Chapter 12

Text

As regards your falcon, be bold and plain
And of your word both clean and certain
Mercury shall teach you that, whole and sound,
He who knows good speech knows well the ground.

Gloss

Wednesday is named after Mercury, and quick silver is associated with it.1 Mercury is a planet that has influence over pontifical behavior, and of fair language filled with rhetoric. Therefore it is said that the good knight should have these qualities, for worshipful behavior and fair language is becoming to all noble people desiring the high price of worship, so that they should not say too much For Diogenes says that of all virtues the more the better, save of speech.

Allegory

By Mercury, who is called god of language, we may understand that the knight of Jesus Christ should be arrayed with good preaching and words of teaching, and also they should love and worship those that show those qualities. And Saint Gregory says in his Homilies that men should have the pressures of Holy Scripture in great reverence, for they are the messengers that go to our Lord and our Lord follows them. Holy preaching makes the way, and then our Lord comes into the dwelling place of our heart; the words of prayer makes the course, and so truth is received into our understanding. And to this purpose our Lord says to his apostles: “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

Footnotes

  1. The French word for Wednesday is “Mercredi,” and the elemental name today for “quicksilver” is Mercury.
  2. Luke 10:16. Christine’s original Latin reads “Qui vos audit, me audit, et qui vos spernit, me spernit.”

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