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When love first dawns in the breast of youth, it throws about its object
a sacred aureole, which awes at the same time that it inspires the
faithful worshipper.

* * *

Can only two walk abreast in the path of love? How many try to widen that
strait and narrow way!

* * *

Love raises everything to a higher plane; but nothing higher than the man
or woman who is loved.

Is there anything about which love does not shed a halo? Indeed,

Love is a sort of transfiguration. And when on the mount, we can very
truly say, "It is good for us to be here".

If there is any sublunary thing equal in value to the true love of a
faithful woman, it has not yet entered into the heart of man to conceive.


True love makes all things loveable, - except perhaps the chaperon.

Was there ever man or woman yet who was not bettered by a true love?

True love is ever diffident and fearful of its own venturesomeness (3).
But this not every woman understands.

Too often the Phantasm of love and not the Verity wins the day (4).
Women who seek a real lover should beware the overbold one.

(3) Cf. "La volupte Nous rend hardis, l'amour nous rend timides."
- Voltaire, La Pucelle, Chant vi.

(4) See Leopardi, "Storia del Genere Humano", where the Verities of Truth
and Love and Justice never leave the throne of Jove, but their Phantasms
are sent down amongst men.

* * *

To merge the THEE and the ME into one - that is ever the attempt of love.
It is impossible. Yet, perhaps

They are happiest who can longest disbelieve in the impossibility of this
amatorial fusion; for it may be that such

Incredulity is favorable to romance.

* * *

Love is not exactly a sacrifice; it is an exchange. The lover, indeed,
gives his heart; he expects another in return.

* * *

Love is like life: no apparatus can manufacture it; kill it, and nothing
in the heavens above or in the earth beneath or in the waters under the
earth will resuscitate it.

How many a forlorn human wight has tried to resuscitate love!

* * *

To such heights does love exalt the lover that he or she will live for
days in the remembered delights of a look, a word, a gesture. But

One thing is impossible to love: love cannot create love; the intensest
and most fervent love is powerless to evoke a scintillation of love.

Love may worship, it may adore, it may transfigure, it may exalt the
object of its devotion to the skies; but it cannot cause that object to
emit one ray of love in return.

* * *

Hate may be concealed; love never.

* * *

The greater the imaginative altitude of love, the lower the boiling
point. But

Love cannot always be kept at high pressure.

* * *

The young think love is the winning-post of life, the old know it is a
turn in the course. Nevertheless, it is a fateful turn.

* * *

In love, the imagination plays a very large part. And this may be
variously interpreted. Thus,

By man, love is regarded as a sort of sacred religion; by woman, as her
every-day morality. The former is the more exhilarating; but the latter
is more serviceable. Indeed,

Love and religion are very near akin: both inspire, and both elevate.
And

If faith, hope, and charity are the basis of religion, there never was
such as religion as love. And

Love is the only religion in which there have been no heretics. Why?
Because woman are at once its object and its priesthood.

Love, art, and religion are but different phases of the same emotion:
awe, reverence, worship, and sacrifice in the presence of the supreme
ideal.

Love knows no creed. Nay more,

Love acknowledges no deity but itself and accepts no sanctions but its
own: it is autonomous. And yet -

And yet, love sometimes feels constrained to offer a liturgical
acquiescence to the rubric of Reason. In short,

Between the prelatical domination of Reason and the recusant
Protestantism of Love there has ever been strife. Or, in plain language,
There are two codes of ethics: one that of the romantic heart; the other
that of the practical head. Who shall assimilate them?

The heart, in its profoundest depths, feels that something is due to
Reason; and Reason, in its highest flights, feels that something is due
to the heart.

Is there a divine duplicity in the human soul? And yet, after all,

All love seeks is: love. Yet love little knows that

In seeking love, love enters on an endless search. Since

Love is an endless effort to realize the Ideal. For

Love always beckons over insurmountable barriers to uninhabitable realms;
promises insupportable possibilities; lures to an unimaginable goal. Yet

Love has a myriad counterfeits. And

Men and women interpret the word differently. Even

Different women interpret the word love differently. Thus,

To one woman, love is as the rising of the sun: it shines but once in her
whole life-day; it floods everything with its light; it brightens the
world; it dazzles her.

