Chapter 7

VII Text

It is not wise to make Venus your goddess,
And do not listen to anything she may promise.
To follow her is ruinous
Both ungodly and perilous.

Gloss

Venus is a planet of heaven after whom Friday is named1; and the metal that we call tin or pewter is associated with her. Venus influences love and idleness; and the real Venus was a queen of Cyprus. And because she exceeded all women in excellent beauty and charm, and was amorous and not steadfast in love but abandoned to many, they called her goddess of love. And because she is associated lechery, Othea says to the good knight that he should not make Venus his goddess. This means that in life he should not abandon himself to earthly pleasures. And Hermes says: The vice of lechery stains all virtues.

Allegory

From Venus, of whom the good knight should not make his goddess, we may learn that the good spirit should have no vanity. And Cassidoire says upon the Psalter: Vanity gave birth to all devils, and gave death to the first man, and ousted him from the bliss that was given to him. Vanity is the mother of all evils, well of all vices and the vein of wickedness, which puts a man out of the grace of God and sets him in his hate. To this purpose David says in his Psalter, speaking to God: “I have hated them that regard lying vanities.”2

  1. The French word for Friday, Vendredi, derive’s from “Venus’s Day.”
  2. This passage comes from Psalm 31:6. Christine’s original Latin reads “odisti omnes obseruantes superuacue.”

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