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From Hell to Heaven
Chapter 171 - Change of scene. Infernal tempter spirits. Cado calls upon God’s grace and help
1. I continue: “Continue to watch and you Miklosch continue your commentary. For not all this company are called to see what shall transpire, yet none should be left ignorant. ’
2. After a short while Miklosch continues: “Ah, this truly is supremely tragi-comic! From the fiery sea, which is still raging back and forth with thunderous din, sending forth countless lightning, numberless shapes are cheerfully on the rise. They look quite graceful from the front, but like half-decayed skeletons from behind. They seem not in the least troubled by the surging, glowing flood, whilst the most intense heat seems to give them intense pleasure. The lightning strikes through them like water through a sieve, without troubling these charming shapes in the least; truly most peculiar! They are multiplying, doing a sort of roundel (dance). One most attractive group moves forward with dainty steps towards Cado, who watches the scene intently, without however seeming to derive visible pleasure, notwithstanding his amazement at these many dancing groups. One group is making gracious movements near the hill, seeming to entertain Cado, as he has smiled at them repeatedly, but he is not getting to see their backs.
3. Now a couple of female dancers with rose-coloured ribbons rush over to him upon the hill, waving to him to join them upon the glowing dance-floor. ’Cado excuses himself, saying: ‘My feet would not stand up to such dance floor, hence I stay. You however stay where it pleases you! I am in no need of such roasting pleasure! But two of them come up, trying to entice him. He commands them not to approach him again however, or he will be obliged to use force. But their continued bewitching frontal attractions and movements are keeping up with his threats. They multiply their frontal attraction displays to keep up with his threats, trying to bewitch him; truly strange! The amazing part is that in spite of all their infernal graces and enticing movements, they don’t change posture for Cado to see their backs. One of them now tries to lasso him with her ribbon.
4. Cado moves back a few paces, picking up a stone and throwing it at the belle’s breast, yelling thunderously: “Step back, infernal beast! If Satan, your master, can’t find better seduction techniques to drag a poor devil still further down into hell, then let him get lost! Does this God-provoking ox think that birds of my feather will let themselves be caught like stupid worldly finches and bull finches on lime-twigs? There he is mistaken; no eagle settles upon a lime twig; tell your ox of a master that!”
5. Now the second work-mate speaks: “But dear friend, you are greatly mistaken about our great princess Minerva! Behold, she is acquainted with your great spirit and wants to confer a little distinction upon you in advance through us genies, after which she will meet you herself in all brilliance of power and strength most amicably, to bedeck you with every honour! And this because you were the only one to stand your ground against the surging fire flood, sent against a few of the great princesses’ cowards. Hence recognize the grace which the most exalted princess of infinity has caused to come over you in recognition of your indomitable strength.”
6. Says Cado: “Is it possible that your exalted princess is even more stupid than you infernal rag-tags?” Says the non-stoned one: “What kind of dreadful question is that! The exalted Minerva, goddess of all wisdom, whose school even Zeus and Apollo attended!” Says Cado: “Oh, I was not aware of the old god riff-raff still existing over here! You too are bound to be a kind of goddess?” Says she: “Well, of course – I am the famous Terpaichore, the dancing goddess! And this one – on whom you outrageously threw the stone, is the glorious Euphrosyne, goddess of cheerfulness. The poor one is now in great pain, bearing it patiently from her great love for you!”
7. Says Cado: “Well, now I know enough to tell you I despise Minerva to the utmost degree, not having any intention to ever accept some honour from her. Tell her that I am indeed a determined foe of the Jew Jes-ja, Jesus (I think that’s his name), and also an opponent of his doctrine in certain respects. But even if I should serve this despised Jewish prophet as a donkey, I endlessly prefer to be in his service than accept the highest honour from your Minerva! And now be gone, all you lovely bunch of prodigies, but see to it that your dance floor doesn’t get too hot!” Says she: “Well, just wait; although we couldn’t soften you up, you shall certainly see Minerva yourself, without however being honoured with a single glance from her!” Says Cado: “Oh, that’s excellent especially the latter; understood?”
8. Continues Miklosch: “Now they withdraw, doing dancing leaps on the way, together with the other groups. Now they have disappeared altogether, but the glowing sea is getting unruly again. The surging is more violent and the surface more glowing and bright. The countless dancing girls are fleeing in panic and disorder over the surface and towards the grotto, plunging into a terrifying abyss in shock and shrieks of pain.
9. Cado’s face looks subdued, and he says to himself: “May the Deity show grace to all creature; and if there is anything to the help of the prophet Jesus, who is supposed to be the Deity’s darling, then let him help too! Because these torments are unspeakably harsh for all living beings, whether body, soul or spirit! The wisest Minerva couldn’t have appreciated their service over-much, since they moaned dreadfully. Oh Thou great almighty Deity, although I am deserving of punishment, please temper justice with mercy! For this punishment for temporal transgressions, whatever their nature, everlastingly, is disproportionately horrible. Allow us to perish, and we shall be eternally satisfied, because anything will please him who is not. I had indeed intended to defy you, almighty God, prior to having tasted the might of dreadful pain. But having now tasted an introduction to eternal duration of infernal pain, I truly lost all desire to ever again show myself disobedient to you. I am surely no coward, but too much is too much! But as one who is stiff-necked I even thank you, oh Thou great, almighty Deity, for the grace of not having already flung me poorest devil into the slough; what shattering sight – this terrifying glow-sea. What unspeakable pain must those buried under the white-glowing surge must be suffering!”
10. Cado quietens down, seeming to cry. He is sighing bitterly and calling out, lamenting: “Oh you most miserable being, play ball in the hands of unfathomable might! What is your fate other than a most dreadful despair from a feeling of impotence! The Earth was assigned you to turn you into a devil through all its temptations. Then the miserable body was taken from you and you now stand there as a most destitute devil, a curse of the inexorable Deity, before the portals of eternal torment! And being a devil, no helping power holds out the feeblest ray of hope for salvation! Where are you two friends now who wanted to bring me to paradise? I was then blind, but am now seeing. Why do you not come now to save me seeing, since you had wanted to save me, blind one, from the abyss? But I scream in vain, as a poor devil’s damned wretchedness shall not penetrate to a divine ear. He who is damned, his lot is the most painful despair eternally. Woe betide me! This is the beginning, followed by no end!”
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