To another woman, love is as the rising of a star: a fresh one may appear
every hour of her life, and nor she nor her world is one whit affected by
its rays. Indeed, one would hardly err if he said that

Many a woman really does not know whether she is "in love" or not. She
is sought - that she perceives; but which of her seekers is worthiest,
which most zealous, which merely takes her fancy, and which appeals to
her heart - on these matters she meditates long - to the exasperation, of
course, of the individual seeker. Accordingly,

Men, carried away by their own passionate impulse, detest calculation of
the part of women:

Since HE stakes his all on impulse in the matter of love, says man, why
should woman stay to consider? Foolish man! he forgets that

A woman always weighs a man's declaration of love - and legitimately -
and naturally; perhaps legitimately because naturally; for, once again,

What a woman stays to consider in the matter of love is, not the potency
of the impulse of the moment, but the permanent efficacy of the emotion.
Therefore it is that

Woman unwittingly obeys great Nature's laws.

* * *

Many imagine that love is a thing like a chemical element: with a fixed
symbol 84 and a rigid atomic equivalent. And so it may be; but, like the
philosopher's stone, hitherto it has defied detection in its elemental
form. The fact is probably that

Love may be compared to a substance that is never found free, and which
not only combines in all sorts of relationships with all sorts of
substances, but also, like many another chemical body, takes on the most
varied forms, not only in these relationships, but also under varying
pressures and temperatures. - Or perhaps it would be better to say that

Love may be compared to a musical note: to the unthinking it is a simple
sound; to the more experienced it is know to consist of endless and
complicated harmonical vibrations; harmonizing with some, and making
discord with other, notes by regular but unknown laws; differing
according to the timbre of the emitter; reverberating under certain
conditions; lost to the ear in others; and only responding to resonators
vibrating synchronously with itself. Lastly,

There is a whole gamut of love. - Changing that simile, we may say that

Love is not like the sun: a unit, and practically the same wherever seen;
it is like light: all-pervading, universally diffused, and reflected and
refracted and absorbed in varying degrees and varying manners by various
objects. And

Than a great and pure love, can anyone point to anything on earth
greater and more purifying?

The lesser luminary perturbs the tide of human passion; the greater light
draws it upward - none the less veritably because in tinted formless
vapor. This is symbolical of love.

It is the nascent thing that evokes the keenest emotions: the bud - the
babe - dawn - and the first beginnings of love. So
Love, like sun-light, wears its most tender tints at dawn.

* * *

It still remains a mystery that, out of a townful of folk, two particular
hearts should worry themselves into early graves because this one cannot
get that other. Yet

It is almost enough to destroy one's faith in the uniqueness of love to
see from how narrow a circle of acquaintances men and women choose their
spouses. Were Plato's two half-souls separated by the diameter of the
globe - that were lamentable.

* * *

The man often argues that esteem will grow into passion. The woman knows
that the argument is utterly fallacious. Yet
Unless passion is guarded by esteem, - as the calyx ensheaths the
corolla, the former is prone to wither.

In youthful love, as in the enfolded bud, esteem and passion - like calyx
and corolla - -seem one and identical;

It is only the full-blown flower that displays its constituent parts.

Would that love could remain ever in bud!

* * *

To some love comes like a flash; to others as the burning of tinder.

In all, when real love is kindled, it devours all that is combustible.
But

All love, like all fire, needs, not only ventilation but replenishing:

Unless the primal spark is nourished, it will not glow;

Stifle love, and it dies down. So

Even the love of a married pair, unless it retains something of the
romance of courtship, is apt to go out.

* * *

Love takes no though of surroundings: an empty compartment is as good as
a coppice. Give it privacy, it is satisfied.

* * *

In love, we would much rather give than take. Yet, if the giving is
one-sided, there is trouble. And

Love brooks no half measures. Again,

Trust a woman to calculate the breaking-strain of her lover's heart. But
she will never let him off with less than the maximum stress.

* * *

When love is dead, it is perhaps best soonest buried.

* * *

In astronomy, to determine the motions of three bodies mutually
attractive is admittedly difficult. It is easy compared with the same
problem in love.

