« ZurückWeiter »
her feelings before resorting to compulsion. "The first step is to speak well of the man in her presence; the Kraal conspire to praise him-her mother praises him- all the admirers of his cattle praise him-he was never so praised before." If these praises make her feel proud at the thought of marrying such a man, all is well; if not, she has to suffer the consequences. It is not likely that this praising practice would prevail were it not sometimes successful.
If it ever is, we would have here a germ of amorous pride. Others may be found in Hindoo literature, as in Malati and Madhava, where the intermediary speaks of having dwelt on the lover's merits and rank in the presence of the heroine, in the hope of influencing her. "Extolling the lover's merits" is mentioned as one of the ten stages of love in the Hindoo ars amandi.
In Oriental countries in general, where it is difficult or impossible for young men and women to see one another before the wedding-day, the praising of candidates by and to intermediaries has been a general custom. Dr. T. Löbel (9-14) relates that before a Turk reaches the age of twenty-two his parents look about for a bride for him. They send out female friends and intermediaries who "praise and exaggerate the accomplishments of the young man " in houses where they suspect the presence of eligible girls. These female intermediaries are called kyz-görüdschü or "girl-seers." Having found a maiden that appears suitable, they exclaim, "What a lovely girl! She resembles an angel! What beautiful eyes! True gazelle-eyes! And her hair! Her teeth are like pearls." When the young man hears the reports of this beauty, he forthwith falls in love with her, and, although he has never seen her, declares he "will marry her and no other." A sense of humor is not given to every man Dr. Löbel remarks seriously that this disproves. the slanderous assertion so often made that the Turks are incapable of true love!
In their treatment and estimate of women the ancient Greeks resembled the modern Turks. The poets joined the philosophers in declaring that "nature herself," as Becker
sums them up (III., 315), "assigned to woman a position far beneath man." As there is little occasion for pride in having won the favor of so inferior a being, the erotic literature of the Greeks is naturally not eloquent on this subject. Such evidence of amorous pride as we find in it, and in Roman poetry, is usually in connection with mercenary women. The poets, being poor, had only one way of winning the favor of these wantons: they could celebrate their charms in verse. This aroused the pride of the hetairai, and their grateful caresses made the poets proud at having a means of winning favor more powerful even than money. But with genuine love these feelings have nothing to do.
NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL SYMPTOMS OF LOVE
In common with ambition and other strong passions, love has the power of changing a man's character for the time being. One of the speakers in Plutarch's dialogue on love (Epwτikós, 17) declares that every lover becomes generous and magnanimous, though he may have been niggardly before; but, characteristically enough, it is the love for boys, not or women, that is referred to. A modern lover is affected that way by love for women. He feels proud of being distinguished by the preference of such a girl, and on the principle of noblesse oblige, he tries to become worthy of her. This love makes the cowardly brave, the weak strong, the dull witty, the prosy poetic, the slouches tidy. Burton glows eloquent on this subject (III., 2), confounding, as usual, love with lust. Ovid notes that when Polyphemus courted Galatea the desire to please made him arrange his hair and beard, using the water as a mirror; wherein the Roman poet shows a keener sense of the effect of infatuation than his Greek predecessor, Theocritus, who (Id., XIV.) describes the enamoured Aischines as going about with beard neglected and hair dishevelled; or than Callimachus, concerning whose love-story of Acontius and Cydippe Mahaffy says (G. L. and T., 239):
"The pangs of the lover are described just as they are described in the case of his [Shakspere's] Orlando
dishevelled hair, blackness under the eyes, disordered dress, a desire for solitude, and the habit of writing the girl's name on every tree-symptoms which are perhaps now regarded as natural, and which many romantic personages have no doubt imitated because they found them in literature, and thought them the spontaneous expression of the grief of love, while they were really the artificial invention of Callimachus and his school, who thus fathered them upon human nature.”
Professor Mahaffy overlooks, however, an important distinction which Shakspere makes. The witty Rosalind declares to Orlando, in her bantering way, that "there is a man haunts the forest, that abuses our young plants with carving Rosalind' on their barks; hangs odes upon hawthorns and elegies on brambles, all, forsooth, deifying the name of Rosalind . . . he seems to have the quotidian of love upon him." And when Orlando claims that he is that man, she replies, "There is none of my uncle's marks upon you; he taught me to know a man in love."
