The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

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

And this is that desire which always makes every pleasure appear incomplete, for there is no joy or pleasure so great in this life that it can quench the thirst in our Soul, for always the desire for that perfection remains in the Mind.  And since this Lady is truly that perfection, I say that people here below receive great delight when they have most peace; for she abides then in their thoughts.  For this Lady, I say, is perfect in as high a degree as it is possible for Human Nature to be.

Then when I say, “Her Maker saw that she was good,” I prove that not only this Lady is the most perfect in the human race, but more than the most perfect, inasmuch as she receives from the Divine Goodness more than human dues.  Wherefore one can reasonably believe that as each Master loves most his best work far more than the other work, so God loves the good human being far above the rest.  And forasmuch as His Bounty is of necessity not restricted by any limit, His love has no regard to the amount due to him who receives, but it overflows in gifts, and in the blessings of power and grace.  Wherefore I say here, that this God, who gave life or being to this Lady, through love or charity for her perfection pours into her of His Bounty beyond the limits of the amount due to our nature.

Then when I say, “On her pure soul,” I prove this that has been said with reasonable testimony, which gives us to know that, as the Philosopher says in the second chapter, On the Soul, the Soul is the act of the Body; and if it be its act, it is its Cause; and as it is written in the book before, quoted, On Causes, each Cause infuses into its effect some of the goodness which it receives from its own Cause, which is “God.”  Wherefore, since in her are seen wonderful things, so much so on the part of the body that they make each beholder desirous to see those things, it is evident that her form, which is her Soul, guides it as its proper Cause and receives miraculously the gracious goodness of God.

And thus is proved, by that appearance, which exceeds the due appointment of our nature, which in her is most perfect, as has been said above, that this Lady is by God endowed with good gifts and made a noble thing.  And this is the whole Literal meaning of the first section of the second principal part.


Having commended this Lady generally, both according to the Soul and according to the Body, I proceed to praise her specially according to the Soul.

And first I praise her Soul for its goodness, that is great in itself; then I commend it for a goodness that is great in others, and useful to the World.  And that second part begins when I say, firstly, “On her fair frame Virtue Divine descends;” where it is to be known that the Divine Goodness descends into all things, and otherwise they could not exist; but, although this goodness springs from the First

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