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P. O WONDROUS ] What a horrid and dismal spectacle is here :
M. You must imagine that we are now in the confines of Hell. Prithee come along with me; I will be the same friend to you that the *Sibyl was to Æneas. Nor shall you need a golden bough to present to Proserhine. You see here painted those regions of hell, of which you read a most elegant description in "Virgil. The passage that leads to these infernal dominions was a wide dark cave, through which you pass by a steep rocky descent till you arrive at a gloomy grove, and an unnavigable lake called "Avernus, from which such poisonous vapours arise, that no birds can fly over it, for in their flight they fall down dead, being poisoned with the stench of it.
* Virg. En. 6.
* Spelunca alta fuit, vastoque immamis hiatu,
P. But what monsters are those which I see placed at the very entrance of hell ?
M. Virgil will tell you "what they are. They are those fatal evils which bring destruction and death upon mankind, by the means of which the inhabitants of these dark regions are greatly augmented; and those evils are care, sorrow, diseases, old-age, frights, famine, want, labour, sleep, death, sting of conscience, force, fraud, strife, and war.
* Avernus dicitur quasi &opos, id est, sine avibus. Quod nullar volucres lacum illum, ob lethiferum halitum, practervolare salvae possent.
* Vestibulum ante ipsum, primisque in faucibus Orci,
P. Who is that nasty, old, decrepid, long-bearded : fellow : Or what is is name : M. He is the ferryman of hell; his aname is Charon, which word denotes the ungracefulness of his aspect. In the Greek language he is called IIo;0, w; IPorthmeus], that is, fortitor, ferryman. You see his image painted. by the pencil ; but you may read a more beautiful and elegant picture of him drawn by the pen of b Virgil. P. Why does he tarry with his boat here : M. To take and carry over to the other side of the lake the souls of the dead, which you see flocking to the shores in troops. Yet he takes not all promiscuously who come, but such only whose bodies are buried when they die ; for the “unburied wander about the
* Charon, quasi Acharon, id est, sine gratiá, ab o non, et xπ, gratia.
* Portitor has horrendus aquas et flumina servat
A sordid god : down from his hoary chin *
A length of beard descends, uncomb'd, unclean ;