The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 298 pages of information about The Banquet (Il Convito).

And, firstly, that which I demonstrate concerning this is to clear up a doubt which seems to arise, for, since gold, pearls, and lands, may have in their essential being perfect form and act, it does not seem true to say that they are imperfect.  And therefore one must distinguish that inasmuch as by themselves, of them it is considered, they are perfect things, and they are not riches, but gold and pearls; but inasmuch as they are appointed to the possession of man they are riches, and in this way they are full of imperfection; which is not an unbecoming or impossible thing, considered from different points of view, to be perfect and imperfect.  I say that their imperfection firstly may be observed in the indiscretion, or unwisdom, or folly, of their arrival, in which no distributive Justice shines forth, but complete iniquity almost always; which iniquity is the proper effect of imperfection.  For if the methods or ways by which they come are considered, all may be gathered together in three methods, or kinds of ways:  for, either they come by simple chance, as when without intention or hope they come upon some discovery not thought of; or they come by fortune which is aided by law or right, as by will, or testament, or succession; or they come by fortune, the helper of the Law, as by lawful or unlawful provision; lawful, I say, when by art, or skill, or by trade, or deserved kindness; unlawful, I say, when either by theft or rapine.  And in each one of these three ways, one sees that inequitable character of which I speak, for more often to the wicked than to the good the hidden treasures which are discovered present themselves; and this is so evident, that it has no need of proof.  I saw the place in the side of a hill, or mountain, in Tuscany, which is called Falterona, where the most vile peasant of all the country, whilst digging, found more than a bushel of the finest Santelena silver, which had awaited him perhaps for more than a thousand years.  And in order to see this iniquity, Aristotle said that in proportion as the Man is subject to the Intellect, so much the less is he the slave of Fortune.  And I say that oftener to the wicked than to the good befall legal inheritance and property by succession; and concerning this I do not wish to bring forward any proof, but let each one turn his eyes round his own immediate neighbourhood, and he will see that concerning which I am silent that I may not offend or bring shame to some one.  Would to God that might be which was demanded by the Man of Provence, namely, that the man who is not the heir of goodness should lose the inheritance of wealth.  And I say that many times to the wicked more than to the good comes rich provision, for the unlawful never comes to the good, because they refuse it; and what good man ever would endeavour to enrich himself by force or fraud?  That would be impossible, for by the mere choice of the enterprise he would no more be good.  And the lawful gains of wealth

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The Banquet (Il Convito) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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