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abounded in life, except under compulsion, as in the Hindoo suttee.1 As we shall see in the chapter on India, tales of feminine self-sacrifice were among the means craftily employed by men to fortify and gratify their selfishness. Still, in the long run, just as man's fierce "jealousy" helped to make women chaster than men, so the inculcation in women of selfsacrifice as a duty, gradually made them naturally inclined to that virtue-an inclination which was strengthened by inveterate, deep-rooted, maternal love. Thus it happened that self-sacrifice assumed rank in course of time as a specifically feminine virtue; so much so that the German metaphysician Fichte could declare that "the woman's life should disappear in the man's without a remnant," and that this process is love. No doubt it is love, but love demands at the same time that the man's life should disappear in the woman's.
It is interesting to note the sexual aspects of gallantry and self-sacrifice. Women are prevented by custom, etiquette, and inbred coyness from showing gallant attentions to men before marriage, whereas the impulse to sacrifice happiness or life for love's sake is at least as strong in them as in men, and of longer standing. If a girl of affectionate impulses on hearing that the man she loved-though he might not have proposed to her lay wounded, or ill of yellow fever, in a hospital, threw away all reserve, coyness, and fear of violating decorum, and went to nurse him day and night, at imminent risk of her own life, all the world would applaud her, convinced that she had done a more feminine thing than if she had allowed coyness to suppress her sympathetic and self-sacrificing impulses.
A German poem printed in the Wunderhorn relates how a young man, after a long absence from home, returns and eagerly hastens to see his former sweetheart. He finds her
The philosophy of widow-burning will be explained under the head of Conjugal Love.
standing in the doorway and informs her that her beauty pleases his heart as much as ever:
Gott grüss dich, du Hübsche, du Feine,
To which she retorts: "What need is there of my pleasing you? I got a husband long ago—a handsome man, well able to take care of me." Whereupon the disappointed lover draws his knife and stabs her through the heart.
In his History of German Song (chap. v.), Edward Schuré comments on this poem in the following amazing fashion:
"How necessary yet how tragic is this answer with the knife to the heartless challenge of the former sweetheart! How fatal and terrible is this sudden change of a passionate soul from ardent love to the wildest hatred! We see him taking one step back, we see how he trembles, how the flush of rage suffuses his face, and how his love, offended, injured, and dragged in the dust, slakes its thirst with the blood of the faithless woman."
It seems almost incredible that such a villanous sentiment should have been allowed to appear in a book without sending its author to prison. "Necessary" to murder a sweetheart because she has changed her mind during a man's long absence! The wildest anarchist plot never included a more diabolical idea. Brainless, selfish, impulsive young idiots are only too apt to act on that principle if their proposals are not accepted; the papers contain cases nearly every week of poor girls murdered for refusing an unwelcome suitor; but the world is beginning to understand that it is illogical and monstrous to apply the sacred word of love to the feeling which animates these cowardly assassins, whose only motives. are selfish lust and a dog-in-the-manger jealousy. Love never "slakes its thirst" with the blood of a woman. Had that man really loved that woman, he would have been no more capable of murdering her than of murdering his father for disinheriting him.
Schuré is by no means the only author who has thus confounded love with murderous, jealous lust. A most astounding instance occurs in Goethe's Werther. the story of a common servant who conceived a passion for a well-to-do widow.
He lost his appetite, his sleep, forgot his errands; an evil spirit pursued him. One day, finding her alone in the garret, he made an improper proposal to her, and on her refusing he attempted violence, from which she was saved only through the timely arrival of her brother. In defending his conduct the servant, in a most ungallant, unmanly, and cowardly way, tried to fasten the guilt on the widow by saying that she had previously allowed him to take some liberties with her. He was of course promptly ejected from the house, and when subsequently another man was engaged to take his place, and began to pay his addresses to the widow, the discharged servant fell upon him and assassinated him. And this disgusting exhibition of murderous lust and jealousy leads Goethe to exclaim, rapturously: "This love, this fidelity (!), this passion, is thus seen to be no invention of the poets (!). It lives, it is to be found in its greatest purity (!) among that class of people whom we call uneducated and coarse."
