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touch, I imagine, was not disagreeable, because the girl's hand was soon firmly held in his, and he, with earnest warmth, was pouring into her ear words whose purport it was not difficult to conjecture."
That the simplest kind of a sensual caress-squeezing a young woman's hand and whispering in her ear-should be accepted as evidence of affection is naïve, to say the least, and need not be commented on after what has just been said about the true nature of affection and its altruistic test. Unfortunately many travellers who came in contact with the lower races shared Bourke's crude conception of the nature of affection, and this has done much to mislead even expert anthropologists; Westermarck, for instance, who is induced by such testimony to remark (358) that conjugal affection has among certain uncivilized peoples "reached a remarkably high degree of development." Among those whom he relies on as witnesses is Schweinfurth, who says of the man-eating African Niam-Niam that "they display an affection for their wives which is unparalleled among natives of so low a grade. A husband will spare no sacrifice to redeem an imprisoned wife" (I., 472).
SACRIFICES OF CANNIBAL HUSBANDS
This looks like strong evidence, but when we examine the facts the illusion vanishes. The Nubians, it appears, are given to stealing the wives of these Niam-Niam, to induce them to ransom them with ivory. A case occurred within Dr. Schweinfurth's own experience (II., 180–187). Two married women were stolen, and during the night "it was touching, through the moaning of the wind, to catch the lamentations of the Niam-Niam men bewailing the loss of their captured wives; cannibals though they were, they were evidently capable of true conjugal affection. The Nubians remained quite unaffected by any of their cries, and never for a moment swerved from their purpose of recovering the ivory before they surrendered the women." Here we see what the expression that the Niam-Niam "spare no sacrifice
to redeem their imprisoned women" amounts to the Nubians counted on it that they would rather part with their ivory than with their wives! This, surely, involved no "sacrifice"; it was simply a question of which the husbands preferred, the useless ivory or the useful women-desirable as drudges and concubines. Why should buying back a wife be evidence of affection any more than the buying of a bride, which is a general custom of Africans? As for their howling over their lost wives, that was natural enough; they would have howled over lost cows too-as our children cry if their milk is taken away when they are hungry. Actions which can be interpreted in such sensual and selfish terms can never be accepted as proof of true affection. That the captured wives, on their part, were not troubled by conjugal affection is evident from Schweinfurth's remark that they were perfectly composed and apparently quite indifferent."
INCLINATIONS MISTAKEN FOR AFFECTION
Let us take one more case. There are plenty of men who would like to kiss every pretty girl they see, and no one would be so foolish as to regard a kiss as proof of affection. Yet Lyon (another of the witnesses on whom Westermarck relies) accepts, with a naïveté equalling Captain Bourke's, the rubbing together of noses, which among the Eskimos is an equivalent of our kissing, as a mark of "affection." In the case of unscientific travellers, such a loose use of words may perhaps be pardonable, but a specialist who writes a history of marriage should not put the label of "affection" on everything that comes into his drag-net, as Westermarck does (pp. 358-59); a proceeding the less excusable because he himself admits, a few pages later (362), that affection is chiefly provoked by "intellectual, emotional, and moral qualities" which certainly could not be found among some of the races he refers to. I have investigated a number of the alleged cases of conjugal "affection" in books of travel, and found invariably that some manifestation of sensual attachment was recklessly accepted as an indication of "affection."
In part, it is true, the English language is to be blamed for this state of affairs. The word affection has been used to mean almost any disposition of the mind, including passion, lust, animosity, and a morbid state. But in good modern usage it means or implies an altruistic feeling of devotion which urges us to seek the welfare of another even at the expense of our own. We call a mother affectionate because she willingly and eagerly sacrifices herself for her child, toils for it, loses sleep and food and health for its sake. If she merely cared for it [note the subtle double sense of "caring for "] because it is pretty and amusing, we might concede that she "liked" it, was "attached" to it, or "fond" of it; but it would be incorrect to speak of affection. Liking, attachment, and fondness differ from affection not only in degree but in kind; they are selfish, while affection is unselfish; they occur among savages, while affection is peculiar to civilized persons and perhaps some animals.
