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girl, he merely went to her home or tent, caught her by the hair or anything else which offered a hold, and dragged her off to his dwelling without further ado." Nay, in some cases, even this unceremonious "courtship" was perpetrated by proxy! The details regarding the marriage customs of lower races already cited in this volume, with the hundreds more to be given in the following pages, cannot fail to convince the reader that primitive courtship-where there is any at all-is habitually a "simple and speedy affair "-not always as simple and speedy as with Nansen's Greenlanders, but too much so to allow of the growth and play of those mixed emotions which agitate modern swains. Fancy the difference between the African of Yariba who, as Lander tells us (I., 161), "thinks as little of taking a wife as of cutting an ear of corn," and the modern lover who suffers the tortures of the inferno because a certain girl frowns on him, while her smiles may make him so happy that he would not change places with a king, unless his beloved were to be queen. Savages cannot experience such extremes of anguish and rapture, because they have no imagination. It is only when the imagination comes into play that we can look for the joys and sorrows, the hopes and fears, that help to make up the sum and substance of romantic love.
EFFECTS OF SENSUAL LOVE
At the same time it would be a great mistake to assume that the manifestation of mixed moods proves the presence of romantic love. After all, the alternation of hope and despair which produces those bitter-sweet paradoxes of the varying and mixed emotions, is one of the selfish aspects of passion: the lover fears or hopes for himself, not for the other. There is, therefore, no reason why we should not read of troubled or ecstatic lovers in the poems of the ancient writers, who, while knowing love only as selfish lust, nevertheless had sufficient imagination to suffer the agonies of thwarted purpose and the delights of realized hopes. As a boat-load of shipwrecked sailors, hungry and thirsty, may be switched from deadly despair to frantic joy by the approach of a res
cuing vessel, so may a man change his moods who is swayed by what is, next to hunger and thirst, the most powerful and imperious of all appetites. We must not, therefore, make the reckless assumption that the Greek and Sanscrit writers must have known romantic love, because they describe men and women as being prostrated or elated by strong passion. When Euripides speaks of love as being both delectable and painful; when Sappho and Theocritus note the pallor, the loss of sleep, the fears and tears of lovers; when Achilles Tatius makes his lover exclaim, at sight of Leucippe: "I was overwhelmed by conflicting feelings: admiration, astonishment, agitation, shame, assurance;" when King Pururavas, in the Hindoo drama, Urvasi is tormented by doubts as to whether his love is reciprocated by the celestial Bayadere (apsara); when, in Malati, a love-glance is said to be "anointed with nectar and poison;" when the arrows of the Hindoo gods of love are called hard, though made of flowers; burning, though not in contact with the skin; voluptuous, though piercingwhen we come across such symptoms and fancies we have no right as yet to infer the existence of romantic love; for all these things also characterize sensual passion, which is love only in the sense of self-love, whereas, romantic love is affection for another-a distinction which will be made more and more manifest as we proceed in our discussion of the ingredients of love, especially the last seven, which are altruistic. It is only when we find these altruistic ingredients associated with the hopes and fears and mixed moods that we can speak of romantic love. The symptoms referred to in this paragraph tell us about selfish longings, selfish pleasures and selfish pains, but nothing whatever about affection for the person who is so eagerly coveted.
As long as love was supposed to be an uncompounded emotion and no distinction was made between appetite and sentiment-that is between the selfish desire of eroticism and
the self-sacrificing ardor of altruistic affection-it was natural enough that the opinion should have prevailed that love has been always and everywhere the same, inasmuch as several of the traits which characterize the modern passion-stubborn preference for an individual, a desire for exclusive possession, jealousy toward rivals, coy resistance and the resulting mixed moods of doubt and hope-were apparently in existence in earlier and lower stages of human development. We have now seen, however, that these indications are deceptive, for the reason that lust as well as love can be fastidious in choice, insistent on a monopoly, and jealous of rivals; that coyness may spring from purely mercenary motives, and that the mixed moods of hope and despair may disquiet or delight men and women who know love only as a carnal appetite. We now take up our sixth ingredient-Hyperbole—which has done more than any other to confuse the minds of scholars as regards the antiquity of romantic love, for the reason that it presents the passion of the ancients in its most poetic and romantic aspects.
