Romance of the Rose – Lady Fortune
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Romance of the Rose – translated by Frances Horgan
...everything you own is enclosed within yourself. All other gifts belong to Fortune, who scatters them and gathers them in, gives then and takes them away as she pleases, causing fools to laugh and weep…………
When Fortune falls unfavourably on men, this adversity makes them all see so clearly that they discover their friends and prove by experiment that they are worth more than any wealth the world could offer them. Thus adversity is of more use to them than prosperity, for from prosperity comes ignorance and from adversity knowledge....
When Fortune is unfavourable and perverse, she topples them from their high estates and with a turn of her wheel tumbles them from the summit down into the mud; when, like a cruel stepmother, she sticks a painful plaster to their hearts, moistened not with vinegar but with thin and wretched poverty, then she shows she is sincere and that no one should trust Fortune’s favour, for she is utterly unreliable.
When men have lost their wealth, she makes them know and understand the kind of love felt for them by their former friends, for friends bestowed upon them by good fortune are so dazed by misfortune that they all become enemies and not one, not even half a one, remains. They all run away and disown them as soon as they see that they are poor, nor do they stop there, but criticise and slander them everywhere they go and call them wretched fools.
Even those whom they most helped when they were men of high estate go around cheerfully swearing that they are well aware of their folly; they find not a single one to aid them. But their true friends remain to them, those whose hearts are so noble that they do not love for the sake of wealth or with expectation of gain. These aid and defend them, for Fortune has no stake in them.
A friend loves forever.