SELFISH LIKING AND ATTACHMENT
Liking is the weakest kind of inclination toward another. It " never has the intensity of love." To say that I like a man is to indicate merely that he pleases me, gives me selfish pleasure-in some way or other. A man may say of a girl who pleases him by her looks, wit, vivacity, or sympathy, "I like her," though he may have known her only a few minutes; while a girl who will rather die than give any sign of affection, may be quite willing to confess that she likes him, knowing that the latter means infinitely less and does not betray her; that is, it merely indicates that he pleases her and not that she is particularly anxious to please him, as she would be if she loved him. Girls "like" candy, too, because it gives them pleasure, and cannibals may like missionaries without having the least affection for them.
Attachment is stranger than liking, but it also springs from selfish interests and habits. It is apt to be similar to that gratitude which is "a lively sense of favors to come."
Bishop (Isabella Bird) eloquently describes (II., 135-136) the attachment to her of a Persian horse, and incidentally suggests the philosophy of the matter in one sentence: "To him I am an embodiment of melons, cucumbers, grapes, pears, peaches, biscuits, and sugar, with a good deal of petting and ear-rubbing thrown in.” Cases of attachment between husband and wife no doubt abound among savages, even when the man is usually contemptuous and rude in his treatment of the wife. The Niam-Niam husbands of Schweinfurth did not, as we saw, give any evidence of unselfish affection, but they were doubtless attached to their wives, for obvious reasons. As for the women among the lower races, they are apt, like dogs, to cling to their master, no matter how much he may kick them about. They get from him food and shelter, and blind habit does the rest to attach them to his hearth. What habit and association can do is shown in the ease with which "happy families" of hostile animals can be reared. But the beasts of prey must be well fed; a day or two of fasting would result in the lamb lying down inside the lion. The essential selfishness of attachment is shown also in the way a man becomes attached to his pipe or his home, etc. At the same time, personal attachment may prove the entering wedge of something higher. "The passing attachments of young people are seldom entitled to serious notice; although sometimes they may ripen by long intercourse into a laudable and steady affection" (Crabb).
The word fondness is sometimes used in the sense of a tender, loving disposition; yet there is nearly always an implication of silly extravagance or unseemly demonstrativeness, and in the most accurate usage it means a foolish, doting indulgence, without discriminating intelligence, or even commonsense. As Crabb puts it in his English Synonyms, “A fond parent does not rise above a fool." Everybody knows fathers and mothers whose fondness induces them to indulge all the appetites, desires, and whims of their children, thereby ruining their health and temper, making them greedy and selfish, and
laying the foundation for a wretched life for the children themselves and all who are unfortunate enough to come into contact with them. This irrational fondness is what travellers and anthropologists have so often mistaken for genuine affection in the cases of savages and barbarians who were found to be fondling their babes, doting upon them, playing with them, and refusing to punish them for any naughtiness. But it is far from being affection, because it is not only foolish, but selfish. To some of my readers this may seem a strange accusation, but it is a fact recognized in the best literary usage, for, as Crabb remarks, a person is fond, who caresses an object or makes it a source of pleasure to himself." Savages fondle their children because in doing so they please and amuse themselves. Their pranks entertain the fathers, and as for the mothers, nature (natural selection) has implanted in them an unconscious instinct of race preservation which, recognizing the selfishness of primitive man, has brought it about that it gives the mother a special pleasure to suckle and fondle her infant. The essential selfishness of this fondness is revealed when there is a conflict between the mother's comfort and the child's welfare. The horrible prevalence among many of the lower races, of infanticide-merely to save trouble-of which many examples are given in various parts of this book (see index)-shows not only how selfish, but how shallow, fondness is. There are thousands of mothers in our modern cities who have not risen above this condition. An Italian, Ferriani, has written a book on degenerate mothers (Madri Snaturate), and I have in my note-books a statement of the London Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children referring to a record of 2,141 cases of proved cruelty in the one month of August, 1898; which would make at least 25,000 cases a year, in one city alone, or possibly double that number, for many cases are never found out, or else consist of mental torture which is worse than bodily maltreatment. Yet there can be no doubt that all, or nearly all, of these mothers were fond of their babies-i.c., fondled them at first, till the animal instinct implanted in them was overcome by the desire for personal comfort.