Chapter 8

Text

If you are called to assemble for judgement
Be like to Saturn in advisement
Unless you give this sentence justly
Beware that you not give it doubtfully.

Saturday is named after Saturn, and the metal that we call lead is associated with him as well, and it is a planet of slow condition, heavy and wise. And there was a king in Greece of the same name, who was full of wisdom, of whom poets spoke under coverture of fable; and they said that his son Jupiter cut from him his private parts, which means that he disowned him and drove him away. And because Saturn is heavy and wise, Othea says that a good knight should pay attention to how he gives his sentence, whether it be as a military commander or otherwise. And every judge who has the same offices should note this as well. And to this purpose Hermes says: Think well upon all things that you have to do, especially when you are judging another.

Allegory

As the good knight should be slow in the judgement of others, that is to say, to think carefully about the sentence that he may deliver, and similarly the good spirit should judge himself fairly, because the final judgement belongs to God, whose decision is final. And Saint Gregory says in his Moralles that, when our frailness can not comprehend the judgements of God, we ought not to explain them in bold words, but we ought to worship them with fearful silence; and how marvelous that ever we thought them, we should hold them just. And to this purpose speaks David in the Psalter: The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.1

  1. This passage comes from Psalm 19:9. Christine’s original Latin is “Timor Domini sanctus, permanent in seculum seculi; iudicia Domini vera, iustificata in semet ipsa.”

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