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Title: Through Hell with Hiprah Hunt
Author: Young, Arthur
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                         [Illustration: SATAN.

 King of the Infernal Empire, and President of the "Consolidated Penal
                      Industries” of his realm.]

                             THROUGH HELL


                              HIPRAH HUNT


       A Series of Pictures and Notes of Travel Illustrating the
         Adventures of a Modern Dante in the Infernal Regions

          Also Other Pictures of the Same Subterranean World


                             ARTHUR YOUNG


                               NEW YORK
                    ZIMMERMAN’S, 156 FIFTH AVENUE.

                           Copyright, 1901.
                           ARTHUR H. YOUNG.
                         All rights reserved.

            Press of C. J. O’Brien, 227 William St., N. Y.

              [Illustration: A List of Illustrations]

Frontispiece                                                       Satan

Portrait of Dante                                                   ”  9

Portrait of Hiprah Hunt                                             ” 11

Disordered musings                                               Canto 1

Something happened                                                  ”  2

On the way down                                                     ”  3

The American entrance                                               ”  4

Compelled to register                                               ”  5

Confirmed writers of bad poetry                                     ”  6

A joke on a joker                                                   ”  7

A thickly populated corner                                          ”  8

Hiprah Hunt in the presence of the Devil                            ”  9

Hiprah Hunt’s arrival at the Central Station                        ”  10

This is Captain Charon                                              ”  11

Crossing the River Styx                                             ”  12

The sheep                                                           ”  13

Where Judge Minos administers justice                               ”  14

Tailors who wouldn’t learn their trade                              ”  15

Mashers                                                             ”  16

Slow people made active                                             ”  17

He climbed up in the world                                          ”  18

Not a pleasure excursion                                            ”  19

Fate of a hypnotist                                                 ”  20

He was too suspicious                                               ”  21

The professional tramps                                             ”  22

Boring a bore                                                       ”  23

He stole an invention                                               ”  24

He walked over others                                               ”  25

He ate like a pig                                                   ”  26

The department for lawyers                                          ”  27

The political cartoonists                                           ”  28

Hunting scapegoats                                                  ”  29

The monster tip system                                              ”  30

Making the best of it                                               ”  31

The inventor of the barb-wire fence                                 ”  32

A great event                                                       ”  33

The fall of deceiving land agents                                   ”  34

A task of perpetual shovelling                                      ”  35

Exempt                                                              ”  36

He poked about in other people’s affairs                            ”  37

The reckless talkers                                                ”  38

Hiprah Hunt takes a ride                                            ”  39

Bribe-taking aldermen                                               ”  40

The stock jobbers’ pit                                              ”  41

Playing tag                                                         ”  42

A case of selfishness                                               ”  43

A haughty conductor                                                 ”  44

The female department                                               ”  45

The cold-storage pit                                                ”  46

He wouldn’t blanket his horse                                       ”  47

The conceit taken out of them                                       ”  48

A careless dentist                                                  ”  49

Having fun with a brutal policeman                                  ”  50

Exciting sport                                                      ”  51

Penalty for cat starving                                            ”  52

Satan on a tour of inspection                                       ”  53

A Hell theatre                                                      ”  54

The flatterers                                                      ”  55

Arrival of a football champion                                      ”  56

A captain of the police force                                       ”  57

The quack doctors                                                   ”  58

A swearing man                                                      ”  59

The public spitter                                                  ”  60

A lively dance                                                      ”  61

Shooting the infernal chute                                         ”  62

For chronic grumblers                                               ”  63

The annual parade                                                   ”  64

The farewell banquet                                                ”  65


     This volume contains seventy sketches and a dozen full-page
     pictures now printed for the first time. It also includes most of
     the drawings originally published in “Hell-up-to-Date.” Others were
     published in the “Cosmopolitan Magazine,” and a few were printed in
     the New York “Evening Journal” and “Judge.” Acknowledgment is due
     the Editors of the publications mentioned for permission to reprint
     them in book form.


The hero of this hazardous exploration through Hell is =Hiprah Hunt=, a
lecturer, reformer, ex-preacher, poet and president of a Dante Club.

=Hiprah Hunt has no tolerance for the modern philosophy that denies the
existence of Hell.= As a preacher he was what men of the present day call
a “back number.”

=Despite “higher criticism” he continually and earnestly advocates the
justice of future punishment=, and for this reason is known in the town
where he lives as “Hell-fire Hunt.”

Not unlikely his belief in a Demon-haunted Hell ruled over by a personal
Devil is in part due to atavism, for Mr. Hunt is a descendant of the
illustrious Hunts who lent their aid to the extermination of witches in
that part of New England where witchcraft once flourished.

