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   Chapter 4 On Love

Hints for Lovers By Arnold Haultain Characters: 20910

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:04


"Amore che muove il sole e l'altre stelle."

-Dante

The beginning, middle, and end of love-is a sigh.

* * *

All things point to the infinite; and love more than all things else.

* * *

Complex as is the character of love, here are two things which love always does: always it

"Refines the thoughts

And heart enlarges;"

-Milton

and,

Love dyes all things a cerulean hue. (What a pity it is not a fast color!)

* * *

Love is the most antimonial of emotions: it worships, yet it will not stop at sacrilege; it will build about its object a temple of adoration, then desecrate the fane; it will give all, yet ruthlessly seize everything; it delights in pleasing, yet it sometimes wittingly wounds; its ineffable tenderness often merges into an inclemency extraordinary; -symbol of universal duality, it is at once demonical and angelic.

* * *

Nothing stands still in this world, not even love: it must grow or it withers. And, perhaps,

That is the strongest love which surmounts the greatest number of obstacles.

* * *

Love to some is an intoxicant; to others an ailment. To all it is a necessity.

* * *

As is one's character, so is one's love. And

Perhaps the deepest love is the quietest.

* * *

Love is as implacable as it is un-appeasable. Nay more,

Love is merciless: as merciless to its votary as to its victim: For

Love would slay rather than surrender; would for-swear rather than forgo.

* * *

Some loves, like some fevers, render the patient immune-at all events to that particular kind of contagion.

Many lovers are vaccinated in early youth.

* * *

Only love can comprehend and reciprocate love. This is why,

If, of two sensitive human souls, the one loves passionately and the other not at all, the other is unwittingly blind and deaf to love's clamors and claims: the one may ardently urge; the other but passively yields:-

Only the famished understand the pangs of the hungered.

Of a great and reciprocated love there is one and only one sign: the expression of the eyes. Who that has seen it was ever deceived by its counterfeit?

Did ever the same love-light shine in the same eyes twice?

The light of love in the eyes may take on a thousand forms: exultant jubilation, a trustful happiness; infinite appeasement, or promises untold; an adoration supreme, or a complex oblation; tenderness ineffable, or heroic resolves; implicit faith; unquestioning confidence; abounding pity; unabashed desire. . .

He who shall count the stars of heaven, shall enumerate the radiances of love.

* * *

There is no Art of Loving (1); though, as Ovid says, love must be guided by art (2). Yet,

If love did not come by chance, it would never come at all.

(1) Ovid wrote not Art of Loving ("Ars Amandi"); he wrote on the Amatorial Art ("Ars Amatoria").

(2) "Arte regendus amor."-"Ars Amatoria", I, 4.

* * *

To each of us himself is the centre of the visible universe. But when love comes it alters this Ptolemaic theory. Yet,

It is a significant fact that love, which, more than any other thing in this world, is the great bringer-together of hearts, begins its mysterious work as a separator and puter-at-a-distance. For

When love first dawns in the breast of youth, it throws about its object a sacred aureole, which awes at the same time that it inspires the faithful worshipper.

* * *

Can only two walk abreast in the path of love? How many try to widen that strait and narrow way!

* * *

Love raises everything to a higher plane; but nothing higher than the man or woman who is loved.

Is there anything about which love does not shed a halo? Indeed,

Love is a sort of transfiguration. And when on the mount, we can very truly say, "It is good for us to be here".

If there is any sublunary thing equal in value to the true love of a faithful woman, it has not yet entered into the heart of man to conceive.

True love makes all things loveable,-except perhaps the chaperon.

Was there ever man or woman yet who was not bettered by a true love?

True love is ever diffident and fearful of its own venturesomeness (3).

But this not every woman understands.

Too often the Phantasm of love and not the Verity wins the day (4).

Women who seek a real lover should beware the overbold one.

(3) Cf. "La volupte Nous rend hardis, l'amour nous rend timides." -Voltaire, La Pucelle, Chant vi.

(4) See Leopardi, "Storia del Genere Humano", where the Verities of Truth and Love and Justice never leave the throne of Jove, but their Phantasms are sent down amongst men.

* * *

To merge the THEE and the ME into one-that is ever the attempt of love.

It is impossible. Yet, perhaps

They are happiest who can longest disbelieve in the impossibility of this amatorial fusion; for it may be that such

Incredulity is favorable to romance.

