The Inferno Canto IX
Dante grows pale when he sees that his guide has been thwarted. Virgil tries to calm him, but his broken response betrays an uncertainty, which further unsettles his ward. Dante asks if what they will is possible. Virgil says he has passed into the city before to retrieve a soul from the lowest circle of Hell. The three weeping Furies approach threatening to bring forth Medusa and turn Dante into stone. Virgil turns Dante away from them and covers Dante's eyes with his own hands. The Furies depart and Virgil tells Dante to look across the waters of the marsh, where an angel can be seen walking across the water. The fell spirits flee from the messenger from Heaven and he opens the door, reprimanding the fallen angels. "Why dwells this insolence in you? Why spurn ye at that Will, whose object never can be frustrated, and which often has increased your pain?" Canto IX, pg. 51 The two travelers enter to see a vast plain full of sorrow and torment. Across the plain were flaming chests filled with the burning the souls of all types of heretics. The poets walk between the tombs and the wall of the city.