more than now.”
[tr. Norton (1892)]

Wherefore I said: "Master, these tortures, will they increase when the great doom is spoken, or will they lessen, or continue as galling as before?" And he made answer to me: "Go back upon the science thou hast read, which would have us believe that the more a thing is perfect, the more it feeleth pleasure, and likewise pain. Though these cursed souls may never come to true perfection, yet do they hope thereafter to attain it more than now."
[tr. Sullivan (1893)]

And thereupon I said: "Master, these torments,
     Will they increase after the last great sentence,
     Or lesser grow, or will they be as poignant?"
And he to me : "Return unto thy science,
     Which hath it that, the more a thing is perfect,
     More hath it sense of good, and so of dolour.
So, notwithstanding that this folk accursed
     Never advances unto true perfection,
     Yet more on that side than on this it looks for."
[tr. Griffith (1908)]

I said therefore: "Master, will these torments increase after the great judgment, or become less, or continue as fiece as now?" And he answered me, "Go back to thy science, which requires that in the measure of a creature's perfection it feels more both of pleasure and of pain. Although these people who are accursed never come to true perfection, they look to be completer then than now."
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

Wherefore I said: "Master, these pangs of woe --
     Shall they be increased after the great Assize
     Or stay scorching as now, or lesser grow?"
And he: "Turn to thy science and be wise.
     The more a thing perfected is, the more
     it feels bliss, and in pain the sharper sighs.
Although the state of these accurst at core
     Never indeed in true perfection ends,
     They look then to be nearer than before."
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

     "Master," I said, "when the great clarion fades
into the voice of thundering Omniscience,
     what of these agonies? Will they be the same,
     or more, or less, after the final sentence?"
And he to me: "Look to your science again
     where it is written: the more a thing is perfect
     the more it feels of pleasure and of pain.
As for these souls, though they can never soar
     to true perfection, still in the new time
     they will be nearer than they were before.
[tr. Ciardi (1954), l. 99ff]

     Wherefore I said, "Master, these torments, will they increase after the great Judgment, or will they grow less, or will they be just as burning as now?"
     And he to me, "Return to your science, which has it that the more a thing is perfect, the more it feels the good, and so the pain. Although this accursed folk can never come to true perfection, yet they look to be nearer it then than now."
[tr. Singleton (1970)]

I said, "Master, will these torments be increased,
     or lessened, on the final Judgment Day,
     or will the pain be just the same as now?"
And he: "Remember your philosophy:
     the closer a thing comes to its perfection
     more keen will be its pleasure or its pain.
Although this cursèd race of punished souls
     shall never know the joy of true perfection,
     more perfect will their pain be then than now."
[tr. Musa (1971)]

At which I said: "And after the great sentence --
     o master -- will these torments grow, or else
     be less, or will they be just as intense?"
And he to me: "Remember now your science,
     which said that when a thing has more perfection,
     so much the great is its pain or pleasure.
Though these accursed sinners never shall
     attain the true perfection, yet they can
     expect to be more perfect then than now."
[tr. Mandelbaum (1980)]

So I said to him: "Master, will these torments
     Grow greater still after the great sentence,
     Will they be less, or burn as they burn now?"
His answer to me was: "Go back to your science,
     Which teaches that the more perfect a thing is,
     The more it feels pleasure, and pain as well.
Although these people, because they are accursed,
     Will never reach the point of true perfection,
     They expect to approach it more nearly afterwards."
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

"Master, these torments -- tell me, will they increase
     After the Judgment, or lessen, or merely endure,
     Burning as much as now?" He said, "In this,
Go back to your science, which teaches that the more
     A creature is perfect, the more it perceives the good --
     and likewise, pain. The accursed people here
Can never come to true perfection; instead
     They can expect to come closer then than now."
[tr. Pinsky (1994), l. 94ff]

     So I said: "Master, these torments, will they grow after the great Judgment, or will they be less, or equally hot?"
     And he to me: "Return to your philosophy, which teaches that the more perfect a thing is, the more it feels what is good, and the same for pain.
     Even though these cursed people will never enter into true perfection, on that side they can expect to have more being than on this."
[tr. Durling (1996)]

Of this I asked: "Master, will these torments increase, after the great judgement, or lessen, or stay as fierce?" And he to me: "Remember your science, that says, that the more perfect a thing is, the more it feels pleasure and pain. Though these accursed ones will never achieve true perfection, they will be nearer to it after, than before."
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Concerning which, "These torments, sir," I said,
     "when judgement has been finally proclaimed --
     will these increase or simmer just the same?"
"Return," he said, "to your first principles:
     when anything (these state) becomes more perfect,
     then all the more it feels both good and pain.
Albeit these accursed men will not
     achieve perfection full and true, they still,
     beyond that Day, will come to sharper life."
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2006)]

"Master," I asked, "after the great Judgment
     will these torments be greater, less,
     or will they stay as harsh as they are now?"
And he replied: "Return to your science,
     which has it that, in measure of a thing's perfection,
     it feels both more of pleasure and of pain.
Although these accursèd people
     will never come to true perfection,
     they will be nearer it than they are now."
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

And I asked: "Master these punishments,
     Will they grow, after the great and Final Judgment,
     Or lesson, or burn exactly as we've seen them?"
He answered: Go back to the rules of science, which you know
     Declare perfection will grow more perfec tiwth time,
     And as it is in Heaven, so too below.
Although these wicked souls will never climb
     To Heaven, I think they may come closer, perhaps,
     Than they are now, in the state and place we find them."
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

          "After the end,
What starts?" I asked. "Will all those who have earned
Their place down here feel less pain from the Day
Of Judgement on, or just the same, or more?"
And he to me: "What does your science say?
The more a thing's more perfect than before
The more it takes delight or feel despair?
Although these damned will never know a true
Perfection, they;ll be closer to it there,
Beyond that Day. So: much more than they do
Must be the answer to your question."
[tr. James (2013)]

 
Added on 20-Jan-23 | Last updated 20-Jan-23
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More quotes by Dante Alighieri

“He will not wake again,” my leader said,
“From this time till there sounds the trump of doom,
When will descend their hostile power in dread;
Each one will seek again his wretched tomb,
Will take again his former flesh and face.
Will hear His words eternally reboom.”

[E ’l duca disse a me: “Più non si desta
di qua dal suon de l’angelica tromba,
quando verrà la nimica podesta:
ciascun rivederà la trista tomba,
ripiglierà sua carne e sua figura,
udirà quel ch’in etterno rimbomba”.]

