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was forthwith married. No one ever knew behind which of the doors was the tiger, so that the audience no more than the prisoner knew whether he was to be devoured or married.
This semi-barbaric king had a daughter who fell in love with a handsome young courtier. When the king discovered this love-affair he cast the youth into prison and had his realm searched for the fiercest of tigers. The day came when the prisoner had to decide his own fate in the arena by opening one of the doors. The princess, who was one of the spectators, had succeeded, with the aid of gold, in discovering the secret of the doors; she knew from which the tiger, from which the lady, would issue. She knew, too, who the lady was behind the other door-one of the loveliest of the damsels of the court-one who had dared to raise her eyes to her loved one and had thereby aroused her fiercest jealousy. She had thought the matter over, and was prepared for action. The king gave the signal, and the courtier appeared. He had expected the princess to know on which side lay safety for him, nor was he wrong. To his quick and anxious glance at her, she replied by a slight, quick movement of her arm to the right. The youth turned, and without the slightest hesitation opened the door on the right. Now," which came out of the opened door-the lady or the tiger?"
THE LADY AND THE TIGER
With that question Stockton ends his story, and it is generally supposed that he does not answer it. But he does, on the preceding page, in these words: "Think of it, fair reader, not as if the decision of the question depended upon yourself, but upon that hot-blooded, semi-barbaric princess, her soul at white heat beneath the combined fires of despair and jealousy. She had lost him, but who should have him?" In these words the novelist hints plainly enough that the question was decided by a sort of dog-in-the-manger jealousy. If the princess could not have him, certainly her hated rival should never enjoy his love. The tiger, we may be sure, was behind the door on the right.
In allowing the tiger to devour the courtier, the princess showed that her love was of the primitive, barbarous type, being in reality self-love, not other-love. She loved" the man not for his own sake, but only as a means of gratifying her desires. If he was lost to her, the tiger might as well. dine on him. How differently an American girl would have acted, under the impulse of romantic love! Not for a moment could she have tolerated the thought of his dying, through her fault-the thought of his agony, his shrieks, his blood. She would have sacrificed her own happiness instead of her beloved's life. The lady would have come out of the door opened by him. Suppose that, overcome by selfish jealousy, she acted otherwise; and suppose that an amphitheatre full of cultured men and women witnessed her deed: would there not be a cry of horror, condemning her as worse than the tiger, as absolutely incapable of the feeling of true love? And would not this cry of horror reveal on the part of the spectators an instinctive perception of the truth which this chapter, this whole book, is written to enforce, that voluntary self-sacrifice, where called for, is the supreme, the infallible, test of love?
A GREEK LOVE-STORY
If we imagine the situation reversed-a man delivering his "beloved" into the clutches of a tiger rather than to the legitimate caresses of a rival-our horror at his loveless selfishness would be doubled. Yet this is the policy habitually followed by savages and barbarians. In later chapters instances will be given of such wooers killing coveted girls with their own spears as soon as they find that the rival is the winner. After what has been said about the absence of unselfish gallantry among the lower races it would, of course, be useless to look for instances of altruistic self-sacrifice for a woman's sake, since such sacrifice implies so much more than gallantry. As for the Greeks, in all my extensive reading I have come across only one author who seemingly appreciates the significance of self-sacrifice for a woman loved. Pausa
nias, in his Description of Greece (Bk. VII., chap. 21), relates this love-story:
"When Calydon still exisited there was among the priests of Dionysus one named Coresus, whom love made, without any fault of his own, the most wretched of mortals. He loved a girl Callirrhoe, but as great as his love for her was her hatred of him. When all his pleadings and offerings of presents failed to change the girl's attitude, he at last prostrated himself before the image of Dionysus, imploring his help. The god granted the prayers of his priest, for suddenly the Calydonians began to lose their senses, like drunkards, and to die in fits of madness. They appealed to the oracle of Dodona which declared that the calamity was due to the wrath of the god Dionysus, and that it would not cease until Coresus had sacrificed to Dionysus either Callirrhoe or anyone else willing to die for her. Now when the girl saw no way of escaping, she sought refuge with her former educators, but when they too refused to receive her, nothing remained for her but death. When all the preparations for the sacrifice had been made in accordance with the precepts of the oracle of Dodona, she was brought to the altar, adorned like an animal that is to be sacrificed; Coresus, however, whose duty it was to offer the sacrifice, let love prevail in place of hate, and slew himself instead of Callirrhoe, thus proving by his deed that he had been animated by the purest love. But when Callirrhoe saw Coresus as a corpse, overcome by pity and repentance for her treatment of him, she went and drowned herself in the fountain not far from the Calydonian harbor, which since that time is known as the fountain of Callirrhoe."
