The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 298 pages of information about The Banquet (Il Convito).
defect:  which seems strange to say of the whole.  And again it would follow that Nature, in contradiction to herself, could have put this hope in the human mind; since it is said that many have hastened to death of the body that they might live in the other life; and this also is impossible.  Again, we have continual experience of our immortality in the divination of our dreams, which could not be if there were no immortal part in us, since immortal must be the revelation.  This part may be either corporeal or incorporeal if one think well and closely.  I say corporeal or incorporeal, because of the different opinions which I find concerning this.  That which is moved, or rather informed, by an immediate informer, ought to have proportion to the informer; and between the mortal and the immortal there is no proportion.  Again, we are assured of it by the most truthful doctrine of Christ, which is the Way, the Truth, and the Light:  the Way, because by it without impediment we go to the happiness of that immortality; the Truth, because it endures no error; the Light, because it enlightens us in the darkness of worldly ignorance.  This doctrine, I say, which above all other reasons makes us certain of it; for it has been given to us by Him who sees and measures our immortality, which we cannot perfectly see whilst our immortal is mingled with the mortal.  But we see it by faith perfectly; and by reason we see it with the cloud of obscurity which grows from the mixture of the mortal with the immortal.  This ought to be the most powerful argument that both are in us:  and I thus believe, thus affirm; and I am equally certain, after this life, to pass to that other and better life—­there where that glorious Lady lives, with whom my soul was enamoured when it was struggling, as will be set forth in the next chapter.


Returning to the proposition, I say that in that verse which begins “A foe so strong I find him that he destroys,” I intend to make manifest that which was discoursing in my Soul, the ancient thought against the new; and first briefly I show the cause of its lamentation, when I say:  “This opposite now breaks the humble dream Of the crowned angel in the glory-beam.”  This one is that especial thought of which it is said above that it was wont to be the life of the sorrowing heart.  Then when I say, “Still, therefore, my Soul weeps,” it is evident that my Soul is still on its side, and speaks with sadness; and I say that it speaks words of lamentation, as if it might wonder at the sudden transformation, saying:  “‘The tender star,’ It says, ’that once was my consoler, flies.’” It can well say consoler, for in the great loss which I sustained in the death of Beatrice this thought, which ascended into Heaven, had given to my Soul much consolation.

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