January 06, 2004

Fortune

"MASTER," I SAID TO HIM, "now tell me also:
This Fortune, that you spoke about just now,
What is she, that has the world's good in her clutches?"

He answered: "How foolish people are!
How great is the ignorance which strikes them down!
Now listen to me and take in what I say.

He whose wise dispositions transcend everything
Made the heavens, and gave intelligences to guide them,
So that each part shines on the other parts,

Distributing the light with equalness,
So it is with the splendors of the world,
He put in place an agent and director

Who at the proper time could change around
Vain possessions from one people to another
Or between families, and no one could do a thing ...

Your science cannot take account of her:
She controls, takes decisions, executes them
In her kingdom, as other gods in theirs.

Her permutations go on without truce;
Necessity ensures that she is rapid;
So you no sooner have a thing than you lose it."

-- Dante, Inferno VII 67-88

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Posted by Benjamin Kepple at January 6, 2004 12:38 AM | TrackBack