Dante Alighieri the poet
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 1 “Inferno,” Canto 6, l. 94ff (6.94-99) (1320) [tr. Minchin (1885)]
    (Source)

Virgil explaining to Dante that, on the Judgment Day, the spirits in Heaven and Hell will be returned to Earth and their bodies (see 1 Cor. 15:51-38), and then face eternal blessing or damnation from Christ. (Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

To me my Leader: These no more will rise
Before the sound of the angelic Trump.
When they the pow'rful Enemy will see
Of wicked act, then ev'ry one recourse
Will have unto their melancholy place
Or Sepulture, will reassume their flesh
And form, and their eternal Judgment hear.
[tr. Rogers (1782), l. 88ff]

"Those," cried the Bard, "shall slumber out their fate,
     'Till, from the confines of the heav'nly state,
     The Hierarch's trump shall thunder thro' the deep:
Then cloath'd again in vests of humble clay,
     The hideous band shall rise upon the day,
     And down return, their endlessd doom to weep."
[tr. Boyd (1802), st. 18]

When thus my guide: “No more his bed he leaves,
     Ere the last angel-trumpet blow. The Power
     Adverse to these shall then in glory come,
Each one forthwith to his sad tomb repair,
     Resume his fleshly vesture and his form,
     And hear the eternal doom re-echoing rend
The vault.”
[tr. Cary (1814)]

"Henceforth he wakes mo more," the master said,
     "Until the angelic trumpet burst the gloom;
     When He shall come, the avenging Power they dread,
These shall revisit each his joyless tomb,
     Put on his flesh and form, and hear the sound
     That thunders through eternity his doom."
[tr. Dayman (1843)]

     And my Guide said to me: "He wakes no more until the angel's trumpet sounds; when the adverse Power shall come,
     each shall revisit his sad grave; shall resume his flesh and form; shall hear that which resounds to all eternity."
[tr. Carlyle (1849)]

The leader said, "No more will he awake
     From hence, till the angelic trumpet break
     His sleep, when comes their inimical power.
Each will revisit then his mournful tomb,
     Self reinvest, in form of flesh be found,
     Hear of eternity the thunder-sound."
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

And my guide said to me -- "He wakes no more,
     Till at the sound of the angelic trump,
     When the Great Pow'r Antagonist shall come.
Then each shall find again his gloomy tomb,
     Each shall resume his flesh and earhtly form,
     Each hear what through eternity shall peal."
[tr. Johnston (1867)]

And the Guide said to me: "He wakes no more
     ⁠This side the sound of the angelic trumpet;
     ⁠When shall approach the hostile Potentate.
Each one shall find again his dismal tomb,
     ⁠Shall reassume his flesh and his own figure,
     ⁠Shall hear what through eternity re-echoes."
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

And my Leader said to me, "He rises up no more on this side the sound of the angelic trump. When the power that is their foe shall come, each will find again his sorry tomb, will take again his flesh and his own shape, will hear that which thunders in eternity."
[tr. Butler (1885)]

And the Leader said to me, “He wakes no more this side the sound of the angelic trump. When the hostile Sovereign shall come, each one will find again his dismal tomb, will take again his flesh and his shape, will hear that which through eternity reechoes.”
[tr. Norton (1892)]

And my guide said to me: "He waketh no more until the sounding of the archangel's trumpet. When the enemy shall come in his power, each will find again his joyless sepulchre, will take unto himself again his flesh and form, and hear the sound whose echoes ring throughout eternity."
[tr. Sullivan (1893)]

And said to me my guide: "No more he wakens
     On this side of the sound of the trump angelic,
     What time the hostile magistrate comes hither:
Each one shall find again his tomb of sorrow;
     Each shall take up again his flesh and features;
     Shall hear what doom resounds for everlasting."
[tr. Griffith (1908)]

And my Leader said to me: "He wakes no more till the osunding of the angel's trumpet, when the adverse Judge shall come; each shall find again the sad tomb and take again his flesh and form and hear that which echoes in eternity."
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

My Guide spoke to me: "No more from that bed
     he wakes until the angel trumpet sounds
     When the stern Power shall make his advent dread.
They shall revisit then their sad grave-mounds,
     And each his flesh and his own shape resume,
     And hear what through eternity resounds."
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

Then spake my guide: "He'll rouse no more," he said,
     "'Till the last loud angelic trumpet's sounding;
     For when the Enemy Power shall come arrayed
Each soul shall seek its own grave's mournful mounding,
     Put on once more its earthly flesh and feature,
     And hear the Doom eternally redounding."
[tr. Sayers (1949)]

And my Guide to me: "He will not wake again
     until the angel trumpet sounds the day
     on which the host shall come to judge all men.
Then shall each soul before the seat of Mercy
     return to its sad grave and flesh and form
     to hear the edict of Eternity."
[tr. Ciardi (1954)]

And my leader said to me, "He wakes no more until the angel's trumpet sounds and the hostile Power comes, when each shall find again his dismal tomb and take again his flesh and form, and hear that which resounds to all eternity."
[tr. Singleton (1970)]

My guide then said to me: "He'll wake no more
     until the day the angel's trumpet blows,
     when the unfriendly Judge shall come down here;
each soul shall find again his wretched tomb,
     assume his flesh and take his human shape,
     and hear his fate resound eternally."
[tr. Musa (1971)]

And my guide said to me: "He'll rise no more
     until the blast of the angelic trumpet
     upon the coming of the hostile Judge:
each one shall see his sorry tomb again
     and once again take on his flesh and form,
     and hear what shall resound eternally."
[tr. Mandelbaum (1980)]

My guide said to me: "He will not wake again
     Until he hears the sound of the angel's trumpet
     At the arrival of the enemy power:
Each one will see once more his bitter grave,
     Will put on once again his flesh and shape,
     Will hear what echoes through eternity."
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

"He will not wake again," my master said,
     "Until the angel's conclusive trumpet sounds
     And the hostile Power comes -- and the waiting dead
Wake to go searching for their unhappy tombs:
     And resume again the form and flesh they had,
     And hear that which eternally resounds.
[tr. Pinsky (1994)]

     And my leader said to me: "Never again will he arise this side of the angelic trumpet, when he will see the enemy governor:
     each will see again his sad tomb, will take again his flesh and his shape, will hear what resounds eternally."
[tr. Durling (1996)]

