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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 251 pages of information about The Banquet (Il Convito).
was Noble and Dardanus was vile, each in his lifetime.  We, to whom the remembrance of the ancestors of Dardanus has not come, shall we say that Dardanus living was vile, and dead a Noble?  And is not this contrary to the legend which says that Dardanus was the son of Jupiter (for such is the fable, which one ought not to regard whilst disputing philosophically); and yet if the adversary might wish to find support in the fable, certainly that which the fable veils destroys his arguments.  And thus it is proved that the argument, which asserted that oblivion is the cause of Nobility, is false.


Since, by their own argument, the Song has confuted them, and proved that Time is not requisite to Nobility, it proceeds immediately to confound their premisses, since of their false arguments no rust remains in the mind which is disposed towards Truth; and this it does when it says, “It follows then from this.”  Where it is to be known that if it is not possible for a peasant to become a Noble, or for a Noble son to be born of a humble father, as is advanced in their opinion, of two difficulties one must follow.

The first is, that there can be no Nobility; the other is, that the World may have been always full of men, so that from one alone the Human Race cannot be descended; and this it is possible to prove.

If Nobility is not generated afresh, and it has been stated many times that such is the basis of their opinion, the peasant man not being able to beget it in himself, or the humble father to pass it on to his son, the man always is the same as he was born; and such as the father was born, so is the son born; and so this process from one condition onwards is reached even by the first parent; for such as was the first father, that is, Adam, so must the whole Human Race be, because from him to the modern nations it will not be possible to find, according to that argument, any change whatever.  Then, if Adam himself was Noble, we are all Noble; if he was vile, we are all vile or base; which is no other than to remove the distinction between these conditions, and thus it is to remove the conditions.

And the Song states this, which follows from what is advanced, saying, “That all are high or base.”  And if this is not so, then any nation is to be called Noble, and any is to be called vile, of necessity.  Transmutation from vileness into Nobility being thus taken away, the Human Race must be descended from different ancestors, that is, some from Nobles and some from vile persons, and so the Song says, “Or that in Time there never was Beginning to our race,” that is to say, one beginning; it does not say beginnings.  And this is most false according to the Philosopher, according to our Faith, which cannot lie, according to the Law and ancient belief of the Gentiles.  For although the Philosopher does not assert the succession from one first man, yet he would have one essential

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