In view of the sensual and selfish attitude which Goethe held toward women all his life, it is perhaps not strange that he should have written the silly words just quoted. It was probably a guilty conscience, a desire to extenuate selfish indulgence at the expense of a poor girl's virtue and happiness, that led him to represent his hero, Werther, as using every possible effort in court to secure the pardon of that erotomaniac who had first attempted rape and then finished up by assassinating his rival.
If Werther's friend had murdered the widow herself, Goethe would have been logically bound to see in his act still stronger evidence of the "reality," "fidelity," and "purity" of love among "people whom we call uneducated and coarse." And if Goethe had lived to read the Rev. W. W. Gill's Savage Life in Polynesia, he might have found
therein (118) a story of cannibal "love" still more calculated to arouse his rapturous enthusiasm―
"An ill-looking but brave warrior of the cannibal tribe of Ruanae, named Vete, fell violently in love with a pretty girl named Tanuau, who repelled his advances and foolishly reviled him for his ugliness. His only thought now was how to be revenged for this unpardonable insult. He could not kill her, as she wisely kept to the encampment of Mantara. After some months Tanuau sickened and died. The corpse was conveyed across the island to be let down the chasm of Raupa, the usual burial-place of her tribe."
Vete chose this as the time for revenge. Arrangements were made to intercept the corpse secretly, and he had it carried away. It was too decomposed to be eaten, so they cut it in pieces and burned it-burning anything belonging to a person being the greatest injury one can inflict on a native.
THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON
But what have all these disgusting stories to do with affection, the subject of this chapter? Nothing whatever-and that is why I have put them here-to show in a glaring light that what Goethe and Schuré, and doubtless thousands of their readers accepted as love is not love, since there is no affection in it. A true patriot, a man who feels an affection for his country, lays down his life for it without a thought of personal advantage; and if his country treats him ungratefully he does not turn traitor and assassin-like the German and Polynesian "lovers" we have just read about. A real lover is indeed overjoyed to have his affection returned; but if it is not reciprocated he is none the less affectionate, none the less ready to lay down his life for the other, and, above all, he is utterly incapable of taking hers. What creates this difference between lust and love is affection, and, so far at least as maternal love is concerned, the nature of affection was known thousands of years ago. When two mothers came before King Solomon, each claiming the same child as her own, the king sent for a sword and said, "Divide the living child in
two, and give half to the one and half to the other." To this the false claimant agreed, but the real mother exclaimed, "O my lord, give her the living child and in no wise slay it." Then the king knew that she was the child's mother and gave him to her. "And all Israel saw that the wisdom of God was in Solomon, to do judgment."
If we ask why this infallible test of love was not applied to the sexual passion, the answer is that it would have failed, because ancient love between the sexes was, as all the testimony collected in this book shows, too sensual and selfish to stand such a test. Yet it is obvious that if we to-day are to apply the word love to the sexual relations, we must use the same test of disinterested affection that we use in the case of maternal love or love of country; and that love is not love before affection is added to all the other ingredients heretofore considered. In that servant's "love" which so excited the wonder of Goethe, only three of the fourteen ingredients of love were present-individual preference, monopoly, and jealousy and those three, as we have seen, occur also in plain lust. Of the tender, altruistic, loving traits of love-sympathy, adoration, gallantry, self-sacrifice, affection-there is
not a trace.
STUFF AND NONSENSE
When a great poet can blunder so flagrantly in his diagnosis. of love, we cannot wonder that minor writers should often be erratic. For instance, in The Snake Dance of the Moquis of Arizona (45-46), Captain J. D. Bourke exclaims: "So much stuff and nonsense has been written about the entire absence of affection from the Indian character, especially in the relations between the sexes, that it affords me great pleasure to note this little incident "-namely, a scene between an Indian and a young squaw :
They had evidently only lately had a quarrel, for which each was heartily sorry. He approached, and was received with a disdain tempered with so much sweetness and affection that he wilted at once, and, instead of boldly asserting himself, dared do nothing but timidly touch her hand. The