* * *

Love is not exactly a sacrifice; it is an exchange. The lover, indeed, gives his heart; he expects another in return.

* * *

Love is like life: no apparatus can manufacture it; kill it, and nothing in the heavens above or in the earth beneath or in the waters under the earth will resuscitate it.

How many a forlorn human wight has tried to resuscitate love!

* * *

To such heights does love exalt the lover that he or she will live for days in the remembered delights of a look, a word, a gesture. But

One thing is impossible to love: love cannot create love; the intensest and most fervent love is powerless to evoke a scintillation of love.

Love may worship, it may adore, it may transfigure, it may exalt the object of its devotion to the skies; but it cannot cause that object to emit one ray of love in return.

* * *

Hate may be concealed; love never.

* * *

The greater the imaginative altitude of love, the lower the boiling point. But

Love cannot always be kept at high pressure.

* * *

The young think love is the winning-post of life, the old know it is a turn in the course. Nevertheless, it is a fateful turn.

* * *

In love, the imagination plays a very large part. And this may be variously interpreted. Thus,

By man, love is regarded as a sort of sacred religion; by woman, as her every-day morality. The former is the more exhilarating; but the latter is more serviceable. Indeed,

Love and religion are very near akin: both inspire, and both elevate.

And

If faith, hope, and charity are the basis of religion, there never was such as religion as love. And

Love is the only religion in which there have been no heretics. Why?

Because woman are at once its object and its priesthood.

Love, art, and religion are but different phases of the same emotion: awe, reverence, worship, and sacrifice in the presence of the supreme ideal.

Love knows no creed. Nay more,

Love acknowledges no deity but itself and accepts no sanctions but its own: it is autonomous. And yet-

And yet, love sometimes feels constrained to offer a liturgical acquiescence to the rubric of Reason. In short,

Between the prelatical domination of Reason and the recusant

Protestantism of Love there has ever been strife. Or, in plain language,

There are two codes of ethics: one that of the romantic heart; the other

that of the practical head. Who shall assimilate them?

The heart, in its profoundest depths, feels that something is due to Reason; and Reason, in its highest flights, feels that something is due to the heart.

Is there a divine duplicity in the human soul? And yet, after all,

All love seeks is: love. Yet love little knows that

In seeking love, love enters on an endless search. Since

Love is an endless effort to realize the Ideal. For

Love always beckons over insurmountable barriers to uninhabitable realms; promises insupportable possibilities; lures to an unimaginable goal. Yet

Love has a myriad counterfeits. And

Men and women interpret the word differently. Even

Different women interpret the word love differently. Thus,

To one woman, love is as the rising of the sun: it shines but once in her whole life-day; it floods everything with its light; it brightens the world; it dazzles her.

To another woman, love is as the rising of a star: a fresh one may appear every hour of her life, and nor she nor her world is one whit affected by its rays. Indeed, one would hardly err if he said that

Many a woman really does not know whether she is "in love" or not. She is sought-that she perceives; but which of her seekers is worthiest, which most zealous, which merely takes her fancy, and which appeals to her heart-on these matters she meditates long-to the exasperation, of course, of the individual seeker. Accordingly,

Men, carried away by their own passionate impulse, detest calculation of the part of women:

Since HE stakes his all on impulse in the matter of love, says man, why should woman stay to consider? Foolish man! he forgets that

A woman always weighs a man's declaration of love-and legitimately- and naturally; perhaps legitimately because naturally; for, once again,

What a woman stays to consider in the matter of love is, not the potency of the impulse of the moment, but the permanent efficacy of the emotion. Therefore it is that

Woman unwittingly obeys great Nature's laws.

* * *

Many imagine that love is a thing like a chemical element: with a fixed symbol 84 and a rigid atomic equivalent. And so it may be; but, like the philosopher's stone, hitherto it has defied detection in its elemental form. The fact is probably that

Love may be compared to a substance that is never found free, and which not only combines in all sorts of relationships with all sorts of substances, but also, like many another chemical body, takes on the most varied forms, not only in these relationships, but also under varying pressures and temperatures.-Or perhaps it would be better to say that

Love may be compared to a musical note: to the unthinking it is a simple sound; to the more experienced it is know to consist of endless and complicated harmonical vibrations; harmonizing with some, and making discord with other, notes by regular but unknown laws; differing according to the timbre of the emitter; reverberating under certain conditions; lost to the ear in others; and only responding to resonators vibrating synchronously with itself. Lastly,

There is a whole gamut o

f love.-Changing that simile, we may say that

Love is not like the sun: a unit, and practically the same wherever seen; it is like light: all-pervading, universally diffused, and reflected and refracted and absorbed in varying degrees and varying manners by various objects. And

Than a great and pure love, can anyone point to anything on earth greater and more purifying?