My leader said, "He sleeps again, and will
     Until angelic trumpet rouses all,
     When their Great Foe last judgment shall fulfill:
Each will find their sorry burial ground,
     Will take again their bodies, flesh and form,
     Then hear His doom eternally resound.
[tr. Ericsson (2001)]

And my guide said to me: "He will not stir further, until the angelic trumpet sounds, when the Power opposing evil will come: each will revisit his sad grave, resume his flesh and form, and hear what will resound through eternity."
[tr. Kline (2002)]

My leader now addressed me: "He'll not stir
     until the trumpets of the angels sound,
     at which his enemy, True Power, will come.
Then each will see once more his own sad tomb,
     and each, once more, assume its flesh and figure,
     each hear the rumbling thunder roll for ever."
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2006)]

And my leader said: "He wakes no more
     until angelic trumpets sound
     the advent of the hostile Power
Then each shall find again his miserable tomb,
     shall take again his flesh and form,
     and hear the judgment that eternally resounds."
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

Then my leader told me: "He will not wake
     Again until the angel blows his horn
     And He who hates evil comes, and everyone takes
The shape and flesh with chich we men are born,
     Drawing it back from the wretched tomb where it lies,
     And all will hear what will echo forever more."
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

My Leader said: "Until the air is rent
By angel's trumpet -- and the dead shall find
Their graves take fleshly form, and hear resound
The internal echoes, as shall be decreed
By the Last Judge -- this one, held by his ground,
Will never wake up again. Shall we proceed?"
[tr. James (2013), l. 100ff]

 
Added on 13-Jan-23 | Last updated 13-Jan-23
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More quotes by Dante Alighieri

gustave doré - dante alighieri - inferno plate 14 (canto v - the hurricane of souls)

And this, I learned, was the never ending flight
     of those who sinned in the flesh, the carnal and lusty
     who betrayed reason to their appetite.
As the wings of wintering starlings bear them on
     in their great wheeling flights, just so the blast
     wherries these evil souls through time foregone.
Here, there, up, down, they whirl, and whirling, strain
     with never a hope of hope to comfort them,
     not of release, but even of less pain.

[Intesi ch’a così fatto tormento
     enno dannati i peccator carnali,
     che la ragion sommettono al talento.
E come li stornei ne portan l’ali
     nel freddo tempo, a schiera larga e piena,
     così quel fiato li spiriti mali
di qua, di là, di giù, di sù li mena;
     nulla speranza li conforta mai,
     non che di posa, ma di minor pena.]

Dante Alighieri the poet
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 1 “Inferno,” Canto 5, l. 37ff (5.37-45) (1320) [tr. Ciardi (1954)]
    (Source)

Illustration by Gustave Doré. (Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

Those who such torments suffered, I learnt,
     Were condemn'd to them for their carnal Sins,
     Their reason by their Passion being subdued.
And as the Birds, who at the first approach
     Of cold, take wing, and gather in thick clouds,
     So does the Storm these wretched Spirits drive,
From 'bove, below, and ev'ry side around.
     They have no hope of ever being releas'd:
     And e'en of lighter punishments despair.
[tr. Rogers (1782), l. 32ff]

These were the hapless slaves of lawless love,
Soft pleasure's vot'ries in the world above,
Who the still voice of reason held in scorn;
And as a flight of starlings wing their way,
Riding the wintry blast in long array,
     The phantoms fleet, in airy tumult borne.
Aloft we saw the moody revel ride,
Then, in long eddies, like the swallowing tide,
With its full freight the hurricane descends:
Around the sinner sweep, above, below,
Nor respite of their cares rest they, nor refuge know
     From the resistless storm that never ends.
[tr. Boyd (1802), st. 8-9]

I understood that to this torment sad
     The carnal sinners are condemn'd, in whom
     Reason by lust is sway'd. As in large troops
And multitudinous, when winter reigns,
     The starlings on their wings are borne abroad;
     So bears the tyrannous gust those evil souls.
On this side and on that, above, below,
     It drives them: hope of rest to solace them
     Is none, nor e'en of milder pang.
[tr. Cary (1814)]

Then understood I of that woe's intent,
     How framed with sinners in the flesh to deal
     Who to their passion have their reason bent.
And like as starlings in their aery wheel
     Some winter's day float wide upon the wing.
     So doth those guilty souls the whirlwind's reel
Now up, now down, now this, now that way fling;
     Nor aught to comfort them may soothing hope.
     If not of rest, of milder sufferance bring.
[tr. Dayman (1843)]

     I learnt that to such torment [are] doomed the carnal sinners, who subject reason to lust.
     And as their wings bear along the starlings, at the cold season, in large and crowded troop: so that blast, the evil spirits;
     hither, thither, down, up, it leads them. No hope ever comforts them, not of rest, but even of less pain.
[tr. Carlyle (1849)]

Of torment such as this, I understood,
     Were carnal sinners made to drink their fill,
     Their reason who subject unto their will.
And as the starlings spread their wings aloft
     In the cold time, in long and crowded flock,
     Such are the evil spirits to the shock:
From here to there, from low to high, it leads;
     Nor hope nor comfort in their breast remain,
     Not of a pause, but even of lesser pain.
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

Then I perceiv'd this torment was to those
     Whose condemnation was for carnal sins,
     Who made their reason subject to their lusts.
As starlings in their wingèd strength are borne
     In winter season, flocking wide and deep;
     So are the wicked spirits by this blast
Upwards and downwards, hither, thither swept,
     Having to comfort them of no hope of rest
     From their great woe, nor e'en of lesser pain.
[tr. Johnston (1867)]

I understood that unto such a torment
     The carnal malefactors were condemned,
     Who reason subjugate to appetite.
And as the wings of starlings bear them on
     In the cold season in large band and full,
     So doth that blast the spirits maledict;
It hither, thither, downward, upward, drives them;
     No hope doth comfort them forevermore,
     Not of repose, but even of lesser pain.
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

I was aware that to a torment thus fashioned are condemned the carnal sinners who made their reason subject to their inclination. And as their wings bear away the starlings in the cold season, in a broad and thick flock, so did that blast the evil spirits. On this side, on that, up and down it sways them; no hope ever comforts them, I say not of rest, but of a lesser penalty.
[tr. Butler (1885)]