As President of a Dante Club he collected many books on the subject of
future retribution. Among them (some 80 volumes) he chiefly prizes
Dante’s Inferno. Whenever he is given an opportunity he will deliver a
lecture on Dante and his work. In short, Hell books have so thoroughly
absorbed his mind that he becomes convinced that the under-world is as
much a reality as the upper one.

As a result of continual thinking on one subject, and that subject a hot
one, it was frequently hinted that Mr. Hunt’s brains were shrivelling
up. Whether that is true or not, =he became imbued with the idea that he
must find the Infernal Regions and prove to the world that the place is
not a myth=.

In the Fall of 1900 Mr. Hunt mysteriously disappeared from home. For six
weeks nothing was seen or heard of him. When he returned he set to work
immediately and wrote a poem consisting of sixty-eight cantos of blank
verse, curiously mixed with prose, quotations and numerous foot-notes.
=This poem, he declares, is the account of a six weeks’ journey through

Mr. Hunt’s original manuscript which is in possession of the writer,
together with odd charts, maps, diagrams and thermometric records, all
of them bearing marks of having come from a very hot region, are strong
proofs of the authenticity of his exploration.

Perhaps it is unnecessary to add that the author has taken many
liberties with Mr. Hunt’s text. The condition of the documents
necessitated certain guess-work, and he has freely added a number of
Inferno pictures that were drawn long before Hiprah Hunt’s valuable
papers came to his notice.

=If he has illuminated the dark and serious subject with a suspicion of
fun--it is meant to convey the hope he feels for all sinners like
himself, that some relief of a slightly humorous nature may be found
even in Hell.=

                                                                  A. Y.

There are many portraits of Dante giving a more soulfully poetic cast to
his countenance and which are much more pleasing for admirers of the
great Florentine, to look upon, than the one reproduced here; but this
is the first portrait ever published which is intended to portray the
way the poet must really have felt at the termination of his trip
through the Infernal Regions.


A portrait of Hiprah Hunt in his library which contains the following
well-thumbed books: John Bunyan’s “Sighs from Hell,” Jonathan Edwards’s
pamphlet on “The Justice of Endless Punishment,” Christopher Love’s
“Hell’s Terror,” William Cooper’s “Three Discourses Concerning the
Reality, the Extremity, and the Absolute Eternity of Hell Punishments,”
Jeremy Taylor on “Pains of Hell,” and Alexander Jephson’s “The Certainty
and Importance of a Future Judgment and Everlasting Retribution.”

Besides these he possesses several histories of the Devil and many old
prints pertaining to the same subject.


_Yours Infernally
Hiprah Hunt._]


In the beginning Mr. Hunt tells how he passed the day in a large city
where he delivered his unique lecture on Dante, and spent the rest of
his time sight-seeing and searching for literature on his favorite

Tired and confused with the busy scenes and active incidents of the day,
he is returning by night train to his home. As usual, when traveling, he
reads his Divine Comedy. He has not read far when he is overcome by a
sense of drowsiness. Sleepily, he reviews the events of the day in the
bustling city while musing over the grewsome scenes in his book. What
with the thoughts of high buildings, cable cars, of arch-heretics in
their fiery tombs, slot machines, automobiles and gibbering ghosts, of
swift-running elevators and headless spirits, of well-dressed gamblers
and “Adam’s evil brood” at large, his mind is truly in a chaotic state.




An irresistible impulse prompts him to walk to the rear platform of the
car. A sudden lurch of the train as it turns round a curve in the track
and he finds himself lying prone by the road side.

On either hand there stretches a boundless forest of the wildest
desolation. Overhead a ghostly night wind ploughs through the tree tops
and wails and sobs like a lost spirit. Amidst a whizzing of invisible
bats and the hoots of melancholy owls, he struggles to his feet. Combing
the gravel out of his long locks he sets forth in a southeasterly




Through briars and bushes, over prickly plants and vines that are laced
together like a tangled mass of serpents in the innermost recesses of
deep chasms and black ravines, he stumbles toward the Unseen. When his
emotions have abated he finds himself alone in the heart of a forest,
where trees are so thickly crowded that the air is dense and hard to

Finally, he comes to a projecting precipice from which he peers and
discerns a dim light through the sluggishly rising smoke. As he crawls
lower he hears voices, and a great commotion. An odor of burning
brimstone fills the air. He swings out from an over-hanging rock and
allows himself to drop.


[Illustration: ON THE WAY DOWN.]


Hiprah Hunt is at the American entrance to Hell. He stands amidst a
throng of Demons, sinners and employees of the realm. Crowds of men are
getting overcoats checked and buying fans. He buys one himself, and also
secures a guide book, locating the different sections and departments.
He sees over the portal’s lofty arch the words “Leave all hope on the
outside.” This demand he will not entirely accede to. He retains a
little, thinking he may need it later on.

