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Full text of "Romantic love and personal beauty; their development, causal relations, historic and national peculiarities"

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Sot 50051 




HARVARD 
COLLEGE 
LIBRARY 




nOMANTIC LOVE 



AKt> 



PERSONAL BEAUTY 











u 





\ 



f . 



\ 



THICK, HEUBY THEOFffUflS 



BCMAlfnC LOVE AND BERSOHAL BBADTr 



LONDON AND NEW YORK 
M^CHILEAN AND CO. 

aB87 



^^^ '■■^ '■■• >V —^ -^ s-<» # vW 



^ 



-y-,.-.^ 



Soc 5005. 9 

A 



1/ 



HARVARD 

UNIVERSITY 

LIROARY 

Af K 1 7 J ^64 



CONTENTS 



£TOLT7noN OF RoMJLiaic Lots •••••! 


Cosmic Attraction and Chkmical Affinitijes 






3 


Flowkr Love AKD Beatttt . 






7 


Impebsoxal Affection 








11 


Pebsonal Affections . • • . 








IG 


L Love for Animals . • 








16 


IL Ifatenul Lovo 








19 


III. Paternal Love 








, 20 


IV. Filial Love. 








, 22 


V. Brotlierly and Sisterly Love, 








. 23 


Ti. Friendship. 








. 24 


VII. Romantic Love 








► 20 


Overtones of Love .... 








, 20 


I. Individual Preference 








. CD 


II. Monopoly or Exdusivencss 








. CO 


in. JealoQsy . 








. SO 


IV. Coyness 








. CO 


V. Gallantry . 








. CI 


TI. Self-Sacrifice 








► CI 


VII. Sympathy . • . , 








, SI 


nil. Pride of Conquest and Possession , 








. SI 


IX. Emotional Hyperbole 








. S2 


X. Mixed Moods 








. S2 


XI. Admiration of Personal Beauty 








32 


Herbert Spencer on Love 










Love among Animals 








. C3 


Courtship .... 








. 37 


(a) Jealousy .... 








. C9 


(6) Coyness . 








40 


(c) Individual Preference 








42 


(<f) PerMual Beauty and Sexual Selection 






43 


(1) Protective Coloun 


. 






. . 48 



}f rgntion of Feminine Cboicc 
Chmtianit}- oiiJ Love , 
<.iiivalrv— Militnni and Comii: , 
Ciiivnlri— roctic 

(i) French TixiDbiiiJoiirs 
(t) Genniii Uiuaciinget* 
Fcnwle CultoTe . 

Spea»pr on Love . 
lianto attJk Sliokipcra 

UOPEBN IrilVE 

A lliolopc Test . 

-VcDQi. I'luluj, nuJ Uincrva 

Leading ilotives . 

Uodem Co_vneis . . 

(i) An EcliDorOiptam 
{2) JltidcQ wmu WiTs 
<3) UoJestf . 
(1) Cunning to bo SCnnge 
(5) Pwmninition . 
(iolJsmilb on Love > 
iJiiod vantage* of Coyness 
('ojm-Ki iment'Woniiui'BL 
Mucnlinc vtrttU feminine 
Flirtation aiiJ Coqnetrj 
Fiirtktion twinu Covuuu 
Modern Courtsliip . 

llodem Jcfdoui}' 

Lorerj Jealousy 
JlotTOK[i«clive nad ProtpectlVi 
JmIousj- iiiJ r«.-aulj 

Uon^ij-ulj or Eiiliisivci.fss 
True Lore is Traniient 
I* First Lore Bert ? . 
Heine on Fint Lore 
Firrt Lore it not best 
Tride and T«nily 
CoqDetry 
LoTc and lUnk 

Bpecisl Sj-mpatliT 

How Loye Intensiiic' Zmoti) 
Dpvrlojirai.nl ofSjinpathy , 
I'itj- nod l*vt 
Love At Fint Sight . 