Then did I understand that this was pain
     Reserved for those who sin in carnal things,
     And over reason their desires maintain.
And, like the summer starlings, stretch their wings
     In the cold time, in large and ample train,
     So that wild wind those evil spirits swings
Hither and thither, up and down again;
     No hope can comfort them of far repose
     For evermore, nor even of lesser pain.
[tr. Minchin (1885)]

I understood that to such torment are condemned the carnal sinners who subject reason to appetite. And as their wings bear along the starlings in the cold season in a troop large and full, so that blast the evil spirits; hither, thither, down, up it carries them; no hope ever comforts them, not of repose, but even of less pain.
[tr. Norton (1892)]

I came to know that to tortures of such a kind were doomed sinners in the flesh, who make their better judg- ment the thrall of lust. And as in winter time starlings are borne on their wings, in large and crowded flock; even so beareth this blast these sinful spirits. Hither and thither, high and low, it whirleth them, nor ever cometh hope of any rest to cheer them, nor even of lesser punishment.
[tr. Sullivan (1893)]

I understood that unto such like torment
     Are damned eternally the carnal sinners.
     Who make their reason subject to their passions.
And as their pinions bear along the starlings,
     In the chill time, in wide and full battahon,
     In such wise doth that blast the wicked spirits:
Hither and thither, up and down, it bears them;
     Nor any hope encourages them ever.
     Not to say hope of rest, but of less torment.
[tr. Griffith (1908)]

I learned that to such torment are condemned the carnal sinners who subject reason to desire. As in the cold season their wings bear the starlings along in a broad, dense flock, so does that blast the wicked spirits. Hither, thither, downward, upward, it drives them; no hope ever comforts them, not to say of rest, but of less pain.
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

I learnt that in such restless violence blown
     This punishment the carnal sinners share
     Whose reason by desire was over thrown.
And as their beating wings the starlings bear
     At the cold season, in broad, flocking flight,
     So those corrupted spirits were rapt in air
To and fro, down, up, driven in helpless plight
     Comforted by no hope ever to lie
     At rest, nor even to bear a pain more light.
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

Into this torment carnal sinners are thrust,
     So I was told -- the sinners who make their reason
     Bond thrall under the yoke of their lust.
Like as the starlings wheel in the wintry season
     In wide and clustering flocks wing-borne, wind-borne,
     Even so they go, the souls who did this treason,
Hither and thither, and up and down, outworn,
     Hopeless of any rest -- rest, did I say?
     Of the least minishing of their pangs forlorn.
[tr. Sayers (1949)]

     I learned that to such torment are condemned the carnal sinners, who subject reason to desire.
     And as their wings bear the starlings along in the cold season, in wide, dense flocks, so does that blast the sinful spirits; hither, thither, downward, upward, it drives them. No hope of less pain, not to say of rest, ever comforts them.
[tr. Singleton (1970)]

I learned that to this place of punishment
     all those who sin in lust have been condemned,
     those who make reason slave to appetite;
and as the wings of starlings in the winter
     bear them along in wide-spread crowded flocks,
     so does that wind propel the evil spirits:
here, then there, and up and down, it sweeps them
     forever, without hope to comfort them
     (hope, not of taking rest, but of suffering less).
[tr. Musa (1971)]

I learned that those who undergo this torment
     are damned because they sinned within the flesh,
     subjecting reason to the rule of lust.
And as, in the cold season, starlings' wings
     bear them along in broad and crowded ranks,
     so does that blast bear on the guilty spirits:
now here, now there, now down, now up, it drives them.
     There is no hope that ever comforts them --
     no hope for rest and none for lesser pain.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1980)]

I understood it is to this torment
     That are condemned those who sin in the flesh,
     And let their reason give way to their wishes.
And, as starlings are carried on their wings
     In the cold weather, in a vast wavering troop,
     So that breath carries the unfortunate spirits:
It drives them here and there, now down, now up;
     There is no hope ever to comfort them;
     They cannot stop, or ever suffer less pain.
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

          I learned
     They suffer here who sinned in carnal things --
     Their reason mastered by desire, suborned.
As winter starlings ride on their wings
     Form crowded flocks, so spirits dip and veer
     Foundering in the wind's rough buffetings,
Upward or downward, driven here and there
     With never ease from pain nor hope of rest.
[tr. Pinsky (1994), l. 34ff]

     I understood that to this torment were damned the carnal sinners, who subject their reason to their lust.
     nd as their wings carry off the starlings in the cold season, in large, full flocks, so does that breath carry the evil spirits
     here, there, down, up; no hope ever comforts them, not of lessened suffering, much less of rest.
[tr. Durling (1996)]

     I learnt that the carnal sinners are condemned to these torments, they who subject their reason to their lust.
     And, as their wings carry the starlings, in a vast, crowded flock, in the cold season, so that wind carries the wicked spirits, and leads them here and there, and up and down. No hope of rest, or even lesser torment, comforts them.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Caught in this torment, as I understood,
     were those who -- here condemned for carnal sin --
     made reason bow to their instinctual bent.
As starlings on the wing in winter chills
     are borne along in wide and teeming flocks,
     so on these breathing gusts the evil souls.
This way and that and up and down they're borne.
     Here is no hope of any comfort ever,
     neither of respite nor of lesser pain.
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2006)]

I understood that to such torment
     the carnal sinners are condemned,
     they who make reason subject to desire.
As, in cold weather, the wings of starlings
     bear them up in wide, dense flocks,
     so does that blast propel the wicked spirits.
Here and there, down and up, it drives them.
     Never are they comforted by hope
     of rest or even lesser punishment.
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

I learned that sinners blown, tormented in bursting
     Gales, are those condemned by acts of lust,
     Which melt our reason down in desire and thirst.
Just as their wings, stretched wide, hold starlings up
     In great, wide flocks fleeing freezing weather,
     So those windstorms force the wicked souls
This way, that way, down and up together.
     No hope can ever ease their pain, giver comfort;
     They never rest, never suffer less.
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

     I understood this was the punishment
For carnal sinners, who let appetite
Rule reason, and who, once drawn, are now sent --
Like winter starlings by their wings in flight --
Across the bleak sky in a broad, thick flock:
Here, there, now up, now down, the winds dictate
Their track. Small hope of pausing to take stock
Of whether anguish might not soon abate
At least a little, and no hope at all
Of peace.
[tr. James (2013), l. 47ff]

 
Added on 16-Dec-22 | Last updated 16-Dec-22
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More quotes by Dante Alighieri

Now of a sudden Aeneas looked and saw
To the left, under a cliff, wide buildings girt
By a triple wall round which a torrent rushed
With scorching flames and boulders tossed in thunder,
The abyss’s Fiery River. A massive gate
With adamantine pillars faced the stream,
So strong no force of men or gods in war
May ever avail to crack and bring it down,
And high in air an iron tower stands
On which Tisiphone, her bloody robe
Pulled up about her, has her seat and keeps
Unsleeping watch over the entrance way
By day and night. From the interior, groans
Are heard, and thud of lashes, clanking iron,
Dragging chains.

