(gravura de gustave doré para a divina comédia, parte 1: inferno de dante alighieri. trabalho de 1861-1868)
"«Are we dead now?» Will said to the boatman.
«Makes no difference,» he said. «There's some that came here never believing they were dead. They insisted all the way that they were alive, it was a mistake, someone would have to pay; made no difference. There's others who longed to be dead when they were alive, poor souls; lives full of pain or misery; killed themselves for a chance of a blessed rest, and found that nothing had changed except for the worse, and this time there was no escape; you can't make yourself alive again. And there's been others so frail and sickly, little infants, sometimes, that they're scarcely born into the living before they come down to the dead. I've rowed this boat with a little crying baby on my lap many, many times, that never knew the difference between up there and down here. And old folk too, the rich ones are the worst, snarling and savage and cursing me, railing and screaming: what did I think I was? Hadn't they gathered and saved all the gold they could garner? Wouldn't I take some now, to put them back ashore? They'd have the law on me, they had powerful friends, they knew the Pope and the King of this and the Duke of that, they were in a position to see I was punished and chastised... But they knew what the truth was in the end: the only position they were in was in my boat going to the land of the dead, and as for those kings and popes, they'd be in here too, in their turn, sooner than they wanted. I let 'em cry and rave; they can't hurt me; they fall silent in the end.
«So if you don't know whether you're dead or not, and the little girl swears blind she'll come out again to the living, I say nothing to contradict you. What you are, you'll know soon enough.»" (1)
(1) PULLMAN, Philip - The Amber Spyglass. London: Scholastic Press, 2001. ISBN 0-439-99414-4. pg. 301, 302.