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his religion. To this he agreed. Still she would not marry him unless he would drink wine. This scruple also he vielded. She resisted still, unless he consented to eat pork. With this also he complied. Still she was coy, and refused to fulfil her engagement, unless he would be contented to drive swine before her. Even this condition he accepted. She then told him that she would not have him at all, and laughed at him for his pains. The picture represents the coquette at her window, laughing at Sheik Chenan as he is driving his pigs before her."
This story suggests and may have been invented in imitation of the foolish and capricious tests to which mediaval dames in Europe put their quixotic knights. Few of these knights, as I have said elsewhere (R. L. P. B., 100), were so manly as the one in Schiller's ballad, who, after fetching his lady's glove from the lion's den, threw it in her face," to show how his feelings toward her had changed. If the Persian in Trumbull's story had been manly and refined enough to be capable of genuine love, his feelings toward a woman who could wantonly subject him to such persistent insults and degradation, would have turned into contempt. Ordinary sensual infatuation, on the other hand, would be quite strong enough and unprincipled enough to lead a man to sacrifice religion, honor, and self-respect, for a capricious woman. This kind of self-sacrifice is not a test of true love, for it is not altruistic. The sheik did not make his sacrifice to benefit the woman he coveted, but to benefit himself, as he saw no other way of gratifying his own selfish desires.1
The Rev. Isaac Malek Yonan tells us, in his book on Persian Women (138), that most Armenian women are very low in the moral scale." It is obvious that only one of the wanton class could be in question in Trumbull's story, for the respectable women are, as Yonan says, not even permitted to talk loudly or freely in the presence of men. This clergyman is a native Persian, and the account he gives of his countrywomen, unbiassed and sorrowful, shows that the chances for romantic love are no better in modern Persia than they were in the olden times. The women get no education, hence they grow up "really stupid and childlike." He refers to "the low estimation in which women are held," and says that the likes and dislikes of girls about to be married are not consulted. Girls are seldom betrothed later than the seventh to the tenth year, often, indeed, immediately after birth or even before. The wife cannot sit at the same table with her husband, but must wait on him "like an accomplished slave." After he has eaten she washes his hands, lights his pipe, then retires to a respectful distance, her face turned toward the mud wall, and finishes what is left. If she is ill or in trouble, she does not mention it to him, "for she could only be sure of harsh, rough words instead of loving sympathy."
HERO AND LEANDER
Very great importance attaches to this distinction between selfish and altruistic self-sacrifice. The failure to make this distinction is perhaps more than anything else responsible for the current belief that romantic love was known to the ancients. Did not Leander risk and sacrifice his life for Hero, swimming to her at night across the stormy Hellespont? Gentle reader, he did not. He risked his life for the purpose of continuing his illicit amours with a priestess of Venus in a lonely tower. As we shall see in the chapter devoted to Greek romances, there is in the story told by Musæus not a single trait rising above frank sensuality. In his eagerness to gratify his appetite, Leander risked Hero's life as well as his own. His swimming across the strait was, moreover, no more than any animal would do to meet its mate on the other side of a river. It was a romantic thing to do, but it was no proof of romantic love. Bearing in mind what Westermarck says (134)— "With wild animals sexual desire is not less powerful as an incentive to strenuous exertion than hunger and thirst. In the rut-time, the males, even of the most cowardly species, engage in mortal combats"-we see that Hero's risking of death for the sake of his intrigue was not even a mark of exceptional courage; and regarding the quality and nature of his "love" it tells us nothing whatever.
THE ELEPHANT AND THE LOTOS
In the Hindoo drama Malavika and Agnimitra, Kalidasa represents the king as seeking an interview with a new flame
graded Oriental customs have led the Persians to the conclusion that "love has nothing to do with the matrimonial connection," the main purpose of marriage being "the convenience and pleasure of a degenerate people” (34-114). So far this Persian clergyman. His conclusions are borne out by the observations of the keen-eyed Isabella Bird Bishop, who relates in her book on Persia how she was constantly besieged by the women for potions to bring back the "love" of their husbands, or to "make the favorite hateful to him.' She was asked if European husbands "divorce their wives when they are forty?" Persian who spoke French assured her that marriage in his country was like buying a pig in a poke," and that "a woman's life in Persia is a very sad thing."
of his. When his companion warns him that the queen might surprise them, the king answers:
When the elephant sees the lotos leaves
Lotos leaves being the elephant's favorite food, these lines admirably sum up the Hindoo idea of risking life for "love" -cupboard love. But would the elephant risk his life to save the beautiful lotos flowers from destruction? Foolish question! Was not the lotos created to gratify the elephant's appetite just as beautiful women were created to subserve man's desires?
