830. They who beguile men by subtle deceit, wearing a pleasant face and manner of speech, but concealing envenomed guile within, and thus captivating men for the purpose of ruining them, are in a hell more dreadful than the hells of others, even more dreadful than the hell of murderers. They seem to themselves to live among serpents; and the more pernicious their deceit has been, the more dreadful and venomous and the more numerous the serpents appear which surround and torment them. They know not but that they are serpents; they feel similar pains and similar torments. Few perhaps will believe this, but yet it is true. These are they who practice deceit with premeditation, and feel therein the delight of their life. The punishments of the deceitful are various, each according to the nature of the deceit. In general such persons are not tolerated in societies, but are expelled; for whatever a spirit thinks, they who are near instantly know and perceive; thus they perceive whether there is anything of deceit, and what sort of deceit. Therefore, being at length expelled from societies, they sit in solitude; and they then appear with a broad face, the breadth equaling that of four or five faces of others, and with a broad fleshy cap turning white, sitting as images of death, in torment. There are others who are deceitful by nature, thus not so much from premeditation, and not clandestinely under a feigned countenance. They are known at once, and their thought is plainly perceived. They even boast of it, as if they would appear shrewd. These have not such a hell. But, by the Divine mercy of the Lord, more will be said about the deceitful hereafter.