Because Mr. Hunt shows no evidence of having died, the goblin custodian
who watches the entrance will not allow him to pass. Mr. Hunt does not
deny that he is alive, but explains that he is about the only prominent
champion of future punishment living and deserves special consideration.

He further argues that inasmuch as Dante was admitted without question
through the Italian entrance, he ought to be granted an equal privilege
on the American side.

The goblin, after a lengthy telephone consultation, withdraws his
objection, and Mr. Hunt proceeds.




On passing through the long entrance corridor Mr. Hunt hears a low
mutter as of thunder, which grows louder as he advances.

A train load of souls comes screaming through the gloom. In the distance
he sees the train cross a bridge and eventually come to a stop. The
passengers step out and are driven to a place of registration. Here they
write their names and addresses in a large book.




Coming out of the cavern, spoken of in the preceding Canto, the explorer
crosses the distant bridge and enters another densely wooded region.
Here he finds the souls of those who are not quite bad enough to be
punished severely, but are allowed to exist “desiring without hope.” He
is approached by shrouded spirits who describe themselves as a school of
poets, and instantly recalling how Dante in his peregrinations ran
across Homer, he enquires for that worthy.

He learns that this is quite another group to that in which the ancient
bard moves. These are the unworthies who spent their time on earth
writing bad poetry when they would have been better engaged sawing wood
or washing dishes.




In the same vicinity Mr. Hunt finds a soul chained to a rock, wearing a
heavy sheet-iron dunce cap.

This is the man who was fond of playing jokes on others, but who was
wont to become furious when the joke was on himself. The explorer asks
him a few questions and passes on, leaving the captive strangely


[Illustration: A JOKE ON A JOKER.]


Mr. Hunt reaches the boundary of the forest and finds himself
overlooking a vast arena in which as far down as he can see there reigns
a scene of wild activity.

The picture on the opposite page was drawn from a crude and indistinct
diagram made by Mr. Hunt. The artist does not vouch for the correctness
of every detail in the drawing, having restored many signs and placards
which in Mr. Hunt’s original were almost obliterated.




The explorer now determines to find Satan. To avoid the difficulties
that Dante met with, it is Mr. Hunt’s purpose to get a permit to pass
through the Empire from the Devil himself. Though Demons pursue him with
persistency he succeeds in reaching a huge arched entrance in an immense
purple rock. Over it is a blazing inscription reading: “Satan’s office.”
Here Mr. Hunt pauses. For a moment he is afraid. He regains his courage,
and, mounting an elaborate fire-escape, enters. “As a night-hawk cleaves
a side flight in the sky,” says the poet-explorer, “so the great
arch-enemy of mankind wheeled round in his chair as I entered.”

Hiprah Hunt finds himself in great danger of being cast into Hell-fire
before he can make known the object of his presence. When he explains
that he has been a lifelong expounder of the future punishment theory,
that his purpose is to explore the region and go back to earth with the
proof of his belief, Satan shows great courtesy. He immediately
telephones to the heads of the departments in his realm to assemble at
Plutoblitzz, the Central Station of the region, and to receive Mr. Hunt
with a great ovation.




In this Canto the explorer describes his arrival at the Central Station,
accompanied by Satan.

He is met by a vast crowd of the Demon population and a reception
committee of distinguished citizens.

After the formality of the reception he is beseiged by delegations from
labor unions, secret societies, members of the Fire Department and Golf
clubs, autograph fiends, insurance agents, and representatives of the
three official newspapers “The Daily Groan,” “Hot Times” and “The Yelp.”

After the bands have ceased playing and the tumult subsides Satan
announces that Mr. Hunt will make a speech.


(From an extra edition of the Daily Groan.)

     “Your Majesty, Demons, Fiends and Imps:

     “I thank you for this ovation. This, the Hell of my forefathers,
     with such improvements as you have made, is good enough for me.

     “So long as man waxes fat in folly and vice on earth without a
     worried conscience, the world will need this region and must
     throttle the voice of the so-called ‘wise-man’ who says it’s a
     myth. (Flapping of wings and roar of thunder.)

     “I stand here on ground trod by the immortal Dante (loud cheers for
     Dante and flash of green fire), that great Italian who blazed the
     way for my own coming. To carry on the work of this great man is no
     easy task; but with the permission of your most Imperial High Ruler
     and yourselves, I hope to get about and see a few things that will
     startle millions of people who have ceased to be frightened at the
     thought of eternal damnation. (Loud reports of bursting

     “Doesn’t it serve men right who think they can go through life
     cheating, cursing, liquor-drinking, lying and raising Cain
     generally to find in the end that it’s time to pay up. (A thousand
     voices: Sure! Give it to ’em; Hunt’s all right.) On all the winds
     of the upper world are borne the croaking of the crows of modern
     thought. But depend upon it, one voice, the voice of Hiprah Hunt,
     shall always be raised against them in defence of this great
     Infernal Empire.