If a modern lover, desiring to possess a girl, got her into a predicament which culminated in the necessity of his either slaying her with his own hands or killing himself, and did not choose the latter alternative, we should regard him as more contemptible than the vilest assassin. To us self-sacrifice in such a case would seem not a test of love, nor even of honor so much as of common decency, and we should expect a man to submit to it even if his love of the poor girl had been a mere infatuation of the senses. However, in view of the contempt for women, and for love for women, prevalent among the Greeks in general, we may perhaps discover at least a gleam of better things in this legend of masculine self-sacrifice.
A closer approximation to our ideal may be found in a story related by the Persian poet Saadi (358):
"There was a handsome and well-disposed young man, who was embarked in a vessel with a lovely damsel: I have read that, sailing on the mighty deep, they fell together into a whirlpool: When the pilot came to offer him assistance; God forbid that he should perish in that distress; he was answering, from the midst of that overwhelming vortex, Leave me and take the hand of my beloved! The whole world admired him for this speech, which, as he was expiring, he was heard to make; learn not the tale of love from that faithless wretch who can neglect his mistress when exposed to danger. In this manner ended the lives of those lovers; listen to what has happened, that you may understand; for Saudi knows the ways and forms of courtship, as well as the Tazi, or modern Arabic, is understood at Baghdad."
How did this Persian poet get such a correct and modern notion about love into his head? Obviously not from his experiences and observations at home, for the Persians, as the scholarly Dr. Polak observes in his classical work on them (I., 206), do not know love in our sense of the word. The love of which their poets sing has either a symbolical or an entirely carnal meaning. Girls are married off without any choice of their own at the early age of twelve or thirteen; they are regarded as capital and sold for cash, and children are often engaged in the cradle. When a Persian travels, he leaves his wife at home and enters into a temporary marriage with other women in the towns he visits. In rural districts if the traveller is a person of rank, the mercenary peasants eagerly offer their daughters for such "marriages." (Hellwald, 439.) Like the Greek poets the Persians show their contempt for women by always speaking of boy-favorites when their language rises above the coarsest sensuality. Public opinion regarding Persian stories and poems has been led astray by the changes of sex and the expurgations made freely by translators. Burton, whose version of the Thousand and One Nights was suppressed in England, wrote (F. F., 36), that "about
one-fifth is utterly unfit for translation, and the most sanguine Orientalist would not dare to render literally more than three-quarters of the remainder."
Where, then, I repeat, did Saadi get that modern European idea of altruistic self-sacrifice as a test of love? Evidently from Europe by way of Arabia. His own language indicates this-his suspicious boast of his knowledge of real love as of one who has just made a strange discovery, and his coupling it with the knowledge of Arabic. Now it is well known that ever since the ninth century the Persian mind had been brought into a contact with the Arabic which became more and more intimate. The Arabs had a habit of sacrificing their lives in chivalrous efforts to save the life or honor of maidens whom the enemy endeavored to kidnap. The Arabs, on their part, were in close contact with the European minds, and as they helped to originate the chivalrous spirit in Europe, so they must have been in turn influenced by the developments of the troubadour spirit which culminated in such maxims as Montagnogout's declaration that "a true lover desires a thousand times more the happiness of his beloved than his own." As Saadi lived in the time of the troubadours— the twelfth and thirteenth centuries-it was easy for him to get a knowledge of the European "ways and forms of courtship." In Persia itself there was no courtship or legitimate lovemaking, for the "lover" hardly ever had met his bride before the wedding-day. Nevertheless, if we may believe. William Franklin, a Persian woman might command a suitor to spend all day in front of her house reciting verses in praise of her beauty; and H. C. Trumbull naïvely cites, as evidence that Orientals love just as we do, the following story:
"Morier tells . . . of a large painting in a pleasure-house in Shiraz, illustrative of the treatment of a loyal lover by a heartless coquette, which is one of the popular legends of Persia. Sheik Chenan, a Persian of the true faith, and a man of learning and consequence, fell in love with an Armenian lady of great beauty who would not marry him unless he changed
Magazin von Reisebeschreibungen, I., 283.