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This animal instinct, given to them by nature, is no virtue, for it is unconscious. A tigress has it, but we do not call it a virtue in her any more than we call her cruelty to her prey a vice; she is acting unconsciously in either case, knowing no distinction between good and evil. Fondness, in a word, is not an ethical virtue. In addition to all its enumerated shortcomings, it is, moreover, transient. A dog mother will care for her young for a few months with the watchfulness and temporary ferocity implanted in her by natural selection, but after that she will abandon them and recognize them no more as her own. Sometimes this instinctive fondness ceases with startling rapidity. I remember once in a California yard, how a hen flew in my face angrily because I had frightened her chicks. A few days later she deserted them, before they were really quite old enough to take care of themselves, and all my efforts to make her return and let them sleep again under her warm feathers failed. She even pecked at them viciously. Some of the lower savages similarly abandon their young as soon as they are able to get along, while those who care for them longer, do so not from affection, but because sons are useful assistants in hunting and fighting, and daughters can be sold or traded off for new wives. That they do not keep them from affection is proved by the fact that in all cases where any selfish advantage can be gained they marry them off without reference to their wishes or chances of happiness.1
While the fondness of savages, which has been so often mistaken for affection, is thus seen to be foolish, unconscious, selfish, shallow, and transient, true affection is rational, conscious, unselfish, deep, and enduring. Being rational, it looks not to the enjoyment or comfort of the moment, but to future
1 Willoughby, in his article on W shington Indians, recognizes the predominance of the animal instinct" in the parental fondness of savages, and so does Hutchinson (I., 119); but both erroneously use the word "affection," though Hutchinson reveals his own misuse of it when he writes that "the savage knows little of the higher affection subsequently developed, which has a worthier purpose than merely to disport itself in the mirth of childhood and at all hazards to avoid the annoyance of seeing its tears." He comprehends that the savage
and enduring welfare, and therefore does not hesitate to punish folly or misdeeds in order to avert future illness or misfortune. Instead of being a mere instinctive impulse, liable to cease at any moment, like that of the California hen referred to, it is a conscious altruism, never faltering in its ethical sense of duty, utterly incapable of sacrificing another's comfort or well-being to its own. While fondness is found coexisting with cruelty and even with infanticide and cannibalism (as in those Australian mothers, who feed their children well and carry them when tired, but when a real test of altruism comes during a famine-kill and eat them, just as the men do their wives when they cease to be sensually attractive), affection is horrified at the mere suggestion of such a thing. No man into whose love affection enters as an ingredient would ever injure his beloved merely to gratify himself. Crabb is utterly wrong when he writes that "love is more selfish in its nature than friendship; in indulging another it seeks its own, and when this is not to be obtained, it will change into the contrary passion of hatred." This is a definition of lust, not of love-a definition of the passion as known to the Greek Euripides, of whose lovers Benecke says (53):
"If, or as soon as, they fail in achieving the gratification of their sensual desires, their love' immediately turns to hate. The idea of devotion or self-sacrifice for the good of the beloved person, as distinct from one's own, is absolutely unknown. Love is irresistible,' they say, and, in obedience to its commands, they set down to reckon how they can satisfy themselves, at no matter what cost to the objects of their passion."
How different this unaffectionate "love" from the love of which our poets sing! Shakspere knew that absorbing affection is an ingredient of love: Beatrice loves Benedick "with an enraged affection," which is "past the infinite of the
"gratifies himself" by humoring the whims "of his children." Dr. Abel, on the other hand, who has written an interesting pamphlet on the words used in Latin, Hebrew, English, and Russian to designate the different kinds and degrees of what is vaguely called love, while otherwise making clear the differences between liking, attachment, fondness, and affection, does not sufficiently emphasize the most important distinction between them-the selfishness of the first three and the unselfish nature of affection. 'Stanford-Wallace, Australasia, 89.
night." Rosalind does not know how many fathom deep she is in love : "It cannot be sounded; my affection hath an unknown bottom, like the Bay of Portugal." Dr. Abel has truly said that
"affection is love tested and purified in the fire of the intellect. It appears when, after the veil of fancy has dropped, a beloved one is seen in the natural beauty with various human limitations, and is still found worthy of the warmest regards. It comes slowly, but it endures; gives more than it takes and has a tinge of tender gratitude for a thousand kind actions and for the bestowal of enduring happiness. According to English ideas, a deep affection, through whose clear mirror the gold of the old love shimmers visibly, should be the fulfilment of marriage."
