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[79] the subject of his verse.1 Love with him seems first to have meant the love of truth and the search after it (speculazione), and afterwards the contemplation of it in its infinite source (speculazione in its higher and mystical sense). This is the divine love ‘which where it shines darkens and wellnigh extinguishes all other loves.’2 Wisdom is the object of it, and the end of

1 De vulgari Eloquio, L. II. c. 2. He says the same of Giraud de Borneil, many of whose poems are moral and even devotional. See, particularly, ‘Al honor Dieu torn en mon chan’ (Raynouard, Lex Rom. I. 388), ‘Ben es dregz pos en aital port’ (Ib. 393), ‘Jois sia comensamens’ (Ib. 395), and ‘Be veg e conosc e say’ (Ib. 398). Another of his poems (‘Ar ai grant joy,’ Raynouard, Choix, III. 304) may possibly be a mystical profession of love for the Blessed Virgin, for whom, as Dante tells us, Beatrice had a special devotion.

2 Convito, Tr. III. c. 14. In the same chapter is perhaps an explanation of the two rather difficult verses which follow that in which the verace speglio is spoken of (Paradiso, XXVI. 107, 108).

Che fa di se pareglie la altre cose
E nulla face lui di se pareglio.

Buti's comment is, ‘that is, makes of itself a receptacle to other things, that is, to all things that exist, which are all seen in it.’ Dante says (ubi supra), ‘The descending of the virtue of one thing into another is a reducing that other into a likeness of itself. . . . . Whence we see that the sun sending his ray down hitherward reduces things to a likeness with his light in so far as they are able by their disposition to receive light from his power. So I say that God reduces this love to a likeness with himself as much as it is possible for it to be like him.’ In Provencal pareilh means like, and Dante may have formed his word from it. But the four earliest printed texts read:—

Che fa di se pareglio alla altre cose.

Accordingly we are inclined to think that the next verse should be corrected thus:—

E nulla face a lui di se pareglio.

We would form pareglio from parere (a something in which things appear), as miraglio from mirare (a something in which they are seen). God contains all things in himself, but nothing can wholly contain him. The blessed behold all things in him as if reflected, but not one of the things so reflected is capable of his image in its completeness. This interpretation is confirmed by Paradiso, XIX. 49-51.
E quinci appar cha ogni minor natura
É corto recettacolo a quel bene
Che non ha fine, e se con se misura.

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