* * *

A man's work and a woman's love, though to each the sum-total of life,
are often things wholly and totally dissociated.

Man, the egoist, thinks that if the woman loves him, by consequence she
will love his work. It may be, but usually, non sequitur; for

Few are the women who can understand a man's work:

For thousands of years man has worked in the hunting-field, in the
market-place in the camp; for an equal length of time woman has worked by
the cradle, by the hearth. Accordingly,

Man has two sides to his nature, woman but one:

Man wears one aspect when facing the world; he wears quite another aspect
when facing women;

At their work, men are rigid, frigid, austere, sever, peremptory,
tyrannical, downright;

With women, . . . . . .Humph! - Wherefore,

O strenuous and high-aspiring man, in thy work, seek not from woman's
love what woman's love cannot give; but set thy face 90 as a flint.
Bethink thee of the fate of Anthony. For

Man's chief business in the world is: Work.

Woman's chief business in the world is; Love.

Man's love (perhaps just because it is his play-thing, not his business)
is more finely tempered than is woman's, and takes on a finer edge. For
this very reason it is the more easily turned, and is the less useful.
- It is the pocket-knife, not the lancet, that is oftener called into
requisition. Also,

Man's love is usually a highly ephemeral affair.

With a man, love is like hunger or thirst: he makes a great fuss over it;
he forgets when it is appeased. Yet

When "passion's trance" is overpast, it is fortunate if affection takes
its place. So too,

In love it is the man who protests; and

That man is fortunate, who, after marriage, has not some dubious
reflections as to whether he has protested over-much. For

In love, it is the man, generally, who makes a fool of himself.

* * *

Love (like murder) will out. But

Jill keeps her secret better than Jack. For

A woman generally controls love: a man is controlled by it. And
Jill's very power of making-believe to be "fancy free" exasperates Jack.

* * *

It is a purely feminine ruse to apply a test to love - both her own and
that of her lover - to prove it true. A man would as soon as think of
applying a match to a powder magazine to prove it combustible.

Love in woman's eyes is the supreme and ultimate arbitrator. If she is
loved, love in her eyes will condone anything - anything. For

To prefer honor to love is a maxim to women unknown. With them love IS
honor. And therefore the maxim is meaningless - and needless.

* * *

It is a sort of legal - or rather charitable - fiction that women should
surrender only to love. In fact,

Do not even the lightest of Laises and Thaises make a show of being
swayed by love? And

No woman by too much love was ever spoiled. Man, remember
that!

* * *

The logic of the emotions differs from the logic of the intellect. As to
the senses -

Alack-a-day! The senses never reason.

Love sometimes wrecks its barque upon the rocks to prove that they harbor
no mirage.

Love sometimes forgets that it is possible to probe too far.

Love, in pursuit of love, sometimes vivisects as unconsciously as a
science in pursuit of life.

* * *

Women detect the dawn of love while it is still midnight with a man.
That is to say,

A woman knows a man is in love with her long before he is aware of it
himself. Except perhaps in this once circumstance: when she herself is
in love with somebody else. And this is a highly important circumstance.

* * *

Wholly to satisfy masculine infatuation is given to no woman. And
perhaps

Wholly to satisfy feminine caprice is given to no man. So, sometimes,

The last refuge of an unrequited love is the belief that love will create
love. Nothing can be more futile than such a faith. Yet

Love without hope, has its mitigations; but

How alleviate the pain of a love that mistook a simulated love for a true
one?

A simulated love is a contradiction in terms.

Either one loves or one does not, that is the conclusion of the whole
matter.

* * *

Love would rather suffer than forget.

Love would give the world to be able to exculpate a languid lover.

A passionate love is perhaps always poignant.

Love disdains pity.

A wounded love carries a scar to the grave.

* * *

In love, when honor is lost, loss of shame soon follows. Then indeed the
downward patch becomes precipitous.

* * *

To some, love never comes; to some, it comes too often; but the same love
never recurs, as never a bud opens twice: happy he or she is who gains
bud, blossom, and fruit. Since

The sweetest love is that wherein the odorous flower of passion ripens
into the nourishing fruitage of affection. But

Love requires careful nature. And

The more exotic the love, the more difficult its culture. - True, An
orchid may life on air. Yes; but how torrid and vaporous an air!

