In the preface to his marvelous translation of Dante, Clive James mentions the poet’s pithiness.  I can’t judge it in the original Italian, but it certainly comes through his English version.

So I liked this example, a summary conclusion that things really were as bad as they seemed – you could use this if you find yourself in a context where things look – and are – pretty dismal. 

‘And as it sounded, so it looked: all bad.’   (Inferno, Canto 4)

 

Source: Dante,The Divine Comedy, trans. Clive James (New York: Liveright Publishing, 2013), p. 21

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