Fighting crocodiles for the sake of the sweet lotos is a characteristic of primitive "love" in all its various strata. Nothing is more certain," writes M'Lean (135), “ than that the enamoured Esquimau will risk life and limb in the pursuit of his object." Women, he says, are the main cause of all quarrels among the Esquimaux; and the same is true of the lower races in general. If an Australian wants to run away with another man's wife, the thought of risking his life -and hers too-does not restrain him one moment. Ascending to the Greeks, we may cite Robert Burton's summing up of one of their legends:
"Thirteen proper young men lost their lives for that fair Hipodamia's sake, the daughter of Onomaus, King of Elis: when that hard condition was proposed of death or victory [in a race], they made no account of it, but courageously for love died, till Pelops at last won her by a sleight.
What is this but another version of the story of the lotos and the elephant? The prize was great, and worth the risk. Men risk their lives daily for gold, and for objects infinitely less attractive to the senses and the selfish ambitions than a beautiful princess. In the following, which Burton quotes from Hodus, the sensual and selfish basis of all such confronting of death for "love's" sake is laid bare to the bone :
"What shall I say of the great dangers they undergo, single combats they undertake, how they will venture their lives, creep in at windows, gutters, climb over walls to come
to their sweethearts, and if they be surprised, leap out at windows, cast themselves headlong down, bruising or breaking their legs or arms, and sometimes losing life itself, as Calisto did for his lovely Melibœa?"
I have known rich young Americans and Europeans risk their lives over and over again in such "gallant" adventures, but if I had asked them if they loved these women, i.e., felt such a disinterested affection for them (like a mother's for her child) that they would have risked their lives to benefit them when there was nothing to gain for themselves-they would have laughed in my face. Whence we see how foolish it is to infer from such instances of "gallantry" and "self-sacrifice" that the ancients knew romantic love in our sense of the word. It is useless to point to passages like this (again from Burton): "Polienus, when his mistress Circe did but frown upon him, in Petronius, drew his sword, and bade her kill, stab, or whip him to death, he would strip himself naked and not resist." Such fine talk occurs in Tibullus and other poets of the time; but where are the actions corresponding to it? Where do we read of these Romans and Greeks ever braving the crocodile for the sake of preserving the purity of the lotos herself? Or of sparing a lotos belonging to another, but at their mercy? Perseus himself, much vaunted for his chivalry, did not undertake to save the rock-chained Andromeda from the sea monster until he had extorted a promise that she should be his prize. Fine sort of chivalry, that!
SUICIDE IS SELFISH
One more species of pseudo-self-sacrifice remains to be considered. When Hero finds Leander's dead body on the rocks she commits suicide. Is not this self-sacrifice for love's sake ? It is always so considered, and Eckstein, in his eagerness to prove that the ancient Greeks knew romantic love,1 gives a list of six legendary suicides from hopeless or foiled love. The question of suicide is an interesting one and will be considered in detail in the chapter on the American Indians,
Magazin für d. Lit. des In- und Auslandes, June 30, 1888.
who, like other savages, were addicted to it, in many cases for the most trivial reasons. In this place I will content myself with noting that if Eckstein had taken the pains to peruse the four volumes of Ramdohr's Venus Urania (a formidable task, I admit), he would have found an author who more than a hundred years ago knew that suicide is no test of true love. There are indeed, he says (III., 46), plenty of old stories of self-sacrifice, but they are all of the kind where a man risks comfort and life to secure possession of a coveted body for his own enjoyment, or else where he takes his own life because he feels lonely after having failed to secure the desired union. These actions are no index of love, for they "may coexist with the cruelest treatment" of the coveted woman. Very ambitious persons or misers may commit suicide after losing honor or wealth, and "a coarse negro, in face of the danger of losing his sweetheart, is capable of casting himself into the ocean with her, or of plunging his dagger into her breast and then into his own." All this is selfish. The only true index of love, Ramdohr continues, lies in the sacrifice of one's own happiness for another's sake; in resigning one's self to separation from the beloved, or even to death, if that is necessary to secure her happiness or welfare. Of such self-sacrifice he declares he cannot find a single instance in the records and stories of the ancients; nor can I.
The suicide of Dido after her desertion by Æneas is often cited as proof of love, but Ramdohr insists (338) that, apart from the fact that "a woman really in love would not have pursued Æneas with curses," such an act as hers was the outcome of purely selfish despair, on a par with the suicide of a miser after the loss of his money. It is needless to add to this that Hero's suicide was likewise selfish; for of what possible benefit was it to the dead Leander that she took her own life in a cowardly fit of despondency at having lost her chief source of delight? Had she lost her life in an effort to save his, the case would have been different.
Instances of women sacrificing themselves for men's sake abound in ancient literature, though I am not so sure that they