The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 251 pages of information about The Banquet (Il Convito).

But since the human mind in restricted possession of the Earth finds no peace, but always desires to acquire Glory, as we see by experience, discords and wars must arise between realm and realm.  These are the tribulation of Cities; and through the Cities, of the neighbourhoods; and through the neighbourhoods, of the houses; and through the houses, of men; and thus is the happiness of man prevented or obstructed.  Wherefore, in order to prevent these wars, and to remove the causes of them through all the Earth, so far as it is given to the Human Race to possess it, there must of necessity be Monarchy, that is to say, one sole principality; and there must be one Prince, who, possessing all, and not being able to desire more, holds the Kings content within the limits of the kingdoms, so that peace may be between them, wherein the Cities may repose, and in this rest the neighbouring hamlets may dwell together in mutual love; in this love the houses obtain all they need, which, being obtained, men can live happily, which is that end for which man was born.  And to these reasons might be applied the words of the Philosopher, for he says, in the book On Politics, that when many things are ordained to one end, one of those must be the ruling power, and all the others must be governed by that.  Even as we see in a ship that the different offices and the different means to different ends in that ship are ordained to one end alone, that is to say, to reach the desired port by a safe voyage, where as each officer orders his own work to the proper end, even so there is one who considers all these ends, and ordains those to the final one; and this is the Pilot, whose voice all must obey.

We see this also in the religious bodies and in the military bodies, in all those things which are ordained to one end, as has been said.  Wherefore it can plainly be seen that to attain the perfection of the Universal Union of the Human Race there must be one Pilot, as it were, who, considering the different conditions of the World, and ordaining the different and needful offices, may hold or possess over the whole the universal and incontestable office of Command.  And this office is well designated Empire, without any addition, because it is of all other governments the government; and so he who is appointed to this office is designated Emperor, because of all Governors he is the Governor, and what he says is Law to all, and ought by all to be obeyed; and every other government derives vigour and authority from the government of this man.  And thus it is evident that the Imperial Majesty and Authority is the most exalted in the Human Family.

No doubt it would be possible for some one to cavil, saying, that although the office of Empire may be required in the World, that does not make the authority of the Roman Prince rationally supreme, which it is the intention of the treatise to prove; since the Roman Power was acquired, not by Reason nor by decree of Universal Election, but by Force, which seems to be opposed to Reason.  To this one can easily reply, that the election of this Supreme Official must primarily proceed from that Council which foresees all things, that is, God; otherwise the election would not have been of equal benefit for all the people, since, before the pre-ordained Official, there was none who had the good of all at heart.

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