[Respicit Aeneas subito, et sub rupe sinistra
moenia lata videt, triplici circumdata muro,
quae rapidus flammis ambit torrentibus amnis,
Tartareus Phlegethon, torquetque sonantia saxa.
Porta adversa ingens, solidoque adamante columnae,
vis ut nulla virum, non ipsi exscindere bello
caelicolae valeant; stat ferrea turris ad auras,
Tisiphoneque sedens, palla succincta cruenta,
vestibulum exsomnis servat noctesque diesque,
Hinc exaudiri gemitus, et saeva sonare
verbera; tum stridor ferri, tractaeque catenae.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 6, l. 548ff (6.548-560) (29-19 BC) [tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l. 735ff]
    (Source)

Tartarus, the place of punishment for the damned. (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

The hero, looking on the left, espied
A lofty tow'r, and strong on ev'ry side
With treble walls, which Phlegethon surrounds,
Whose fiery flood the burning empire bounds;
And, press'd betwixt the rocks, the bellowing noise resounds
Wide is the fronting gate, and, rais'd on high
With adamantine columns, threats the sky.
Vain is the force of man, and Heav'n's as vain,
To crush the pillars which the pile sustain.
Sublime on these a tow'r of steel is rear'd;
And dire Tisiphone there keeps the ward,
Girt in her sanguine gown, by night and day,
Observant of the souls that pass the downward way.
From hence are heard the groans of ghosts, the pains
Of sounding lashes and of dragging chains.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Aeneas on a sudden looks back, and under a rock on the left sees vast prisons enclosed with a triple wall, which Tartarean Phlegethon's rapid flood environs with torrents of flame, and whirls roaring rocks along. Fronting is a huge gate, with columns of solid adamant, that no strength of men, nor the gods themselves, can with steel demolish. An iron tower rises aloft; and there wakeful Tisiphone, with ehr bloody robe tucked up around her, sits to watch the vestibule both night and day. Hence groans are heard; the grating too of iron, and clank of dragging chains.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

     Sudden Æneas turns his eyes,
When 'neath the left-hand cliff he spies
The bastions of a broad stronghold,
Engirt with walls of triple fold:
Fierce Phlegethon surrounds the same,
Foaming aloft with torrent flame,
     And whirls his roaring rocks:
In front a portal stands displayed,
On adamantine columns stayed:
Nor mortal nor immortal foe
Those massy gates could overthrow
     With battle's direst shocks.
An iron tower of equal might
     In air uprises steep:
Tisiphone, in red robes dight,
Sits on the threshold day and night
     With eyes that know not sleep.
Hark! from within there issue groans,
     The cracking of the thong,
The clank of iron o'er the stones
     Dragged heavily along.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

Then suddenly Aeneas, looking back,
Beneath a cliff upon the left beholds
A prison vast with triple ramparts girt,
Bound which Tartarean Phlegethon, with surge
Of foaming torrents, raves, and thundering whirl
Of rocks. A gateway huge in front is seen,
With columns of the solid adamant.
No strength of man, or even of gods, avails
Against it. Rising in the air a tower
Of iron appears: there sits Tisiphone,
Tucked in her blood-stained robes, and night and day
Guarding the entrance with her sleepless eyes.
Groans from within were heard; the cruel lash.
Then clank of iron, and of dragging chains.
[tr. Cranch (1872), l. 680ff]

Aeneas looks swiftly back, and sees beneath the cliff on the left hand a wide city, girt with a triple wall and encircled by a racing river of boiling flame, Tartarean Phlegethon, that echoes over its rolling rocks. In front is the gate, huge and pillared with solid adamant, that no warring force of men nor the very habitants of heaven may avail to overthrow; it stands up a tower of iron, and Tisiphone sitting girt in bloodstained pall keeps sleepless watch at the entry by night and day. Hence moans are heard and fierce lashes resound, with the clank of iron and dragging chains.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

But suddenly Æneas turned, and lo, a city lay
Wide-spread 'neath crags upon the left, girt with a wall threefold;
And round about in hurrying flood a flaming river rolled,
E'en Phlegethon of Tartarus, with rattling, stony roar:
In face with adamantine posts was wrought the mighty door,
Such as no force of men nor might of heaven-abiders high
May cleave with steel; an iron tower thence riseth to the sky:
And there is set Tisiphone, with girded blood-stained gown,
Who, sleepless, holdeth night and day the doorway of the town.
Great wail and cruel sound of stripes that city sendeth out,
And iron clanking therewithal of fetters dragged about.
[tr. Morris (1900), l. 548ff]

Back looked Æneas, and espied
Broad bastions, girt with triple wall, that frowned
Beneath a rock to leftward, and the tide
Of torrent Phlegethon, that flamed around,
And made the beaten rocks rebellow with the sound.
In front, a massive gateway threats the sky,
And posts of solid adamant upstay
An iron tower, firm-planted to defy
All force, divine or human. Night and day,
Sleepless Tisiphone defends the way,
Girt up with bloody garments. From within
Loud groans are heard, and wailings of dismay,
The whistling scourge, the fetter's clank and din,
Shrieks, as of tortured fiends, and all the sounds of sin.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 72-73; l. 644ff]

Aeneas straightway by the leftward cliff
Beheld a spreading rampart, high begirt
With triple wall, and circling round it ran
A raging river of swift floods of flame,
Infernal Phlegethon, which whirls along
Loud-thundering rocks. A mighty gate is there
Columned in adamant; no human power,
Nor even the gods, against this gate prevail.
Tall tower of steel it has; and seated there
Tisiphone, in blood-flecked pall arrayed,
Sleepless forever, guards the entering way.
Hence groans are heard, fierce cracks of lash and scourge,
Loud-clanking iron links and trailing chains.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

