The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 298 pages of information about The Banquet (Il Convito).
and thus, what man soever might possess the complete knowledge of the Latin tongue, the use of that knowledge would show him all distinctions of the Vulgar.  But this is not so, for one used to the Latin does not distinguish, if he be a native of Italy, the vulgar tongue of Provence from the German, nor can the German distinguish the vulgar Italian tongue from that of Provence:  hence, it is evident that the Latin is not cognizant of the Vulgar.  Again, it is not cognizant of its friends, because it is impossible to know the friends without knowing the principal; hence, if the Latin does not know the Vulgar, as it is proved above, it is impossible for it to know its friends.  Again, without conversation or familiarity, it is impossible to know men; and the Latin has no conversation with so many in any language as the Vulgar has, to which all are friends, and consequently cannot know the friends of the Vulgar.

And this, that it would be possible to say, is no contradiction; that the Latin does converse with some friends of the Vulgar:  but since it is not familiar with all, it is not perfectly acquainted with its friends, whereas perfect knowledge is required, and not defective.


Having proved that the Latin Commentary could not have been a capable servant, I will tell how it could not have been an obedient one.  He is obedient who has the good disposition which is called obedience.  True obedience must have three things, without which it cannot be:  it should be sweet, and not bitter; entirely under control, and not impulsive; with due measure, and not excessive; which three things it was impossible for the Latin Commentary to have; and, therefore, it was impossible for it to be obedient.  That to the Latin it would have been impossible, as is said, is evident by such an argument as this:  each thing which proceeds by an inverse order is laborious, and consequently is bitter, and not sweet; even as to sleep by day and to wake by night, and to go backwards and not forwards.  For the subject to command the sovereign, is to proceed in the inverse order; because the direct order is, for the sovereign to command the subject; and thus it is bitter, and not sweet; and because to the bitter command it is impossible to give sweet obedience, it is impossible, when the subject commands, for the obedience of the sovereign to be sweet.  Hence if the Latin is the sovereign of the Vulgar Tongue, as is shown above by many reasons, and the Songs, which are in place of commanders, are in the Vulgar Tongue, it is impossible for the argument to be sweet.  Then is obedience entirely commanded, and in no way spontaneous, when that which the obedient man does, he would not have done of his own will, either in whole or in part, without commandment.  And, therefore, if it might be commanded to me to carry two long robes upon my back, and if without commandment I should carry one, I say that my obedience is not

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