     “Again I thank you all, particularly the musicians, for this
     tribute of esteem.”

(Part of the band then strike up the “magic-fire scene,” from “Die
Walküre,” while the rest play “He’s a jolly good fellow” in rag time.
The crowd cheers lustily and the affair ends with a magnificent display
of fireworks.)




[Illustration: MAP OF A HELL DISTRICT.

(From a design by Mr. Hunt.)]


Mr. Hunt courteously declines the aid of guides whose services are
offered by Satan preferring, as he explains, to go unattended, and makes
his way to what is known as the first district of Hell.

Here he sees old Charon the pilot, who started his career as the Styx
ferryman with a boat hardly large enough to hold two college professors,
but who now runs a large double-decked steamer fitted out with modern
improvements and accommodating eight hundred souls.




Mr. Hunt sees Charon’s boat take on a load of passengers. He watches it
pull out from the pier and cross the river. An orchestra, consisting of
a bass horn and an accordion, supplies the torture on the run from shore
to shore. Wearing nothing but a mackintosh and gaiters the Captain
stands on the roof of the pilot house grimly scanning the black waves.




Coming into the second district Mr. Hunt is debating which way he shall
proceed, when he hears a scuffling on the heated asphalt road behind
him. He turns and sees passing a drove of human-footed sheep, led by a
monkey, whose contortions they are compelled to imitate. Mr. Hunt
consults his guide book and learns that these are the people who did
things because others did them, never taking the trouble to think for


[Illustration: THE SHEEP.]


The explorer has not journeyed far in the first department of the second
district when he beholds Minos, the Infernal Judge.

Up the terraced enclosure, arranged directly in front of the Judge, in
rows of hundreds and extending as far as the eye can reach, Mr. Hunt
sees the sinners awaiting their turn to be sentenced.

When the ill-fated soul stands before this Supreme Court he confesses

An Irish policeman leads a trembling sinner to trial.

“Well, what have you to say?” asks the Judge in a loud voice.

“Your Honor, I confess that I have always been somewhat obstinate.”

“Yes; I know you,” answers the Judge, “you are one of these pig-headed
fellows--you never admit it even if you know you are wrong. Officer,
remove him to the stubborn district.”




Taking his way down the rugged slope Mr. Hunt comes to the hot region
where people who took no pride in their work are punished.

Here he finds the tailors who made ill-fitting clothes steaming and
fuming, attired in their own misfits.

In different sections of the same department he sees engravers,
carpenters, artists and various other offenders of the same class.

This discovery may serve as a warning to all those on earth who,
thinking rather of the money they will gain by it than of its quality,
hurry and slight their work.




Next, by permission, he goes along the edge of a void, and, turning to
the right, comes to the district where street-corner mashers are

“Under huge flat rocks they feebly flounder, while their despondent
murmurs fill the haunted air.”


[Illustration: “MASHERS.”]


Consulting his map Mr. Hunt chooses a road that leads down to the gulf
where slow people learn a lesson in activity.

His guide book explains who a few of the slow people are.

The merchant who readily agrees to deliver goods at a specified time and
invariably fails to do so.

The person who blocks a line of people at a railway ticket office while
asking needless questions.

The business man who spends three hours at lunch knowing that his
partner cannot leave the office until he returns.

The explorer inspects the machinery that is devised for the punishment
of these individuals and then journeys on his way.




Passing through a gloomy ravine, Mr. Hunt’s curiosity is aroused by a
sound of fiendish revelry.

Following the direction of the noise he comes into that region which,
according to his guide book, is occupied by the “fools of success.”

Here he finds the man who climbed up in the world and then forgot his

“As a cat clings to a tree trunk,” says the poet, “while dogs dance
’round with laughing tongues,” so this malefactor hangs high up a
spike-covered pole, while “fiends make merry at his sorry plight.”

Keeping well out of view the explorer continues his travels.




While cautiously proceeding down a smoke-swept region of the third
section, Mr. Hunt sees the Limitless Express of the Grand Bump Railroad
shrieking and rocking on its way to the bottomless pit.




Mr. Hunt crosses an aqueduct and finds himself in a district where
people are tormented who have defrauded or abused others by the use of
hypnotic power. It appears that the Demons have the power of hypnotism
themselves and treat their victims as the latter treated others while on


[Illustration: FATE OF A HYPNOTIST.]


The poet relates the punishment of such as were too suspicious.

Here he finds the man who suspects that everybody is trying to cheat
him, and also the man who thinks that every philanthropist has pecuniary
reasons for his good deeds.

These and many others are turned into a rocky region to be chased and
tormented by strange animals called Bunklefrights and Snoopflaps. These
animals have large, piercing eyes, and sharp-pointed tails and toe nails
with which they prick their victims, laughing the while with a peculiar
sound that reminds Mr. Hunt of a violent bronchial cough.


