The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 298 pages of information about The Banquet (Il Convito).
it works well when the body through all its parts is well proportioned and appointed.  And when it is well proportioned and appointed, then it is beautiful throughout and in all its parts; for the due ordering or proportion of our limbs produces a pleasing impression of I know not what of wonderful harmony; and the good disposition, that is to say, the health of mind and body, throws over all a colouring sweet to behold.  And thus to say that the noble nature takes heed for the graces of the body, and makes it fair and harmonious, is tantamount to saying that it prepares it and renders it fit to attain the perfection ordained for it:  and those other things which have been discussed seem to be requisite to Adolescence, which the noble Mind, that is to say, the noble Nature, furnishes forth to it in the first years of life, as growth of the seed sown therein by the Divine Providence.


Since the first section of this part, which shows how we can recognize the Noble Man by apparent signs, is reasoned out, it is right to proceed to the second section, which begins:  “Are temperate in Youth, And resolutely strong.”

It says, then, that as the noble Nature in Adolescence or the Spring-time of Youth appears obedient, gentle, and modest, the beautifier of its person, so in Youth it is temperate, strong, and loving, courteous and loyal; which five things appear to be, and are, necessary to our perfection, inasmuch as we have respect unto ourselves.  And with regard to this it is desirable to know that just as the noble Nature prepares in the first age, it is prepared and ordained by the care or foresight of Universal Nature, which ordains and appoints the particular Nature where-ever existing, to attain its perfection.

This perfection of ours may be considered in a double sense.  It is possible to consider it as it has respect to ourselves, and we ought to possess this in our Youth, which is the culminating point of our life.  It is possible to consider it as it has respect to others, and since in the first place it is necessary to be perfect, and then to communicate the perfection to others, it is requisite to possess this secondary perfection after this age, that is to say, in Old Age, as will be said subsequently.  Here, then, it is needful to recall to mind that which was argued in the twenty-second chapter of this treatise concerning the appetite or impulse which is born in us.  This appetite or impulse never does aught else but to pursue and to flee, and whenever it pursues that which is to be pursued, and as far as is right, and flies from that which is to be fled from, and as much as is right, then is the man within the limits of his perfection.  Truly, this appetite or natural impulse must have Reason for its rider; for as a horse at liberty, however noble it may be by nature, by itself without the good rider does not conduct itself well, even thus this appetite, however noble it may be,

Project Gutenberg
The Banquet (Il Convito) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook