The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

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

Then afterwards I say, that all my thought, my Soul, of which I say, “That troubled one,” turns in excuse of itself, and speaks against the eyes; and this is made evident there:  “That troubled one asked, ’When into thine eyes Looked she?’” And I say that she speaks of them and against them three things:  the first is, she blasphemes the hour when this woman saw them.  And here you must know, that although many things in one hour can come into the eyes, truly that which comes by a straight line into the point of the pupil, that truly one sees, and that only is sealed in the imaginative part.  And this is, because the nerve by which the visible spirit runs is directed to that part, and thereupon truly one eye cannot look on the eye of another so that it is not seen by it; for as that which looks receives the form of the pupil by a right line, so by that same line its form passes into that eye which gazes.  And many times in the direction of that line a shaft flies from the bow of Love, with whom each weapon is light.  Therefore, when I ask, “When first into mine eyes looked she?” it is as much as to ask, “When did her eyes and mine look into each other?”

The second point is in that which reproves their disobedience, when it says, “Of her, why doubted they my words?” Then it proceeds to the third thing and says that it is not right to reprove them for precaution, but for their disobedience; for it says that, sometimes, when speaking of this woman, it might be said, “Her eyes bear death to such as I,” if she could have opened the way of approach.  And indeed one ought to believe that my Soul knew of its own inclination ready to receive the operation of this power, and therefore dreaded it; for the act of the agent takes full effect in the patient who has the inclination to receive it, as the Philosopher says in the second book on the Soul.  And, therefore, if wax could have the spirit of fear, it would fear most to come into the rays of the Sun, which would not turn it into stone, since its disposition is to yield to that strong operation.

Lastly, the Soul reveals in its speech that their presumption had been dangerous when it says, “Yet vainly warned, I gazed on her and die.”  And thus it closes its speech, to which the new thought replies, as will be declared in the following chapter.


The meaning of that part in which the Soul speaks, that is, the old thought which is undone, has been shown.  Now, in due order, the meaning must be shown of the part in which the new antagonistic thought speaks; and this part is contained entirely in the verse or stanza which begins, “Thou art not dead,” which part, in order to understand it well, I will divide into two; that in the first part, which begins “Thou art not dead,” it then says, continuing its last words, “It is not true that thou art dead; but the cause wherefore thou to thyself seemest to be dead is a deadly dismay into

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