The lesser luminary perturbs the tide of human passion; the greater light draws it upward-none the less veritably because in tinted formless vapor. This is symbolical of love.

It is the nascent thing that evokes the keenest emotions: the bud-the babe-dawn-and the first beginnings of love. So Love, like sun-light, wears its most tender tints at dawn.

* * *

It still remains a mystery that, out of a townful of folk, two particular hearts should worry themselves into early graves because this one cannot get that other. Yet

It is almost enough to destroy one's faith in the uniqueness of love to see from how narrow a circle of acquaintances men and women choose their spouses. Were Plato's two half-souls separated by the diameter of the globe-that were lamentable.

* * *

The man often argues that esteem will grow into passion. The woman knows that the argument is utterly fallacious. Yet Unless passion is guarded by esteem,-as the calyx ensheaths the corolla, the former is prone to wither.

In youthful love, as in the enfolded bud, esteem and passion-like calyx and corolla--seem one and identical;

It is only the full-blown flower that displays its constituent parts.

Would that love could remain ever in bud!

* * *

To some love comes like a flash; to others as the burning of tinder.

In all, when real love is kindled, it devours all that is combustible.

But

All love, like all fire, needs, not only ventilation but replenishing:

Unless the primal spark is nourished, it will not glow;

Stifle love, and it dies down. So

Even the love of a married pair, unless it retains something of the romance of courtship, is apt to go out.

* * *

Love takes no though of surroundings: an empty compartment is as good as a coppice. Give it privacy, it is satisfied.

* * *

In love, we would much rather give than take. Yet, if the giving is one-sided, there is trouble. And

Love brooks no half measures. Again,

Trust a woman to calculate the breaking-strain of her lover's heart. But she will never let him off with less than the maximum stress.

* * *

When love is dead, it is perhaps best soonest buried.

* * *

In astronomy, to determine the motions of three bodies mutually attractive is admittedly difficult. It is easy compared with the same problem in love.

* * *

A man's work and a woman's love, though to each the sum-total of life, are often things wholly and totally dissociated.

Man, the egoist, thinks that if the woman loves him, by consequence she will love his work. It may be, but usually, non sequitur; for

Few are the women who can understand a man's work:

For thousands of years man has worked in the hunting-field, in the market-place in the camp; for an equal length of time woman has worked by the cradle, by the hearth. Accordingly,

Man has two sides to his nature, woman but one:

Man wears one aspect when facing the world; he wears quite another aspect when facing women;

At their work, men are rigid, frigid, austere, sever, peremptory, tyrannical, downright;

With women, . . . . . .Humph!-Wherefore,

O strenuous and high-aspiring man, in thy work, seek not from woman's love what woman's love cannot give; but set thy face 90 as a flint. Bethink thee of the fate of Anthony. For

Man's chief business in the world is: Work.

Woman's chief business in the world is; Love.

Man's love (perhaps just because it is his play-thing, not his business) is more finely tempered than is woman's, and takes on a finer edge. For this very reason it is the more easily turned, and is the less useful. -It is the pocket-knife, not the lancet, that is oftener called into requisition. Also,

Man's love is usually a highly ephemeral affair.

With a man, love is like hunger or thirst: he makes a great fuss over it; he forgets when it is appeased. Yet

When "passion's trance" is overpast, it is fortunate if affection takes its place. So too,

In love it is the man who protests; and

That man is fortunate, who, after marriage, has not some dubious reflections as to whether he has protested over-much. For

In love, it is the man, generally, who makes a fool of himself.

* * *

Love (like murder) will out. But

Jill keeps her secret better than Jack. For

A woman generally controls love: a man is controlled by it. And

Jill's very power of making-believe to be "fancy free" exasperates Jack.

* * *

It is a purely feminine ruse to apply a test to love-both her own and that of her lover-to prove it true. A man would as soon as think of applying a match to a powder magazine to prove it combustible.

Love in woman's eyes is the supreme and ultimate arbitrator. If she is loved, love in her eyes will condone anything-anything. For

To prefer honor to love is a maxim to women unknown. With them love IS honor. And therefore the maxim is meaningless-and needless.