[Illustration: HE WAS TOO SUSPICIOUS.]


Mr. Hunt takes his way down a long declivity up which the blinding steam
hurries “as a blizzard sweeps up a prairie slope.” Here he looks out
over the vast territory where the professional tramps are made
miserable. They are compelled to submit to everlasting baths in vats of
boiling water.




Remounting by the same path which led to the department spoken of in the
preceding Canto, the explorer now passes over into the sixth section.

His guide book tells him that here the bores are punished.

He takes note of the penalty that follows the man who continually talks
about himself, and others of the bore species; then, showing his
passport, he steps into a descending elevator, with instructions to be
put off at the next station.


[Illustration: BORING A BORE.]


Alighting from the elevator Mr. Hunt makes his way to the district where
he sees the conscience-thumping machines at work, an illustration of
which is in his guide book.

A manufacturer who has taken the invention of a poor man and made a
fortune out of it, without compensating the inventor, is found bound to
the platform of one of these machines underneath a trip-hammer that
plays an eternal tattoo on his sinful old head.


[Illustration: HE STOLE AN INVENTION.]


Still in the same department he sees many more souls who walked over the
rights of others in an excess of sordid ambition.

High up over a narrow rushing river, his body stretched and fastened
from bank to bank, he finds one of these culprits serving as a
footbridge over which the Demons walk.

       *       *       *       *       *

This department also contains the obnoxious photographers, who, ignoring
all rights of privacy, practiced “snap-shooting” on whomsoever they


[Illustration: HE WALKED OVER OTHERS.]


On a shelf of the rugged slope our explorer now sees a malefactor whose
fate after all seems hardly adequate to his fault. He is the man who
eats in defiance of all laws of decency. The days when he spaded pie
into his mouth or drew soup through his mustache with a sound like a
leaking hydrant, are now but a hideous memory.


[Illustration: HE ATE LIKE A PIG.]


Mr. Hunt now proceeds onward to the bridge that crosses the ninth chasm.

In this region he finds the lawyers, every one of whom is gagged.

The explorer reflects on the necessity of this penalty and passes on.




Just across the River Lethe there lies a small territory where the
explorer finds the caricaturists who ridiculed public men for money--not

He describes their punishment, which is to look forever at pictures of
themselves made after they have been rolled, kneaded, pulled and twisted
out of all semblance to their former selves.

Mr. Hunt is not disturbed by pangs of pity as he journeys on.



(A Little Distorted Themselves.)]


Through an almost interminable cavern the explorer now comes out into a
vast mountainous region called the “Devil’s Hunting Ground.”

Corrupt men in public office, who combined and threw the blame of their
guilt on one man are found in this region transformed into wild animals,
for the amusement of Satan’s sharp-shooting devils.

Though they escaped public abuse on earth and prided themselves on not
being “found out,” it is different in Hell.

Here they are scapegoats themselves, and are hunted and shot by Demons
armed with blunderbusses that fire five pounds of salt with one
revolution of a wheel trigger.




Mr. Hunt’s hat is blown off by a stormy blast, and going down a deep
ravine to recover it, he beholds a hideous monster called the Tip

This animal sits upright on its two feet. It is a beast of mouth and
stomach. Its height is that of twenty men. On the full length of its
pale green front a ladder rests. Men toil up this ladder with vats of
food and pour the contents into the animal’s hungry maw.

Their labor never ends, for the monster’s appetite increases in
proportion as it is fed. Perhaps it is just as well, for the explorer
discovers that the men who have this work to do are the porters and
waiters who neglected and insulted customers when not tipped.




Mr. Hunt now takes the Infernal Elevated Train and gets off at the
district where editors are punished.

He finds them classified in his guide book and takes note of a few of

“Editors who never credited stolen articles.”

“Editors who threatened public men with abuse if they refused to do as
they dictated.”

“Editors who were very careful not to publish disagreeable truths about
people of wealth, and so-called ‘social station,’ but never hesitated to
print anything about people outside this select circle.”

Huge red-hot waste baskets hold them, the worst offenders being at the

[Illustration: EDITORS.]

[Illustration: MAKING THE BEST OF IT.

Bad Actor: “Well, anyway, there’s one comforting thing about this
region; no matter how bad one acts, he can’t get a frost.”]


Aimlessly making his way through the crackling heat, Mr. Hunt comes face
to face with the inventor who is responsible for the barb-wire fence.

His lot is not a pleasant one. He is compelled to sit forever on his own




In this Canto Mr. Hunt describes the meeting with that historic
personage, Farinata.

He relates a conversation he had with Dante which interests the

Farinata tells him also of the burning hardships and similarity in the
temperature which he has endured for several hundred years. He remembers
but one holiday in all that time, the occasion being a ball game gotten
up by a picked nine of American sinners against the world.