Of romantic love affection obviously could not become an ingredient till minds were cultured, women esteemed, men made altruistic, and opportunities were given for youths and maidens to become acquainted with each other's minds and characters before marriage; as Dr. Abel says, affection comes slowly-but it endures." The love of which affection forms an ingredient can never change to hatred, can never have any murderous impulses, as Schuré and Goethe believed. It survives time and sensual charms, as Shakspere knew:
Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds.
Love's not time's fool. though rosy lips and cheeks
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
If this be error, and upon me proved;
I never writ nor no man ever loved.
XIII. MENTAL PURITY
Romantic love has worked two astounding miracles. We have seen how, with the aid of five of its ingredients-sympathy, adoration, gallantry, self-sacrifice, and affection-it has
overthrown the Goliath of selfishness. We shall now see how it has overcome another formidable foe of civilization-sensualism-by means of two other modern ingredients, one of which I will call mental purity (to distinguish it from bodily purity or chastity) and the other esthetic admiration of personal beauty.
Modern German literature contains many sincere tributes,
prose and verse, to the purity and nobility of true love and its refining influence. The psychologist Horwicz refers briefly (38) to the way in which " love, growing up as a mighty passion from the substratum of sexual life, has, under the repressing influence of centuries of habits and customs, taken on an entirely new, supersensual, ethereal character, so that to a lover every thought of naturalia seems indelicate and improper." "I feel it deeply that love must ennoble, not crush me," wrote the poet Körner; and again, "Your sweet name was my talisman, which led me undefiled through youth's wild storms, amid the corruption of the times, and protected my inner sanctum." "O God!" wrote Beethoven, "let me at last find her who is destined to be mine, and who shall strengthen me in virtue." According to Dr. Abel, while love longs ardently to possess the beloved, to enjoy her presence and sympathy, it has also a more or less prominent mental trait which ennobles the passion and places it at the service of the ideal of its fancy. It is accompanied by an enthusiasm for the good and the beautiful in general, which comes to most people only during the brief period of love. "It is a temporary self-exaltation, purifying the desires and urging the lover to generous deeds."
Des höchste Glück hat keine Lieder,
Schiller defined love as an eager "desire for another's happiness." Love," he adds, "is the most beautiful
phenomenon in all animated nature, the mightiest magnet in the spiritual world, the source of veneration and the sublimest virtues." Even Goethe had moments when he appreciated the purity of love, and he confutes his own coarse conception that was referred to in the last section when he makes Werther write: "She is sacred to me. All desire is silent in her presence.” 1
The French Edward Schuré exclaims, in his History of German Song:
"What surprises us foreigners in the poems of this people is the unbounded faith in love, as the supreme power in the world, as the most beautiful and divine thing on earth, the first and last word of creation, its only principle of life, because it alone can urge us to complete self-surrender.”
Schuré's intimation that this respect for love is peculiar to the Germans is, of course, absurd, for it is found in the modern literature of all civilized countries of Europe and America; as for instance in Michael Angelo's
The might of one fair face sublimes my love,
English literature, particularly, has been saturated with this sentiment for several centuries. Love is "all purity," according to Shakspere's Silvius. Schlegel remarked that by the manner in which Shakspere handled the story of Romeo and Juliet, it has become "a glorious song of praise on that inexpressible feeling which ennobles the soul and gives to it its highest sublimity, and which elevates even the senses themselves into soul;"-which reminds one of Emerson's expression that the body is "ensouled" through love. Steele declared that "Love is a passion of the mind (perhaps the noblest), which was planted in it by the same hand that created it;" and of Lady Elizabeth Hastings he wrote that "to love her was a liberal education." In Steel's Lover (No. 5) we
See also the reference to the "peculiar delicacy" of his relations to Lili, in Eckermann, III., March 5, 1830.