Società Dantesca Italiana
Consultazione opere
a cura del comitato scientifico della SDI

    Liber   Capitulum   confronta con ed. Shaw
  
  
  
Monarchy - tr. Shaw - Liber I - Capitulum i

1For all men whom the Higher Nature has endowed with a love of truth, this above all seems to be a matter of concern, that just as they have been enriched by the efforts of their forebears, so they too may work for future generations, in order that posterity may be enriched by their efforts.
2For the man who is steeped in the teachings which form our common heritage, yet has no interest in contributing something to the community, is failing in his duty: let him be in no doubt of that; for he is not “a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in due season”, but rather a destructive whirlpool which forever swallows things down and never gives back what it has swallowed.
3Thinking often about these things, lest some day I be accused of burying my talent, I wish not just to put forth buds but to bear fruit for the benefit of all, and to reveal truths that have not been attempted by others.
4For what fruit would a man bear who proved once again a theorem of Euclid’s? or who sought to show once again the nature of happiness, which has already been shown by Aristotle? or who took up the defence of old age which has already been defended by Cicero? None at all; indeed the tiresome pointlessness of the exercise would arouse distaste.
5Now since among other truths which are hidden and useful, a knowledge of temporal monarchy is both extremely useful and most inaccessible, and since no one has attempted to elucidate it (on account of its not leading directly to material gain), I propose to draw it forth from where it lies hidden, so that my wakeful nights may be of benefit to the world, and so that I may be the first to win for my own glory the honour of so great a prize.
6It is indeed an arduous task, and one beyond my strength, that I embark on, trusting not so much in my own powers as in the light of that Giver who “giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not”.