[Illustration: A GREAT EVENT.]


Close by Mr. Hunt learns the fate of deceptive land agents.

These men who urged poor people to migrate to a barren country under the
impression that it was a paradise, and advertised beautiful homes in
ideal locations which turned out to be the reverse of the printed
descriptions, are lifted high in the car of an observation elevator with
promises of a fine view of the surrounding country and choice of cool
corner lots. When at a great height a Demon pulls a lever, a trap-door
opens and the agent falls into a furnace of brimstone fire.




In the twelfth district most of the brimstone mines of the region are

Here confined to hard labor are many kinds of culprits. Among them Mr.
Hunt thinks he recognizes an old neighbor who was too lazy to shovel the
snow from his sidewalk.

       *       *       *       *       *

While watching these laborers a Demon overseer calls his attention to a
brood of spirits leaping and tumbling amongst the distant crags.

They are embezzlers, carrying heavy bags of stones and being pursued by
swift-winged devils.




Still in the same gulf the explorer sees a sign which points to the
“trash dumping ground.” Curious to see what is called trash in Satan’s
domain, he follows the road that leads down through the red rock and
comes to a pit “which all the words of Italy’s bard would fail in power
to describe.”

In the bottom of this vast hole heaps of gnarled and shrivelled-up souls
have fallen and are still falling. He learns that these are the souls of
people who continually tried to underrate, or detract from, the success
of others.


[Illustration: EXEMPT.

Guard: “Two new arrivals from the Metropolis.”

District Superintendent: “Who are they?”

Guard: “Woman says she’s been running a boarding house for twenty years,
and man says he’s been living in boarding houses for twenty years.”

District Supt.: “Make them comfortable; both have had Hell enough.”]


“Standing like patient oxen in their stalls,” Mr. Hunt discovers a row
of hapless souls, each held tightly by the nose in the grip of a vice.

This is the just penalty ordained for those who habitually intruded
their noses into the affairs of others.

       *       *       *       *       *

In an enclosure of the same district notorious prize-fighters, wearing
eiderdown mittens, are compelled to fight big brawny Demons wearing
spiked gloves.




In the next district, which reeks with stifling odors, Mr. Hunt
discovers “reckless talkers” eating their own words, which are served
red hot on platters in the form of tarts.

Out of curiosity Mr. Hunt takes a bite of this Infernal food. For an
instant he feels “as one ripped inwards, then sickened at sea.”

He remains in an unconscious condition for a long time, but is aroused
finally by a clap of thunder and again slowly resumes his journey.




Being weak from the result of testing Infernal food, the explorer
accepts an invitation to ride in an automobile to the next district.

Over the same territory that Dante traversed afoot in the year 1314, Mr.
Hunt now travels in this modern fashion.




Hugging a rocky ledge closely, Mr. Hunt gropes his way to a lower plain
in the same region where he sees the punishment meted out to
bribe-taking aldermen.

These are shoveled into ovens built for that purpose.

It is Mr. Hunt’s opinion that under pressure of the fierce heat the
victims may regret at times that they accepted bribes for the giving of
contracts and franchises.




Up through the Stygian darkness a terrible tumult of voices smites the
ear of the explorer. Peering down the jaws of a deep pit he sees the
souls of the bucket-shop gamblers.

Through the flickering red light that pervades this region the explorer
makes his way to the next district.




In what is called the Carousal of Hell, Mr. Hunt sees the long-legged

Some of these have legs thirty feet long. They hop about, chasing
victims, in a game of tag. The feature of the game that makes it
interesting for the devils is that they are never “it.”

People who “jump at conclusions” are some of the unfortunates who are
kept dodging and guessing in this department.




Under the escort of a Demon overseer, Mr. Hunt is directed into a
department where he witnesses the punishment of a man who on earth wore
fine clothes, while his wife and children went about in shabby attire.
Here the victim is made to wear an old dress of pink calico and a bright
green hat with yellow trimmings, set on sideways.


[Illustration: A CASE OF SELFISHNESS.]


Mr. Hunt finds himself on the corner of Brimstone Avenue and Ripsnort
Place, where he sees that type of street-car conductor who, if he did
not happen to feel in the mood, would not stop his car as you stood
gesticulating wildly for his attention. Chained to a red hot griddle,
where the cars pass continually to and from the foot-ball games, he
shouts in vain to the grip-fiend and Demon-passengers for relief.

He is lucky if nothing worse is hurled at him than a hoarse mocking


[Illustration: A HAUGHTY CONDUCTOR.]


Coming to a spot where the plain, spoken of in the preceding Canto,
terminates in an almost perpendicular steep, the traveller discovers
through the thick fog hovering below the dim outline of the battlements
surrounding the female department. On seeing a sign “No gentlemen
admitted,” his native chivalry causes him to retire without
investigating the prohibited region.




