The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

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


In the preceding chapter is shown after what manner the Sun travels round the Earth; so that now one can proceed to demonstrate the meaning of the part to which this thought belongs.  I say, then, that in that first part I begin to praise that Lady by comparison with other things.  And I say that the Sun, circling round the Earth, sees nothing so gentle as that Lady; wherefore it follows that she is, according to the letter, the most gentle of all things that the sun shines upon.  And it says:  “Till the hour;” wherefore it is to be known that “hour” is understood in two ways by the Astrologers.  The one is, that of the day and of the night they make twenty-four hours—­twelve of the day, twelve of the night, however long or short the day may be.  And these hours are short and long in the day and night according as the day and night increase and diminish.  And these hours the Church uses when it says, Prima, Tertia, Sexta, and Nona—­first, third, sixth, and ninth; and these are termed hours temporal.  The other mode is, that, making of the day and of the night twenty-four hours, the day sometimes has fifteen hours and the night nine; and sometimes the night has sixteen and the day eight, according as the day and night increase and diminish; and they term these hours equal at the Equinox, and those that are termed temporal are always the same, because, the day being equal to the night, it must happen thus.

Then when I say, “All Minds of Heaven wonder at her worth,” I praise her, not having respect to any other thing.  And I say that the Intelligences of Heaven behold her, and that the people here below think of that gentle Lady when they have more of that peace which delights them.  And here it is to be known that each Mind or Intellect in Heaven above, according to that which is written in the book Of Causes, knows that which is above itself and that which is below itself; therefore it knows God as its Cause; therefore it knows that which is below itself as its effect.

And since God is the most universal cause of everything, to know Him is to know all, according to the degree of the Intelligence; wherefore all the Intelligences know the human form in as far as it is by intention fixed or determined in the Divine Mind.  The moving Intelligences especially know it; since they are the most especial causes of it, and of every kind of form; and they know the most perfect, as far as they can know it, as their rule and pattern.

And if this human form, copied and individualized, is not perfect, it is not the fault of the said copy or image, but of the matter from which the individual is formed.  Therefore when I say, “All Minds in Heaven wonder at her worth,” I wish to express no other than that she is thus made, even as the express image of the human form in the Divine Mind.  And each Mind there above beholds her by virtue of that quality which exists especially in those angelic Minds which build up and shape, with Heaven, things that exist below.  And to confirm this, I subjoin when I say, “Mortals, enamoured, find her in their thought When Love his peace into their minds has brought,” where it is to be known that each thing especially desires its perfection, and in that its every desire finds peace and calm, and for that peace each thing is desired.

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