Orlando : "What were his marks?"
Rosalind "A lean cheek, which you have not, a blue eye and sunken, which you have not a beard neglected, which you have not. Then your hose should be ungartered, your bonnet unbanded, your sleeve unbuttoned, your shoe untied, and everything about you demonstrating a careless desolation."
Shakspere knew that love makes a man tidy, not untidy, hence Rosalind fails to find the artificial Greek symptoms of love in Orlando, while she admits that he carves her name on trees and hangs poems on them; acts of which lovers are quite capable. In Japan it is a national custom to hang lovepoems on trees.
"Egotism," wrote Schopenhauer "is a colossal thing; it overtops the world. For, if every individual had the choice between his own destruction and that of every other person in the world, I need not say what the decision would be in the vast
majority of cases." "Many a man," he declares on another page,1"would be capable of killing another merely to get some fat to smear on his boots." The grim old pessimist confesses that at first he advanced this opinion as a hyperbole; but on second thought he doubts if it is an exaggeration after all. Had he been more familiar with the habits of savages, he would have been fully justified in this doubt. An Australian has been known to bait his fish-hook with his own child when no other meat was at hand; and murders committed for equally trivial and selfish reasons are every-day affairs among wild tribes.
EGOTISM, NAKED OR MASKED
Egoism manifests itself in a thousand different ways, often in subtle disguise. Its greatest triumph lies in its having succeeded up to the present day in masquerading as love. Not only many modern egotists, but ancient Egyptians, Persians, and Hindoos, Greeks, and Romans, barbarians and savages, have been credited with love when in reality they manifested nothing but sexual self-love, the woman in the case being valued only as an object without which the beloved Ego could not have its selfish indulgence. By way of example let us take what Pallas says in his work on Russia (III., 70) of the Samoyedes: "The wretched women of this nomadic people are obliged not only to do all the house-work, but to take down and erect the huts, pack and unpack the sleigh, and at the same time perform slavish duties for their husbands, who, except on a few amorous evenings, hardly bestow on them a look or a pleasant word, while expecting them to anticipate all their desires." The typical shallow observer, whose testimony has done so much to prevent anthropology from being a science, would conclude, if he happened to see a Samoyede on one of these "amorous evenings," that he "loved" his wife, whereas it ought to be clear to the most obtuse that he loves only himself, caring for his wife merely as a means of gratifying his selfish appetites. In the preced1 Grundlage der Moral, § 14.
ing pages I endeavored to show that such a man may exhibit, in his relations to a woman, individual preference, monopolism, jealousy, hope and despair and hyperbolic expression of feeling, yet without giving the slightest indication of lovethat is, of affection-for her. It is all egoism, and egoism is the antipode of love, which is a phase of altruism. Not that these selfish ingredients are absent in genuine love. Romantic love embraces both selfish and altruistic elements, but the former are subdued and overpowered by the latter, and sexual passion is not love unless the altruistic ingredients are present. It is these altruistic ingredients that we must now consider, beginning with sympathy, which is the entering wedge of altruism.
DELIGHT IN THE TORTURE OF OTHERS
Sympathy means sharing the pains and pleasures of another-feeling the other's joys and sorrows as if they were our own, and therefore an eagerness to diminish the other's pains and increase the pleasures. Does uncivilized man exhibit this feeling? On the contrary, he gloats over another's anguish, while the other's joys arouse his envy. Pity for suffering men and animals does not exist in the lower strata of humanity. Monteiro says (A. and C., 134) that the negro
"has not the slightest idea of mercy, pity, or compassion for suffering. A fellow-creature, or animal, writhing in pain or torture, is to him a sight highly provocative of merriment and enjoyment. I have seen a number of blacks at Loanda, men, women, and children, stand round, roaring with laughter, at seeing a poor mongrel dog that had been run over by a cart, twist and roll about in agony on the ground till a white man put it out of its misery."
Cozzens relates (129-30) an instance of Indian cruelty which he witnessed among the Apaches. A mule, with his feet tied, was thrown on the ground. Thereupon two of these savages advanced and commenced with knives to cut the meat from the thighs and fleshy parts of the animal in large chunks, while the poor creature uttered the most terrible cries. Not till the meat had been cut clean to the bone did they kill the