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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,
Scruped, tuta lacu migro memorumque tenebris;
Quam super haud ullae poterant impune volantes
Tendere iter pennis: talis sese halitus atris
Faucibus effundens supera ad conveaca ferebat;
Unde locum Grail diarerunt nomine ./lvernum. MEn. 6.
Deep was the cave, and downward as it went
From the wide mouth, a rocky rough descent;
And here th’ access a gloomy grove defends,
And there th’ unnavigable lake extends,
O'er whose unhappy waters, void of light,
No bird presumes to steer his airy flight,
Such deadly stenches from the depth arise,
And steaming sulphur, which infect the skies;
Hence do the Grecian bards their legends make,
And give the name Avernus to the lake.

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,
Luctus et ultrices posuére cubilia Curae :
Pallentesque habitant JMorbi, tristesque Senectus,
Et JMetus, et malesuada Fames, et turpis Egestas,
( Terribiles visu formae ) Lethumque, Laborque.
Tum consanguineus Lethi Sopor, et mala mentis
Gaudia, mortiferumque adverso in limine Bellum,
Ferreique Eumendum thalami, et Discordia demens
Vipereum crinem vittis inneaca cruentis. AEm. 6.
Just in the gate, and in the jaws of Hell,
Revengeful Care and sullen Sorrow dwell;
And pale Diseases, and repining Age,
Want, Fear, and Famine’s unresisted rage :
Here Toil and Death, and Death’s half brother, Sleep.
(Forms terrible to view) their sentry keep.
With anxious Pleasures of a guilty mind,
Deep Fraud before, and open Force behind;
The Furies’ iron beds, and Strife that shakes
Her hissing tresses, and unfolds her snakes,

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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
Terribili squalore Charon : cui plurima mento
Canities incultajacet : stant lumina flamma,
Sordidus eac humeris modo dependet amictus.
Ipse ratem conto subigit, velisque ministrat,
Et ferrugines, subvectat corpora cymba,
.Jam senior ;rsed cruda Deo viridisque semectus. JEn 6.
There Charon stands, who rules the dreary coasts;

A sordid god : down from his hoary chin *

A length of beard descends, uncomb'd, unclean ;
His eyes like hollow furnaces on fire ;
A girdle, foul with grease, binds his obscene attire.
He spreads his canvass, with his pole he steers;
The freights of flitting ghosts in his thin bottom bears.
He look’d in years, yet in his years were seen
A youthful vigour, and autumnal green.
* Centum errant annos, volitant haec litora circum :
Tum demum admissi stagna eacoptata revisunt. Virg. En, 6.
A hundred years they wander on the shore,
At length, their penance done, are wafted o'er,

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