[Beatrice]: "All things, among themselves,
possess an order; and this order is
the form that makes the universe like God.
Here do the higher beings see the imprint
of the Eternal Worth, which is the end
to which the pattern I have mentioned tends.
Within that order, every nature has
its bent, according to a different station,
nearer or less to its origin.
Therefore, these natures move to different ports
across the mighty sea of being,
each given the impulse that will bear it on." (Par. I, 103-114)
[Beatrice]: "If violence means that the one who suffers
has not abetted force in any way,
then there is no excuse these souls can claim:
for will, if it resists, is never spent,
but acts as nature acts when fire ascends,
though force – a thousand times – tries to compel.
So that, when will has yielded much or little,
it has abetted force – as these souls did:
they could have fled back to their holy shelter.
Had their will been as whole as that which held
Lawrence fast to the grate and that which made
of Mucius one who judged his own hand, then
once freed, they would have willed to find the faith
from which they had dragged; but it is all
too seldom that a will is so intact." (Par. IV, 73-87)
[Beatrice]: "As for the matter of the vow – discussed
above – it may be such that if one shifts
to other matters, one commits no sin.
But let none shift the burden on his shoulder
through his own judgment, without waiting for
the turning of the white and yellow keys;
and let him see that any change is senseless,
unless the thing one sets aside can be
contained in one's new weight, as four in six.
Thus, when the matter of a vow has so
much weight and worth that it tips every scale,
no other weight can serve as substitute.
Let mortals never take a vow in jest;
be faithful and yet circumspect; (Par. V, 52-65)