383. After him the second speaker arose, to reveal in gracious discourse the origin of beauty.
"I have heard," he said, "that love is the origin of beauty, but I am not inclined to agree. Who among mortals knows what love is? Who has had any mental conception of it so as to examine it? Who has seen it with his eye? Tell me where he is.
"But I assert that wisdom is the origin of beauty - wisdom which in women is inmostly hidden and concealed, which in men is apparent and visible. What makes a person human but wisdom? If it were not for wisdom, a person would be a sculpture or painting. What does a maiden observe in a young man but the nature of his wisdom? And what does a young man observe in a maiden but the nature of her affection for his wisdom? By wisdom I mean genuine morality, because this is wisdom in life. So it is that when her hidden wisdom approaches and embraces his visible wisdom, which happens interiorly in the spirit of each, they kiss each other and unite, and this is called love; and then they appear to each other as pictures of beauty.
"In a word, wisdom is like the light or radiance of a fire, which strikes the eyes, and as it does, creates beauty."