The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

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

Then subsequently it lays a command on it, that is, on my Soul, that it should now call this one its Lady:  “Think thou to call her Mistress evermore,” promising my Soul that it will be quite content with her when it shall have clear perception of all her wonderful accomplishments; and then this one says:  “Save thou delude thyself, then shall there shine High miracles before thee;” neither does it speak otherwise even to the end of that stanza.  And here ends the Literal meaning of all that which I say in this Song, speaking to these Celestial Intelligences.


Finally, according to that which the letter of this Commentary said above, when I divided the principal parts of this Song, I turn back with the face of my discourse to the same Song, and I speak to that.  And in order that this part may be understood more fully, I say that generally in each Song there is what is called a Tornata, because the Reciters, who originally were accustomed to compose it, so contrived that when the song was sung, with a certain part of the song they could return to it.  But I have rarely done it with that intention; and, in order that others may perceive, this I have seldom placed it with the sequence of the Song, so long as it is in the rhythm which is necessary to the measure.  But I have used it when it was requisite to express something independent of the meaning of the Song, and which was needful for its embellishment, as it will be possible to perceive in this and in the other Songs.

And, therefore, I say at present, that the goodness and the beauty of each discourse are parted and divided; for the goodness is in the meaning, and the beauty in the ornament of the words.  And the one and the other are with delight, although the goodness is especially delightful.  Wherefore, since the goodness of this Song might be difficult to perceive, because of the various persons who are led to speak in it, where so many distinctions are required; and the beauty would be easy to see, it seemed to me, of the nature of the Song that by some men more attention might be paid to the beauty of the words than to the goodness of matter.  And this is what I say in that part.

But, because it often happens that to admonish seems presumptuous in certain conditions, it is usual for the Rhetorician to speak indirectly to others, directing his words, not to him for whom he speaks, but towards another.  And truly this method is maintained here; for to the Song the words go, and to the men the meaning of them.  I say then:  “My Song, I do believe there will be few Who toil to understand thy reasoning.”  And I state the cause, which is double.  First, because thou speakest with fatigue—­with fatigue, I say, for the reason which is stated; and then because thou speakest with difficulty—­with difficulty, I say, as to the novelty of the meaning.  Now afterwards I admonish it, and say: 

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