Your sturdy mistletoe thrives on the humble apple; a Cattleya requires a
Columbian forest.

* * *

Youth wonders at the amatory successes of middle-age. Youth knows not
that

In matters amatory, age is no handicap:

A girl in her 'teens will make love to a gentleman of forty - and vice
versa. In fact

The indiscreet impetuosity of youth succumbs before the astuteness of
age.

The bachelor and the spinster both sometimes wonder that the benedick and
the bride are still their rivals; for they know not that

In the amatorial art, matrimony is no handicap. In short,

There is no barrier at which love will balk. Nay more,

Love will forgive anything:

Did love demand it, love, though it might blush, would not blench. And

Often love itself stands amazed at its own divine audacity. Indeed,

Love loves to immolate itself for love. Knowing that

To love, nothing is common or unclean: for

Love, like charity, thinketh no evil. But - remember that

It is only the Uranian Aphrodite (5) that dares essay a divine audacity.
Nevertheless,

Love is the most vulnerable of the emotions, and

A love doubtful of itself would be cautiously accepted: it is not a fact
that

To try to feel one's own pulse, is to make the heart beat irregularly?
So,

To try to see in a mirror the love light in one's own eyes, is to be-dim
it. So, too,

If passion is not linked with affection - woe worth the day when the
troth was plighted! But given passion linked with affection - ah!

Nothing, nothing is criminal to love; for love knows not conscience. Or
rather,

Love upsets all conventional conditions. For

Love creates a world of its own, a world populated by two - and these
make their own laws - or make none. So

A woman will imbrue her hands with blood, and a man will fling honor to
the winds, and yet the twain regard each other as impeccant and
impeccable. - Till Pippa passes; then,

Love always awakes to the fact that not even a community of two can live
without law; and that

Though human laws may be outraged, those divine may not. And assuredly,

The ideal love is the divine love. And, in ideal love,

Strange, strange, but true, in a great and ardent love, when at last that
is offered which was long sought, there supervenes upon the lovers a
great tenderness, which hesitates to make their own that for which they
yearned. Almost it were as if

A psychic monitor warned the conqueror to be clement, and the captive to
be kind. This

Tenderness is the worship of the soul by the soul. And

Of all tests of love tenderness is the truest. But indeed, indeed

In love there are heights above heights, depths beneath depths: who shall
scale them, who shall plumb?

(5) See Plato, "Symposium", 180 et seq.

* * *




V. On Lovers

"Si vis amari ama."
- Seneca


Lovers think the world was made for them. - And so perhaps it was.

* * *

To each other, lovers are the most interesting personages alive; but
onlookers regard them partly with amusement, partly with pity, partly
with compassion - in the etymological sense of that word.

* * *

The first wonder of every accepted lover is that he should be the
accepted lover of such a woman. - What the woman thinks . . . what the
woman thinks, probably not even she herself knows. Probably each woman
thinks her own thoughts.

To doubt whether one is in love is to prove oneself out of it.

* * *

To impress upon the lover the still-existing necessity of refining gold
or painting the lily is out of the question. Yet every woman attempts
it.

* * *

If there is one proverb more distasteful than another to a
hot-headed lover, it is that half a loaf is better than no bread.

* * *

Children, dogs, and old people are difficult to deceive. Lovers who have
to use circumspection should remember this.

* * *

A doubting lover should mark how, and for whom, his woman dresses.

* * *

To die for a woman would perhaps, to a young and ardent lover, not be
difficult; to wage incessant warfare with the world for her, that perhaps
is not so easy. But it is the better test of love; and perhaps also the
better preserver and replenisher of love. For

Little as people seem to be aware of it, love requires constant
replenishing: no flame can burn without a feeding oil, no pool overflow
with out a purling brook. Yet

The first ecstasies of love often blind both lover and lass to the care
necessary for the nurture of love. Indeed,

To many treat love as if it were a passing whim; whereas in sober reality
it is (or should be) a lasting emotion.

* * *

Love, with woman, is like the tides. And

Few women know the high-water mark of their love: they are always
harboring the belief that it may rise still higher; and often they await
that rise.

