How to deal with the flood of Muslim refugees?
Seems Dante took an oar & beat those sinful refugees trying to get into the boat, using a few choice words as well.
My Guide descended down into the boat,
And then he made me enter after him,
And only when I entered seemed it laden.
Soon as the Guide and I were in the boat,
The antique prow goes on its way, dividing
More of the water than 'tis wont with others.
While we were running through the dead canal,
Uprose in front of me one full of mire,
And said, "Who 'rt thou that comest ere the hour ?"
And I to him: "Although I come, I stay not;
But who art thou that hast become so squalid ?"
"Thou seest that I am one who weeps," he answered.
And I to him: "With weeping and with wailing,
Thou spirit maledict, do thou remain;
For thee I know, though thou art all defiled."
Then stretched he both his hands unto the boat;
Whereat my wary Master thrust him back,
Saying, "Away there with the other dogs !"
Thereafter with his arms he clasped my neck;
He kissed my face, and said: "Disdainful soul,
Blessed be she who bore thee in her bosom.
That was an arrogant person in the world;
Goodness is none, that decks his memory;
So likewise here his shade is furious.
How many are esteemed great kings up there,
Who here shall be like unto swine in mire,
Leaving behind them horrible dispraises !"
And I: "My Master, much should I be pleased,
If I could see him soused into this broth,
Before we issue forth out of the lake."
And he to me: "Ere unto thee the shore
Reveal itself, thou shalt be satisfied;
Such a desire 'tis meet thou shouldst enjoy."
A little after that, I saw such havoc
Made of him by the people of the mire,
That still I praise and thank my God for it.
They all were shouting, "At Philippo Argenti !"
And that exasperate spirit Florentine
Turned round upon himself with his own teeth.
We left him there, and more of him I tell not;
But on mine ears there smote a lamentation,
Whence forward I intent unbar mine eyes.
And the good Master said: "Even now, my Son,
The city draweth near whose name is Dis,
With the grave citizens, with the great throng."
And I: "Its mosques already, Master, clearly
Within there in the valley I discern
Vermilion, as if issuing from the fire
They were." And he to me: "The fire eternal
That kindles them within makes them look red,
As thou beholdest in this nether Hell."
Today, its different, Pope Francis and the Political Elites take a contrary view and this is what we get:
Dante would have never allowed this
This is the first time in the poem that we hear an angry debate between the protagonist and one of the sinners. These are often, as here, couched in a form reminiscent of tenzoni, poems in the low language of street-wise insult, that were a popular pastime of thirteenth-century Italian poets, including Dante. 'Pure' tenzoni were usually sonnets. The second participant usually responded to the insults of the first with the same rhyme scheme (and often the identical rhyme words) deployed by the original attacker. Dante's adaptation of the technique in Inferno reveals its roots in this form. For an overview of the genre see Matteo Pedroni and Antonio Stäuble, eds., Il genere “tenzone” nelle letterature romanze delle origini (Ravenna: Longo, 1999).
And of course Dante was praised by Virgil for his harsh words and actions used against a sinful lot:
Looks like Dante's advice was not heeded:
After Virgil thrusts Filippo Argenti (see the note to Inf. VIII.61) back into the Styx, fending off his attempted wrathful assault, he congratulates Dante for his harsh words to this sinner (vv. 37-39). His words are reminiscent of those spoken of Christ in Luke 11:27: 'Blessed is the womb that bore you.' Sinclair cites a biblical text as being in concert with the spirit of the protagonist's righteous indignation here: 'Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate you.... I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them my enemies' (Psalms 139:21-22). While to most it seems that Virgil's approving words and Dante's righteous anger are entirely appropriate as the protagonist learns to harden himself against feeling either pity or fear when confronted by the damned, a minority has given voice to the doubt that we should read either Virgil as authoritative here or, indeed, Dante as being morally correct in his invective. See, among others, Rocco Montano (Storia della poesia di Dante, vol. I [Naples: Quaderni di Delta, 1962]), pp. 418-21; J. Stephen Russell (“Inferno VIII: Dante's Anger and the Sins of Misreading,” in Literary and Historical Perspectives of the Middle Ages: Proceedings of the 1981 SEMA Meeting, ed. P. W. Cummins and others [Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 1982], pp. 200-7); and Christopher Kleinhenz (“Inferno VIII,” Dante's “Divine Comedy”, Introductory Readings, I: “Inferno,” ed. T. Wlassics [Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia, 1990]), pp. 101-4. Such a view, if accepted, would make the reader's task a nearly impossible one. If we cannot trust the text when both protagonist and guide are in full accord, when can we ever trust it?
Some read Filippo's pridefulness as being his 'real' sin, and not wrath. Wrath is his besetting vice, but many others may come into play in him or in any sinner. The notions that our disposition to sin must be unitary has no base either in medieval ethical treatises or in ordinary human experience.
From the cries of others the reader finally learns the name of this sinner (Dante has known exactly who he is – see Inf. VIII.39). Filippo Argenti was a Black Guelph from a powerful Florentine family. His real name was Filippo Adimari de' Cavicciuoli, but he supposedly was known as Filippo Argenti because he had his horse's hooves shod in silver (argento). A number of early commentators relate that his brother, Boccaccino, got hold of Dante's possessions when the poet was exiled. If that is true, we have here a pretty clear case of authorial revenge upon a particularly hated enemy. See Francesco Forti, 'Filippo Argenti' (ED.1970.2), pp. 873-76.
Landing a success