The Inferno Canto III
"Through me is the way into the doleful city; through me the way into the eternal pain; through me the way among the people lost. Justice moved my High Maker; Divine Power made me, Wisdom Supreme, and Primal Love. Before me no things were created, but eternal; and eternal I endure: leave all hope, ye that enter." Canto III, pg. 22 Dante reads these words written above the gate of Hell. Virgil tells him he must leave his fears behind him. The cries of pain resounding in the air beyond the gate cause Dante to weep. He sees a massive crowd hurrying behind a blank flag around the dark plain outside of the confines of Hell. They are stung by hornets and wasps, and worms feed on their blood and tears. He asks Virgil who they are. Virgil says they are those who neither sinned nor worshipped God but lived for themselves. The fallen angels who sided with neither God nor Satan are among them. They are barred from both Heaven and Hell. The two approach a great river, the river Acheron, and are met by the ferryman, Charon. Charon tells Dante that he cannot have passage on his boat, but Virgil tells him that the higher spirits will it, and so they cross the river with the rest of the damned who are driven on by a feverish sense of divine justice. On the other side Dante collapses in a fearful faint.