“So You Can Remember”
In Canto XXVII of Dante’s Inferno, we meet Guido da Montefeltro, a soul damned for giving fraudulent counsel to Pope Boniface VIII. In his lifetime, this lost soul spoke only when he had the promise of impunity, and now, even from the abyss of hell, his reticence to speak his mind consumes him.
He tells Dante that he will respond only if his remarks remain eternally “off the record”:
If I believed that my reply were made
to one who to the world would e’er return,
this flame would stay without another quiver;
but inasmuch as, if I hear the truth,
none e’er returned alive from