Suddenly Aeneas looks back, and under a cliff on the left sees a broad castle, girt with triple wall and encircled with a rushing flood of torrent flames -- Tartarean Phlegethon, that rolls along thundering rocks. In front stands the huge gate, and pillars of solid adamant, that no might of man, nay, not even the sons of heaven, may uproot in war; there stands the iron tower, soaring high, and Tisiphone, sitting girt with bloody pall, keeps sleepless watch o'er the portal night and day. Therefrom are heard groans and the sound of the savage lash; withal, the clank of iron and dragging of chains.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

As he looked back, Aeneas saw, to his left,
Wide walls beneath a cliff, a triple rampart,
A river running fire, Phlegethon’s torrent,
Rocks roaring in its course, a gate, tremendous,
Pillars of adamant, a tower of iron,
Too strong for men, too strong for even gods
To batter down in warfare, and behind them
A Fury, sentinel in bloody garments,
Always on watch, by day, by night. He heard
Sobbing and groaning there, the crack of the lash,
The clank of iron, the sound of dragging shackles.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

Aeneas looked back on a sudden: he saw to his left a cliff
Overhanging with a spread of battlements, a threefold wall about them,
Girdled too by a swift-running stream, a flaming torrent --
Hell's river of fire, whose current rolls clashing rocks along.
In front, an enormous portal, the door-posts columns of adamant,
So strong that no mortal violence nor even the heaven-dwellers
Can broach it: an iron tower stands sheer and soaring above it,
Whereupon Tisiphone sits, wrapped in a bloodstained robe,
Sleeplessly, day-long, night-long, guarding the forecourt there.
From within can be heard the sounds of groaning and brutal lashing,
Sounds of clanking iron, of chains being dragged along.
[tr. Day-Lewis (1952)]

Aeneas suddenly looks back; beneath
a rock upon his left he sees a broad
fortress encircled by a triple wall
and girdled by a rapid flood of flames
that rage: Tartarean Phlegethon whirling
resounding rocks. A giant gateway stands
in front, with solid adamantine pillars --
no force of man, not even heaven's sons,
enough to level these in war; a tower
of iron rises in the air; there sits
Tisiphone, who wears a bloody mantle.
She guards the entrance, sleepless night and day.
Both groans and savage scourgings echo there,
and then the clang of iron and dragging chains.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 725ff]

Aeneas looked back suddenly and saw under a cliff on his left hand a broad city encircled by a triple wall and washed all round by Phlegethon, one of the rivers of Tartarus, a torrent of fire and flame, rolling and grinding great boulders in its current. There before him stood a huge gate with columns of solid adamant so strong that neither the violence of men nor the heavenly gods themselves could ever uproot them in war, and an iron tower rose into the air where Tisiphone sat with her blood-soaked dress girt up, guarding the entreance and never sleeping, night or day. They could hear the groands from the city, the cruel crack of the lash, the dragging and clanking of iron chains.
[tr. West (1990)]

Aeneas suddenly looked back, and, below the left hand cliff,
he saw wide battlements, surrounded by a triple wall,
and encircled by a swift river of red-hot flames,
the Tartarean Phlegethon, churning with echoing rocks.
A gate fronts it, vast, with pillars of solid steel,
that no human force, not the heavenly gods themselves,
can overturn by war: an iron tower rises into the air,
and seated before it, Tisiphone, clothed in a blood-wet dress,
keeps guard of the doorway, sleeplessly, night and day.
Groans came from there, and the cruel sound of the lash,
then the clank of iron, and dragging chains.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Aeneas
suddenly glances back and beneath a cliff to the left
he sees an enormous fortress ringed with triple walls
and raging around it all, a blazing flood of lava,
Tartarus’ River of Fire, whirling thunderous boulders.
Before it rears a giant gate, its columns solid adamant,
so no power of man, not even the gods themselves
can root it out in war. An iron tower looms on high
where Tisiphone, crouching with bloody shroud girt up,
never sleeping, keeps her watch at the entrance night and day.
Groans resound from the depths, the savage crack of the lash,
the grating creak of iron, the clank of dragging chains.
[tr. Fagles (2006), l. 637ff]

Aeneas stole a quick glance back. To the left, under a cliff, was a massive fortress ringed with triple walls and a raging moat of fire: Phlegethon, hurling thunderous rocks. In front, a giant gate and adamantine pillars. No human force, not even warring gods, could rip them out. An iron tower reached the sky. There Tisiphone crouched wakefully, her bloody cloak hitched high. She watched the entrance day and night. You could hear groans and savage lash-strokes, irons clanking, chains being dragged.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

 
Added on 15-Dec-22 | Last updated 15-Dec-22
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More quotes by Virgil

But I’d sooner have the depths of earth gape open,
and almighty Father hurl me down to Hades
with his bolt, to the pallid shades and inky night,
before I disobey my conscience or its laws.

[Sed mihi vel tellus optem prius ima dehiscat
Vel pater omnipotens adigat me fulmine ad umbras,
Pallentis umbras Erebo noctemque profundam,
Ante, pudor, quam te violo aut tua iura resolvo.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 4, l. 24ff (4.24-29) [Dido] (29-19 BC) [tr. Bartsch (2021)]
    (Source)

Dido, regarding her loyalty to her dead husband even as she falls in love with Aeneas. (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

But first let yawning earth a passage rend,
And let me thro' the dark abyss descend;
First let avenging Jove, with flames from high,
Drive down this body to the nether sky,
Condemn'd with ghosts in endless night to lie,
Before I break the plighted faith I gave!
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

But sooner may earth from her lowest depths yawn for me, or the almighty Sire hurl me by his thunder to the shades, the pale shades of Erebus and deep night, than I violate thee, modesty, or break they laws.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

But first for me may Earth unseal
     The horrors of her womb,
Or Jove with awful thunderpeal
     Dismiss me into gloom,
The gloom of Orcus' dim twilight,
Or deeper still, primeval night,
Ere wound I thee, my woman's fame,
Or disallow thy sacred claim.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

But I would rather that the steadfast earth
Should yawn beneath me, from its lowest depths,
Or the Omnipotent Father hurl me down
With thunder to the shades, the pallid shades
Of Erebus, and night profound, ere thee,
O sacred shame, I violate, or break
Thy laws.
[tr. Cranch (1872)]

But rather, I pray, may earth first yawn deep for me, or the Lord omnipotent hurl me with his thunderbolt into gloom, the pallid gloom and profound night of Erebus, ere I soil thee, mine honour, or unloose thy laws.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