Though the low moans of tormented souls disconcert him somewhat, Mr.
Hunt courageously continues his journey.

The next district he explores is that one where the souls are frozen in
cakes of ice. It is called the Cold-Storage Pit.

“People who warm up to us while we are successful, but turn cold in time
of misfortune,” are occupants of this region.

Mr. Hunt learns that this is the most densely crowded district in the
whole Infernal Empire, and that it is being enlarged by three hundred
acres to accommodate the many who unfortunately still roam the earth.




Passing a cave the explorer hears the “rush and shriek of winter winds.”
On investigation he sees a nude soul tugging at a halter which fastens
him to a post.

Mr. Hunt does not need to refer to his guide book in order to identify
this victim. He had known the man on earth, as a farmer who used to
leave his horses unblanketed in the winter storm, while he attended
prayer meeting in a warm church.




Mr. Hunt takes an elevated train and gets off at a street called “Big
Head Boulevard,” a long deep defile in the rock where some of the
conceited people of earth are made to take up their existence in
cave-like shops and perform menial service for the Demons. Men who held
important positions and became “puffed-up” are forced into the dignified
occupation of driving tar-wagons for the “Good-Intention Street Pavement

Here are the conceited men of the arts and letters--the “swelled heads”
of the theatrical profession and the arrogant worshippers of ancestry.

The latter are hoof-trimmers.




After resting in the shadow of a huge bastion of rock, a Demon helps him
climb the wall surrounding the compartment wherein the careless people
are punished.

He sees a dentist he had known, a man who was just as sure to pull a
tooth that didn’t need pulling as the one that did--whose filling work
invariably had to be done over by someone else.

Mr. Hunt asks him how he is enjoying himself, but receives no reply.




In this Canto the poet describes the punishment of policemen whose chief
pleasure on earth was flaunting their authority and clubbing small boys.

       *       *       *       *       *

He relates also his passage through the midst of that region where
soulless monopolists are obliged to obey the anti-trust mandates of
Infernal law. Seated in large frying-pans they bubble and hiss over
never-dying fires.

With power of description worthy of Dante himself, he sees “one
corpulent person flop in the pan, head down, as pop-corn jumps with the




With the example of Dante ever before him, Mr. Hunt determines to keep
on, though the discomforts of travel grow and the scenes unnerve him. He
is reflecting on these impediments when he comes upon a vast
amphitheatre, where the tax-dodgers are punished.


[Illustration: EXCITING SPORT.]


With the aid of his field glass, the explorer inspects the 14th section.

Prowling about a rock-bound region he discerns afar off, strange
cat-like animals that on inquiry he learns are the transformed souls of
those who left their cats to starve while they betook themselves to the
country for a season of pleasure.

Although overcome by hunger, every eatable thing evades them or is
snatched away by little imps that skip gleefully about with squeaks of




Hiprah Hunt holds discourse with Beelzebub, who is general
superintendent of the whole lower section of Hell.

He learns from this distinguished personage that Satan makes a tour of
his region every month on a special train. From the platform of his
private car he gives instructions to his employees.




Mr. Hunt now discontinues his explorations for a while to become a guest
of Satan at the Infernal Theatre.

Satan and the explorer meet at the entrance, which is at the top of the
house, and enter the royal box by a private elevator. Satan is received
as usual on public occasions with the Infernal yell, “Zip! Zizz! Whee!
who are we, give us a chance and you will see!”

The distinguished guest also comes in for a round of cheers and a
wagging of tails, to which he responds with a bow.

Among other acts, Mr. Hunt witnesses the performance of a citizen of the
United States who lacked patriotism and who is compelled to wave a flag
and hurrah lustily in favor of America for fifty years.

He sees men bound to posts in the body of the theatre and others in
cages at the sides. He learns that the former are those who on earth
would disturb concert or theatre goers with incessant talking. The
latter are the men who had the discourteous habit of going out between
every act.


[Illustration: A HELL THEATRE.]


After the theatre Mr. Hunt thanks Satan for his hospitality and
continues his journey. He takes an incline car and arrives at the
department where flatterers are punished.

He studies the list of victims in his guide book. The most harmful kind,
“those who attach themselves to a man the instant he makes a success in
life and fill him with exaggerated notions of his greatness and
importance,” are seen in stocks, and their bare feet are being tickled
by delighted imps. He watches this mirth-provoking devilment for a while
and then proceeds.


[Illustration: THE FLATTERERS.]


Picking his way down a deep ravine, with the shrill laughter of the
tickling imps still in his ears, the course suddenly turns, and he finds
himself shut off from all light and sound and groping in shadowy

Advancing cautiously, he comes to a wide expanse where the ground is
split with yawning fissures from which issues smoke mingled with the
sound of doleful voices.