* * *

It is a sort of legal-or rather charitable-fiction that women should surrender only to love. In fact,

Do not even the lightest of Laises and Thaises make a show of being swayed by love? And

No woman by too much love was ever spoiled. Man, remember that!

* * *

The logic of the emotions differs from the logic of the intellect. As to the senses-

Alack-a-day! The senses never reason.

Love sometimes wrecks its barque upon the rocks to prove that they harbor no mirage.

Love sometimes forgets that it is possible to probe too far.

Love, in pursuit of love, sometimes vivisects as unconsciously as a science in pursuit of life.

* * *

Women detect the dawn of love while it is still midnight with a man.

That is to say,

A woman knows a man is in love with her long before he is aware of it himself. Except perhaps in this once circumstance: when she herself is in love with somebody else. And this is a highly important circumstance.

* * *

Wholly to satisfy masculine infatuation is given to no woman. And perhaps

Wholly to satisfy feminine caprice is given to no man. So, sometimes,

The last refuge of an unrequited love is the belief that love will create love. Nothing can be more futile than such a faith. Yet

Love without hope, has its mitigations; but

How alleviate the pain of a love that mistook a simulated love for a true one?

A simulated love is a contradiction in terms.

Either one loves or one does not, that is the conclusion of the whole matter.

* * *

Love would rather suffer than forget.

Love would give the world to be able to exculpate a languid lover.

A passionate love is perhaps always poignant.

Love disdains pity.

A wounded love carries a scar to the grave.

* * *

In love, when honor is lost, loss of shame soon follows. Then indeed the downward patch becomes precipitous.

* * *

To some, love never comes; to some, it comes too often; but the same love never recurs, as never a bud opens twice: happy he or she is who gains bud, blossom, and fruit. Since

The sweetest love is that wherein the odorous flower of passion ripens into the nourishing fruitage of affection. But

Love requires careful nature. And

The more exotic the love, the more difficult its culture.-True, An orchid may life on air. Yes; but how torrid and vaporous an air!

Your sturdy mistletoe thrives on the humble apple; a Cattleya requires a

Columbian forest.

* * *

Youth wonders at the amatory successes of middle-age. Youth knows not that

In matters amatory, age is no handicap:

A girl in her 'teens will make love to a gentleman of forty-and vice versa. In fact

The indiscreet impetuosity of youth succumbs before the astuteness of age.

The bachelor and the spinster both sometimes wonder that the benedick and the bride are still their rivals; for they know not that

In the amatorial art, matrimony is no handicap. In short,

There is no barrier at which love will balk. Nay more,

Love will forgive anything:

Did love demand it, love, though it might blush, would not blench. And

Often love itself stands amazed at its own divine audacity. Indeed,

Love loves to immolate itself for love. Knowing that

To love, nothing is common or unclean: for

Love, like charity, thinketh no evil. But-remember that

It is only the Uranian Aphrodite (5) that dares essay a divine audacity.

Nevertheless,

Love is the most vulnerable of the emotions, and

A love doubtful of itself would be cautiously accepted: it is not a fact that

To try to feel one's own pulse, is to make the heart beat irregularly?

So,

To try to see in a mirror the love light in one's own eyes, is to be-dim it. So, too,

If passion is not linked with affection-woe worth the day when the troth was plighted! But given passion linked with affection-ah!

Nothing, nothing is criminal to love; for love knows not conscience. Or rather,

Love upsets all conventional conditions. For

Love creates a world of its own, a world populated by two-and these make their own laws-or make none. So

A woman will imbrue her hands with blood, and a man will fling honor to the winds, and yet the twain regard each other as impeccant and impeccable.-Till Pippa passes; then,

Love always awakes to the fact that not even a community of two can live without law; and that

Though human laws may be outraged, those divine may not. And assuredly,

The ideal love is the divine love. And, in ideal love,

Strange, strange, but true, in a great and ardent love, when at last that is offered which was long sought, there supervenes upon the lovers a great tenderness, which hesitates to make their own that for which they yearned. Almost it were as if

A psychic monitor warned the conqueror to be clement, and the captive to be kind. This

Tenderness is the worship of the soul by the soul. And

Of all tests of love tenderness is the truest. But indeed, indeed

In love there are heights above heights, depths beneath depths: who shall scale them, who shall plumb?

(5) See Plato, "Symposium", 180 et seq.

* * *

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