And yet I pray the deeps of earth beneath my feet may yawn,
I pray the Father send me down bolt-smitten to the shades,
The pallid shades of Erebus, the night that never fades,
Before, O Shame, I shame thy face, or loose what thou hast tied!
[tr. Morris (1900)]

But O! gape Earth, or may the Sire of might
Hurl me with lightning to the Shades amain,
Pale shades of Erebus and abysmal Night,
Ere, wifely modesty, thy name I stain,
Or dare thy sacred precepts to profane.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 4, l. 28ff]

But may the earth gape open where I tread,
and may almighty Jove with thunder-scourge
hurl me to Erebus' abysmal shade,
to pallid ghosts and midnight fathomless,
before, O Chastity! I shall offend
thy holy power, or cast thy bonds away!
[tr. Williams (1910)]

But rather, I would pray, may earth yawn for me to its depths, or may the Almighty Father hurl me with his bolt to the shades -- the pale shades and abysmal night of Erebus -- before, O Shame, I violate thee or break thy laws!
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

But I pray, rather,
That earth engulf me, lightning strike me down
To the pale shades and everlasting night
Before I break the laws of decency.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

But no, I would rather the earth should open and swallow me
Or the Father of heaven strike me with lightning down to the shades --
The pale shades and deep night of the Underworld -- before
I violate or deny pure widowhood's claim upon me.
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

But I should call upon the earth to gape
and close above me, or on the almighty
Father to take his thunderbolt, to hurl
me down to the shades, the pallid shadows
and deepest night of Erebus, before
I'd violate you, Shame, or break your laws!
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971)]

But O chaste life, before I break your laws,
I pray that Earth may open, gape for me
Down to its depth, or the omnipotent
With one stroke blast me to the shades, pale shades
Of Erebus and the deep world of night!
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981)]

But I would pray that the earth open to its depths and swallow me or that the All-powerful Father of the Gods blast me with his thunderbolt and hurl me down to the pale shades of Erebus and its bottomless night before I go against my conscience and rescind its laws.
[tr. West (1990)]

But may the earth gape open and swallow me,
May the Father Almighty blast me
Down to the shades of Erebus below
And Night profound, before I violate you,
O Modesty, and break your vows.
[tr. Lombardo (2005)]

I pray that the earth gape deep enough to take me down
or the almighty Father blast me with one bolt to the shades,
the pale, glimmering shades in hell, the pit of night,
before I dishonor you, my conscience, break your laws.
[tr. Fagles (2006), l. 30ff]

 
Added on 14-Jun-22 | Last updated 14-Jun-22
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More quotes by Virgil

There are thousands of things in the Scriptures that everybody believes. Everybody believes the Scriptures are right when they say, “Thou shalt not steal” — everybody. And when they say “Give good measure, heaped up and running over,” everybody says, “Good!” So when they say “Love your neighbor,” everybody applauds that.

Suppose a man believes that, and practices it, does it make any difference whether he believes in the flood or not? Is that of any importance? Whether a man built an ark or not — does that make the slightest difference? A man might deny it and yet be a very good man. Another might believe it and be a very mean man. Could it now, by any possibility, make a man a good father, a good husband, a good citizen? Does it make any difference whether you believe it or not?

Does it make any difference whether or not you believe that a man was going through town and his hair was a little short, like mine, and some little children laughed at him, and thereupon two bears from the woods came down and tore to pieces about forty of these children? Is it necessary to believe that? Suppose a man should say, “I guess that is a mistake. They did not copy that right. I guess the man that reported that was a little dull of hearing and did not get the story exactly right.” Any harm in saying that? Is a man to be sent to the penitentiary for that? Can you imagine an infinitely good God sending a man to hell because he did not believe the bear story?

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
Speech to the Jury, Trial of C. B. Reynolds for Blasphemy, Morristown, New Jersey (May 1887)
    (Source)
 
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More quotes by Ingersoll, Robert Green

Once, when a religionist denounced me in unmeasured terms, I sent him a card saying, “I am sure you believe that I will go to hell when I die, and that once there I will suffer all the pains and tortures the sadistic ingenuity of your deity can devise and that this torture will continue forever. Isn’t that enough for you? Do you have to call me bad names in addition?”

Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) Russian-American author, polymath, biochemist
I, Asimov, ch. 73 “Letters” (1979)
    (Source)
 
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More quotes by Asimov, Isaac

It would be a pretty good bet that the gods of a world like this probably do not play chess and indeed this is the case. In fact no gods anywhere play chess. They haven’t got the imagination. Gods prefer simple, vicious games, where you Do Not Achieve Transcendence but Go Straight To Oblivion; a key to the understanding of all religion is that a god’s idea of amusement is Snakes and Ladders with greased rungs.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Wyrd Sisters (1988)
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If God didn’t want women to be looked at, he would have made ’em ugly — that’s reasonable, isn’t it? God isn’t a cheat; He set up the game Himself — He wouldn’t rig it so that the marks can’t win, like a flat joint wheel in a town with the fix on. He wouldn’t send anybody to Hell for losing in a crooked game.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Stranger in a Strange Land, ch. 27 [Patty] (1961)
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“There are two types of people in this world,” Pete volunteers helpfully, “those who think there are only two types of people in the world, and everybody else.” He sips his wine thoughtfully. “But the first kind don’t put it that way. They usually think in terms of the saved and the damned, with themselves sitting pretty in the lifeboat.”

Charles "Charlie" Stross (b. 1964) British writer
The Apocalypse Codex (2012)
 
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And, when you, looking on your fellow men
Behold them doomed to endless misery,
How can you talk of joy and rapture then?
May God withhold such cruel joy from me!

Anne Brontë (1820-1849) British novelist, poet [pseud. Acton Bell]
“A Word to Calvinists” (28 May 1843)
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You may rejoice to think yourselves secure,
You may be grateful for the gift divine,
That grace unsought which made your black hearts pure
And fits your earthborn souls in Heaven to shine.
But is it sweet to look around and view
Thousands excluded from that happiness,
Which they deserve at least as much as you,
Their faults not greater nor their virtues less?

