Porete7 Bonnie Duncan
English Department
Millersville University
Date last modified: 11/25/95

Marguerite Por& egrave;te:

The Mirror of Simple Souls

The Exerpted Text:

Chapter 88: How Love asks what Reason would ask if she were still alive, that is, who is the mother of Reason and the other Virtues.

[Love]: I will say, says Love, what Reason would ask if she were still alive. She would ask, says Love, who is the mother of her and of other virtues who are of Reason's generation, and if they are mothers of anyone.

Love: Yes, sa ys Love herself who answers. All the Virtues are mothers. Soul: Of whom? says this Soul. Of Peace?

Love: Of Holiness, says Love. Soul: then all the virtues, who are of the genration of Reason, and mothers of Holiness.

Love : Ture, says Love, of that Holiness which Reason grasps, but no other kind. Soul: Then, who is the mother of the Virtues?

Love: Humility, says Love. Not that Humility who is Humility thrugh the work of the Virtues, for she is a sus ter of the same genration of Reason. Thus I say sister, for it is a greater thing to be a mother than a child, even a much greter thing, if you can see this.

Soul speaks in the persona of Reason: From whom, then, says this Soul who speak s in the persona of Reason, is this Humility who is the mother of these Virtues? To whom is she daughter, from whom does she come, who is the othr of so great a lineage as the Virtues and aunt of Holiness of whom these Virtues are the mothers? Who is gr andmother to this Holiness? Does no one know how to say whence comes such a lineage?

Love: Not at all, says Love. The one who knows it does not know how to put it into words.

Soul: This is true, says this Soul, but I wo uld lie as soon as I said something.

This Humility, so is aunt and mother,
is daughter of divine majesty and so is born from Divinty.
Deity is her mother and grandmother of her branches,
by whom the buds make such great fruitfulness.
W e are silent about it, for speaking ruins them.
This one, that is Humility,
has given the stem and the fruit from these buds,
because she is there, close
to the peace of this Farnearness
who unencumbers her from works,
and turns aw ay the speaking,
makes dark there the pondering.
This Farnearness unencumbers,
no one encumbers her wit anything.
This one is freed from all service,
for she lives by jfreeness.
Whoebver serves, he is not free,
whoever senses, he has not died,
whoever desires, he wills,
whoever wills, he begs,
whoever begs, he has a lack of divine sufficiency.

But those who are always loyal to her are always overtaken by Love and annihilated through Love, and completely st ripped by Love, and to have no care except for Love, in order to suffer and endure torments forever, because [those loyal ones]would be as great as God is great in goodness. The Soul never loved erfectly who doubted that this would be true.