* * *

It is but the reflection of himself in his mistress that many a foolish
lover loves.

* * *

That aged spinster is a rare one who does not regret she did not accept
one of her lovers. But

That younger spinster is not to be envied who has to make choice of
several.

Youth glories in the multiplicity of its lovers; age sometimes wishes it
had had but one.

* * *

The unloved think lad the one thing needful. The beloved know that an
ocean of love could be swallowed up and the parched soul cry out athirst.


* * *

It is not well either to confide or confess too much.

A very small rock will wreck a very big ship, and a very small slip will
spoil a very long life.

* * *

The pain which lovers cause each other - through fickleness, languidness,
jealousy, and the thousand natural shocks that love is heir to - is not
altogether pain, though at the moment it may seem the most poignant
anguish the human soul could suffer. One proof of this lies in the fact
that

There are few who would choose to have missed love's pangs altogether.

Perhaps the pleasure intermixed with love's pangs arises from the thought
that the other is the cause of our suffering. For,

In all love, it is the sacrifice of oneself for the other that brings
keenest joy. And yet

There is an element of self-love in the very extremest of love. Since

Love, after all, is a debtor and creditor affair. (Who ever loved with
no hope of return?) It is when one of the parties declares him-or
her-self insolvent that the account is closed - with many tears and sighs
on the part of the chief creditor. At all events

The intenser the love, the more flawless does its object appear. For

The surest test of the sincerity of love is that it thinketh no evil.

The surest test of a waning love is that it begins not to content itself
when it sees its object suffer.

The surest test of a dead love is that it forgets how to be jealous.

* * *

The falling-out of lovers true is a renewing may be of love. (1) Still it
is not to be recommended. In fact, it might be said that

Every falling-out of lovers true is a nail in love's coffin. Yet,

A blessing it is that in love we remember the sweet rather than the
bitter. For

Love was ever bitter-sweet (2).

(1) "Amanitum irae amoris integratis est."
- Terrence, Andria, III, 23.

(2) But I supposed innumerable people have said this before. No matter.

* * *

The heart of a lover is like that bottom of a well: all the beauties of
the starry heavens are revealed in it; but when it sheds the light of its
countenance upon it, all else is obliterated.

* * *

Was any lover ever loved enough? Or

Did any ever hear of a tired lover? Nevertheless often

"Drink to me only with thine eyes", says the youthful lover; but when the
seance is over he goes out and orders beef-steak and bottled beer.

* * *

What it really craves, the lover's heart is impotent to express. Yet, it
is ever attempting.

A lover is full of wishes as an egg is full of meat. But

What it really wishes no lover seems able to say. As a matter of fact,

The endless task which the lover is ever attempting is a search for a
formula for the summation of an infinite series of which love is the
variable. - Few lovers seem to understand this.

* * *

To kindle aspiration in her lover, a woman herself need not be aspiring.
For,

Whatever the talents of a man, they are stimulated by contact with woman.
Since

An elevating influence seems to radiate from women: we have but to come
into the light of their countenances for our own faces to shine as the
sun. Indeed,

Physicists may talk as they like, but lovers know a more subtle and a
more potent force than any yet revealed to them. It has not yet been
named; but for the present it might be called "psychicity". (3)

(3) Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes speaks of "celebricity". See "Over the Tea
Cup"

* * *

If you wish to ascertain the relationship of a youthful pair, watch their
eyes. For

Simulation is difficult to the eye.

* * *

When the idol into which a woman has converted her lover is dethroned,
she still worships her remembrance of her god, and puts together and
treasures the broken pieces.

When the idol into which has converted his loved one is dethroned, he
generally changes his creed.

* * *

A circumpsecting lover is a woman's abhorrence: as a calculating
mistress is a man's.

* * *

Let a lover but put himself into the hands of his mistress, and he is
safe. Since

The man she really loves, a woman will shield through thick and thin,
through right and wrong. For,

Concerning a man, the only question a woman asks is, not, "Is he right or
wrong?" but, "Is he mine or another's?" - We men therefore

Leave a woman to get her lover out of a scrape.

* * *

It is to be feared that the men and women who love but once and forever
are not usually to be found outside of romances.


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