Anne Brontë (1820-1849) British novelist, poet [pseud. Acton Bell]
“A Word to Calvinists” (28 May 1843)
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The doors of Hell are locked on the inside. I do not mean that the ghosts may not wish to come out of Hell, in the vague fashion wherein an envious man “wishes” to be happy: but they certainly do not will even the first preliminary stages of that self-abandonment through which alone the soul can reach any good. They enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded, and are therefore self-enslaved: just as the blessed, forever submitting to obedience, become through all eternity more and more free.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
The Problem of Pain (1940)
 
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Most of the bad guys in the real world don’t know that they are bad guys. You don’t get a flashing warning sign that you’re about to damn yourself. It sneaks up on you when you aren’t looking.

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
Proven Guilty, ch. 41 (2006)
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The married state, with and without the affection suitable to it, is the completest image of heaven and hell we are capable of receiving in this life.

Richard Steele (1672-1729) Irish writer and politician
Spectator, #479 (9 Sep 1712)
 
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Prosperity has damn’d more Souls, than all the Devils together.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #3963 (1732)
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What is blasphemy? I will give you a definition; I will give you my thought upon this subject. What is real blasphemy?
To live on the unpaid labor of other men — that is blasphemy.
To enslave your fellow-man, to put chains upon his body — that is blasphemy.
To enslave the minds of men, to put manacles upon the brain, padlocks upon the lips — that is blasphemy.
To deny what you believe to be true, to admit to be true what you believe to be a lie — that is blasphemy.
To strike the weak and unprotected, in order that you may gain the applause of the ignorant and superstitious mob — that is blasphemy.
To persecute the intelligent few, at the command of the ignorant many — that is blasphemy.
To forge chains, to build dungeons, for your honest fellow-men — that is blasphemy.
To pollute the souls of children with the dogma of eternal pain — that is blasphemy.
To violate your conscience — that is blasphemy.
The jury that gives an unjust verdict, and the judge who pronounces an unjust sentence, are blasphemers.
The man who bows to public opinion against his better judgment and against his honest conviction, is a blasphemer.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
Trial of C.B. Reynolds for blasphemy (May 1887)
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As long as we love we will hope to live, and when the one dies that we love we will say: “Oh, that we could meet again,” and whether we do or not it will not be the work of theology. It will be a fact in nature. I would not for my life destroy one star of human hope, but I want it so that when a poor woman rocks the cradle and sings a lullaby to the dimpled darling, she will not be compelled to believe that ninety-nine chances in a hundred she is raising kindling wood for hell.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“What Must We Do To Be Saved?” Sec. 11 (1880)
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Heaven is where those are we love, and those who love us. And I wish to go to no world unless I can be accompanied by those who love me here. Talk about the consolations of this infamous doctrine. The consolations of a doctrine that makes a father say, “I can be happy with my daughter in hell;” that makes a mother say, “I can be happy with my generous, brave boy in hell;” that makes a boy say, “I can enjoy the glory of heaven with the woman who bore me, the woman who would have died for me, in eternal agony.” And they call that tidings of great joy.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“What Must We Do To Be Saved?” Sec. 9 (1880)
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Woe to those who make unjust laws,
to those who issue oppressive decrees,
to deprive the poor of their rights
and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
and robbing the fatherless.
What will you do on the day of reckoning,
when disaster comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help?
Where will you leave your riches?

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Isaiah 10:1-3 (NIV)

Alt. trans:
  • GNB: "You are doomed! You make unjust laws that oppress my people. That is how you keep the poor from having their rights and from getting justice. That is how you take the property that belongs to widows and orphans. What will you do when God punishes you? What will you do when he brings disaster on you from a distant country? Where will you run to find help? Where will you hide your wealth?"
  • KJV: "Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless! And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?"
 
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As long as we love we will hope to live, and when the one dies that we love we will say: “Oh, that we could meet again,” and whether we do or not it will not be the work of theology. It will be a fact in nature. I would not for my life destroy one star of human hope, but I want it so that when a poor woman rocks the cradle and sings a lullaby to the dimpled darling, she will not be compelled to believe that ninety-nine chances in a hundred she is raising kindling wood for hell.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“What Must We Do to Be Saved?” Sec. 11 (1880)
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I attacked the doctrine of eternal pain. I hold it in infinite and utter abhorrence. And if there be a God in this universe who made a hell; if there be a God in this universe who denies to any human being the right of reformation, then that God is not good, that God is not just, and the future of man is infinitely dark. I despise that doctrine, and I have done what little I could to get that horror from the cradle, that horror from the hearts of mothers, that horror from the hearts of husbands and fathers, and sons, and brothers, and sisters. It is a doctrine that turns to ashes all the humanities of life and all the hopes of mankind. I despise it.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“Reply to Rev. Drs. Thomas and Lorimer,” speech, Chicago (26 Nov 1882)
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Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveler returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Hamlet, Act 3, sc. 1, l. 84ff [Hamlet] (c. 1600)
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"Fardels" = "burdens"
 
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They say that God says to me, “Forgive your enemies.” I say, “I do”; but he says, “I will damn mine.” God should be consistent. If he wants me to forgive my enemies he should forgive his.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“Orthodoxy” (1884)
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If there is a God who will damn his children forever, I would rather go to hell than to go to heaven and keep the society of such an infamous tyrant. I make my choice now. I despise that doctrine. It has covered the cheeks of this world with tears. It has polluted the hearts of children, and poisoned the imaginations of men.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child” (1877)
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Is it necessary that Heaven should borrow its light from the glare of Hell? Infinite punishment is infinite cruelty, endless injustice, immortal meanness. To worship an eternal gaoler hardens, debases, and pollutes even the vilest soul. While there is one sad and breaking heart in the universe, no good being can be perfectly happy.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Great Infidels” (1881)
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While utterly discarding all creeds, and denying the truth of all religions, there is neither in my heart nor upon my lips a sneer for the hopeful, loving and tender souls who believe that from all this discord will result a perfect harmony; that every evil will in some mysterious way become a good, and that above and over all there is a being who, in some way, will reclaim and glorify every one of the children of men; but for those who heartlessly try to prove that salvation is almost impossible; that damnation is almost certain; that the highway of the universe leads to hell; who fill life with fear and death with horror; who curse the cradle and mock the tomb, it is impossible to entertain other than feelings of pity, contempt and scorn.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Gods” (1876)
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Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Matthew 7:1-2 (KJV)

Alt. trans.:
  • "Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get."(NRSV)
  • "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (NIV)
  • "Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you, for God will judge you in the same way you judge others, and he will apply to you the same rules you apply to others." (GNT)
 
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