GIRLS AND FLOWERS
Amorous hyperbole may be defined as obvious exaggeration in praising the charms of a beloved girl or youth; Shakspere speaks of "exclamations hyperbolical.. praises sauced with lies." Such "praises sauced with lies" abound in the verse and prose of Greek and Roman as well as Sanscrit and other Oriental writers, and they assume as diverse forms as in modern erotic literature. The commonest is that in which a girl's complexion is compared to lilies and roses. The Cyclops in Theocritus tells Galatea she is "whiter than milk brighter than a bunch of hard grapes." The mistress of Propertius has a complexion white as lilies; her cheeks remind him of "rose leaves swimming on milk."
Lilia non domina sunt magis alba mea;
Achilles Tatius wrote that the beauty of Leucippe's countenance "might vie with the flowers of the meadow; the narcissus was resplendent in her general complexion, the rose blushed upon her cheek, the dark hue of the violet sparkled in her eyes, her ringlets curled more closely than do the clusters of the ivy-her face, therefore, was a reflex of the meadows." The Persian Hafiz declares that "the rose lost its color at sight of her cheeks and the jasmines silver bud turned pale." A beauty in the Arabian Nights, however, turns the tables on the flowers. "Who dares to liken me to a rose?" she exclaims. "Who is not ashamed to declare that my bosom is as lovely as the fruit of the pomegranate-tree? By my beauty and grace! by my eyes and black hair, I swear that any man who repeats such comparison shall be banished from my presence and killed by the separation; for if he finds my figure in the ban-tree and my cheeks in the rose, what then does he seek in me ?"
This girl spoke more profoundly than she knew. Flowers are beautiful things, but a spot red as a rose on a cheek would suggest the hectic flush of fever, and if a girl's complexion were as white as a lily she would be shunned as a leper. In hyperbole the step between the sublime and the ridiculous is often a very short one; yet the rose and lily simile is perpetrated by erotic poets to this day.
EYES AND STARS
The eyes are subjected to similar treatment, as in Lodge's lines
Her eyes are sapphires set in snow
Thomas Hood's Ruth had eyes whose "long lashes veiled a light that had else been all too bright." Heine saw in the blue eyes of his beloved the gates of heaven. Shakspere and Fletcher have:
And those eyes, the break of day,
When Romeo exclaims:
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Would through the airy region stream so bright
he excels, both in fancy and in exaggeration, all the ancient poets; but it was they who began the practice of likening eyes to bright lights. Ovid declares (Met., I., 499) that Daphne's eyes shone with a fire like that of the stars, and this has been a favorite comparison at all times. Tibullus assures us (IV., 2) that "when Cupid wishes to inflame the gods, he lights his torches at Sulpicia's eyes." In the Hindoo drama Malati and Madhava, the writer commits the extravagance of making Madhava declare that the white of his mistress's eyes suffuses him as with a bath of milk!
Theocritus, Tibullus ("candor erat, qualem præfert Latonia Luna"), Hafiz, and other Greek, Roman, and Oriental poets are fond of comparing a girl's face or skin to the splendors of the moon, and even the sun is none too bright to suggest her complexion. In the Arabian Nights we read: "If I look upon the heaven methinks I see the sun fallen down to shine below, and thee whom I desire to shine in his place." A girl may, indeed, be superior to sun and moon, as we see in the same book: "The moon has only a few of her charms; the sun tried to vie with her but failed. Where has the sun hips like those of the queen of my heart?" An unanswerable argument, surely!
LOCKS AND FRAGRANCE
When William Allingham wrote: "Her hair's the brag of Ireland, so weighty and so fine," he followed in the wake of a hundred poets, who had made a girl's tresses the object of amorous hyperbole. Dianeme's "rich hair which wantons with the love-sick air" is a pretty conceit. The fanciful notion that a beautiful woman imparts her sweetness to the