The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

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

And since a gentler nature in ruling, and a stronger in maintaining, and a more subtle in acquiring never was and never will be than that of the Latin People, as one can see by experience, and especially that of the Holy People, in whom was blended the noble Trojan blood; to that office it was elected by God.  Wherefore, since, to obtain it, not without very great power could it be approached, and to employ it a most exalted and most humane benignity was required, this was the people which was most fitly prepared for it.  Hence not by Force was it assumed in the first place by the Roman People but by Divine Ordinance, which is above all Reason.  And Virgil is in harmony with this in the first book of the AEneid, when he says, speaking in the person of God:  “On these [that is, on the Romans] I impose no limits to their possessions, nor to their duration; to them I have given boundless Empire.”  Force, then, was not the moving cause, as he believed who was cavilling; but there was an instrumental cause even as the blows of the hammer are the cause of the knife, and the soul of the workman is the moving and the efficient cause; and thus, not force, but a cause, even a Divine Cause, has been the origin of the Roman Empire.

And that this is so it is possible to see by two most evident reasons, which prove that City to be the Empress, and to have from God an especial birth, and to have from God an especial success.  But since in this chapter without too great length it would not be possible to discuss this subject, and long chapters are the enemies of Memory, I will again make a digression in another chapter in order to prove the reasons here alluded to, which are not without and may give great pleasure.


It is no cause for wonder if the Divine Providence, which surpasses beyond measure all angelic and human foresight, often appears to us to proceed mysteriously, since many times human actions conceal their motives from men.  But there is great cause for wonder when the execution of the Eternal Counsel proceeds so evidently that our reason can discern it.  And therefore in the beginning of this chapter I can speak with the mouth of Solomon, who, in the person of Wisdom, says in his Proverbs:  “Hear, for I will speak of excellent things!”

The Divine Goodness unmeasureable, desiring to conform again to Itself the Human Creature, which, through the sin of the prevarication of the first Man, was separated from God and deformed thereby, it was decided, in that most exalted and most united Divine Consistory of the Trinity, that the Son of God should descend to the Earth to accomplish this union.  And since at His advent into the world, not only Heaven, but Earth, must be in the best disposition; and the best disposition of the Earth is when it is a Monarchy, that is to say, all subject to one Prince, as has been said above, by Divine Providence it was ordained

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