The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

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

And it is seen to be so, for only of man and of the Divine substances is this Mind predicated, as can plainly be seen in Boethius, who first predicates it of men, where he says to Philosophy:  “Thou, and God who placed thee in the mind of men;” then he predicates it of God, when he says:  “Thou dost produce everything from the Divine Model, Thou most beautiful One, bearing the beautiful World in Thy mind.”  Neither was it ever predicated of brute animals; nay, of many men who appear defective in the most perfect part, it does not seem that it ought to be, or that it could be, predicated; and therefore such as these are termed in the Latin Tongue amenti and dementi, that is, without mind.  Hence one can now perceive that it is Mind which is the perfect and most precious part of the Soul in which is God.

And that is the place where I say that Love discourses to me of my Lady.


Not without cause do I say that this Love was at work in my mind; but it is said reasonably, in order to explain what this Love is, by the place in which it works.  Wherefore, it is to be known that each thing, as is said above, for the reason shown above, has its especial Love, as the simple bodies have Love, innate, each in its proper place.  Therefore the Earth always descends to the centre, the fire to the circumference above near the Heaven of the Moon, and always ascends towards that.  The bodies first composed, such as are the minerals, have love for the place where their generation is ordained, and in which they increase, and from which they have vigour and power.  Wherefore, we see the loadstone always receive power from the place of its generation.  Each of the plants which are first animated, that is, first animated with a vegetative soul has most evident love for a particular place, according as its nature may require; and therefore we see certain plants almost always grow by the side of the streams, and certain others upon the mountain tops, and certain others grow by the sea-shore, or at the foot of hills, which, if they are transplanted, either die entirely or live a sad life, as it were, like a being separated from his friend.  The brute beasts have a most evident love, not only for places, but we see also their love towards each other.  Men have their own love for things perfect and excellent; and since Man, although his Soul is one substance alone, because of his nobility, partakes of the nature of each of these things, he can possess all these affections, and he does possess them all.  By his part in the nature of the simple body, as earth, naturally it tends downwards; therefore, when he moves his body upwards, he becomes more weary.

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