Chapter 11

Text

I do not doubt that Mars is your father,
Thou shalt follow him in every matter
For thin his and noble condition
Drawith therto thine inclination.

Gloss

Tuesday is named after Mars1; and the metal that we call iron is associated with him. Mars is a planet that gives influence of wars and battles. Therefore every knight that loves and practices arms and the deeds of knighthood and who has achieved greatness may be called a son of Mars. And therefore Othea named Hector so, not withstanding that he was the son to king Priam, and said that he would take after his father as much as a good knight out to do. And a wise man says tat by the deeds of man may be known his inclinations.

Allegory

Mars, the god of battle, may well be called the son of God, who battled victoriously in this world. The good spirit should, by example, follow his father Jesus Christ and fight against vices, Saint Ambrose says in the first book of Offices that, who-so will be God’s friend, he must be the fiend’s enemy; who-so will have peace with Jesus Christ, he must have war with vices. And even as in vain men make war in the field with foreign enemies there where the city is full of homely spies, on the same wise none may overcome the evils outward that will not consider strongly the sins of their souls; for it is the most glorious victory that may be for a man to overcome himself. And to this purpose speaks Saint Paul in the Epistle: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”2

Footnotes

  1. The French word for Tuesday is “Mardi,” derived from “Mars.”
  2. This passage comes from Ephesians 6:12. Christine’s original Latin reads: “Non est nobis colluctacio aduersus carnem et sanguinem, sed aduersus principes & potestates, aduersus mundin rectores tenebrarum harum, contra spiritualia nequicie, in celestibus.”

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