“Let me out! I can’t make myself heard! Haven’t had my name in a
newspaper for two hundred years! Help!”

These are the wails of the notoriety seekers.

[Illustration: _The end of notoriety seekers_]


“What’s the matter down here?”

“O, this fool fiend tackled that half-back and tried to rush him into
the Lake of Fire.”]


Questioning an employee, Mr. Hunt learns that The Great Punisher employs
five thousand overseers or district police captains.

Each is assigned to a district, over which he has full charge and about
which he reports regularly to his Chief. No law-breakers are rich enough
to purchase protection from the Infernal Police Force. In a lengthy
prose description of the Police Department of Hell, Mr. Hunt expresses
his belief that on the whole it is better conducted than such
departments in many American cities.




The sewers of Hell are flushed with patent medicines. Such medicines as
were sold on earth to enrich the inventor, but were of no benefit
whatever to the patient. Wallowing in this stream of mysterious
decoction the explorer sees the souls of quack doctors. To add to the
punishment of gulping their own poison, unceasing showers of large pills
descend, the doctors frantically beating the air in their endeavors to
ward off the bitter storm.


[Illustration: THE QUACK DOCTORS.]


Walking along the embankment he turns up a steep gulch to the right, and
down through the purple light sees the region where the profane are
punished as befits their crime.

They are compelled to eat soap. Mr. Hunt learns that the worst type of
profane man: He who swears regardless of the presence of ladies--won’t
even say “Oh pshaw!” after he has been forced to eat soap for a few




Mr. Hunt holds a long discourse with Clawquick, who claims to be the
oldest Demon in the region.

He remembers well the terrible cold-snap of the year 1422. All Hell was
frozen over. There was skating on the River Styx for several months and
two thousand miles of steam-pipe burst.


[Illustration: THE PUBLIC SPITTER.]


Mr. Hunt now looks down on a spacious valley in the center of which
there stands a large stage.

On this stage he sees a throng of weary looking souls dancing on tacks.
These are the men who, though married and old enough to know better,
were wont to secretly haunt the theatre and lavish affection, flowers
and wine suppers on chorus girls.


[Illustration: A LIVELY DANCE.]


The explorer is now in the lowest depths.

From a precipice of crimson rock he beholds the punishment of “bunco
steerers.” He sees a howling group of souls huddled on the summit of a
hill, from top to bottom of which is constructed a toboggan slide of
sand-paper. As they stand cringing in fright, a Demon policeman yells:
“Next!” and the foremost shuffles to the front and is given a shove that
sends him whirling, yelling and rasping down the incline at a fearful
speed. Arriving at the bottom he is immediately driven back and forced
to repeat the act. Thus the performance continues throughout the




After inspecting the kicking-machines in the department where “chronic
grumblers” are punished Hiprah Hunt is overcome by the heat. He now
concludes that he will not explore further.




On recovering strength enough to enable him to make his way to an
Incline Station, Mr Hunt returns to Satan’s office to express his thanks
for the privilege of being permitted to explore and inspect his vast

The Arch-Fiend receives him courteously and tells him that he is much
interested in the result of his labors, assuring him that he is
appreciative of his desire to offset the tendency of modern thinkers to
dispense entirely with future punishment. He prevails on Mr. Hunt to
remain in the region till after the Annual Parade of Sinners. Mr. Hunt
agrees to do so--and accepts the Chief’s invitation to be his guest
while he reviews the procession.


[Illustration: THE ANNUAL PARADE.]


After the annual parade Hiprah Hunt is given a farewell banquet at
Satan’s palace on the Styx.

As guest of honor he sits at one end of a long table and Satan sits at
the other. He describes the magnificence of the scene and his meeting
with the members of the Hell Common Council.

Charming women from the female department wait on the table.

When in response to a toast Mr. Hunt tells the Demons that a great
majority of the civilized world think Hell only a bugaboo dream, they
are convulsed with laughter.

The banquet over, Hiprah Hunt bids farewell to Satan and his colleagues.
The Arch-Fiend asks him to come again, and Mr. Hunt promises to do so if
he recovers from the exploration just ended.

Taking an ascending car back to the American entrance he climbs out into
the upper world, through the same wild forest he had passed six weeks
before. Under a star-lit sky he makes his way home with proofs that Hell
really is; that Dante was right, and that Hiprah Hunt is his legitimate

In conclusion, Mr. Hunt adds the following verse, the wisdom of which no
reader will deny who has followed the explorer’s journey below, or
better still followed his own life, noting the penalties that resulted
from folly and disobedience of laws of right living here on earth:

    “Good people all, who deal with the Devil,
     Be warned now by what I say!
     His credit’s long, and his tongue is civil,
     But you’ll have the Devil to pay.”


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