Intontet and Lot* , 

Cttltaiitry miJ Self-Sacriliea 

Actico and Poaaire Deiira to Fleaae 

Feminine Dtvolinn > 
Enioliotinl Hyperbole 
UUkI Uooil* uid Firadoxn 

Lunatic, Lover, and Po«t 
IndlTidiul Preferenca 

fltmnl DiTergraco . 

Tenional E.iutj 

Feniniiie Beauty In Miimliim Ejcs 

Uasculine Beaatj in FtminiDe Eyc^ 

CoKjtroAL ArrECTios asd Rohaktic Lotc 

Ilaraance in Conjagnl Lose 

ilaniiu^saf Tioasonoi LoreUatclmr . 

MBTiiaga Hiuti . 
Old MiiDfl , 
Dacheiam . 
Gexics xso Maeuiaqe 
Gemus and Luve 
Ouiira i.f Love 

(1) Precocity 

(2) Anloor 

(3) FLcklencn . 
(1) MulUpUcitj . 
(S) FLetitiauincai 

I»UJHTY AND LOVS . 

Aiulogwi . 

ErotomioiA, or Reiil LoTO-Sickiicss 
Thx Lamovace op Love 
I. Worili 
, II. Fj..iil Exproaioi, 

III. ClVCSicl 

ItlMIXO— PlfiT, rr.csEUT, akdFctoek 
_ Among Aiiimoll . 
, Among Sangca . 
_Oi'igtn of Eiuiuj 

3Ii?Jia?»aI Kisses . 
■MiHl.m Eisscj . 
Ixivc KisMS 
How to Elat 



Bow TO TTiK LoTK ,,..... 2S8 

Brass Dattoas 238 

CoTifiJeucs uiiil Bolditcsj . . . . . S39 

Ilcuant Asaociauuiiii ...... 2iO 



Feigned IndilTercnci} ...... 241 

ComplimcnU ....... 211 

Lcve Letter* . . . . .210 

Lore Cliamii for TTomcn ..... 2S0 

rropodng ....... 253 

DUgnods, or Signs or Xjivo ..... 251 

Qow TO Cube Love ....... 2SS 

AbKDce ........ 250 

Travel . _ 2S7 

EmpIoymeDt . . . . . . 257 

iluTied Mixn- 257 

Jemiiiinc Inferiority ...... 260 

Tocnuiug H«r Faiilui . . . . ,202 

BcMon ventu PtubiioD ...... 203 

Love ir/nu Lore . . . . .201 

Prognoaia, or Climcos of SMOverjr .... 265 

NiTlOSALlTT A^-ll LOVE . . . . , .205 

French Lot« ....... 200 

]taliiii Love . . . . .271 

Sfuiah LoTo ....... 277 

Cerman Love ....... 2S0 

£agIi*lvLoT« . . . . . 28S 

I American L»ve ....... 291 

SCHOPESMAVEn's TflEOETOF LOTE ..... 801 

Love it »u Illu-ion 802 

InJiFiiJuaU .Sacrificed to Uie Spodca .... 302 

SonrcM of Love ....... 303 

(1) rhvsical Roauty 303 

(S) r-yhic Tr.iit. 304 

(3) Coruiilpiiicm.'irT Qualities . . . ,805 

7oC» SOUBCM OF BXAUTT . . . . . 310 

L Health ....... 810 

Greek Beauty . . , , 813 

Uediieval Vglinciu ..... 311 

Uodera Eygieuc ...,., 31S 
n. Cromng . . , ,318 

III. Itomautic Lore ...... 3'^2 

IV. Uental Befinement ...... S21 

KTOLi>noii or Tarn . . ,827 



UMcnline FuhJont 
CnssT ASi) lloi-ojj . 

FeniiniiiF licautj 

Uuculiuc bout; 

Utgic Effect sf Beep Breathing 

A. Uonl QuMtian 
Kick aKd SuocLSEn 
Aut aKK Hakii 

Evolatioii anil Sexutl DiffeTCiiccs 

Coliitlienica anJ llitssag 

The Second Face . 

Uuiimrt Secrcti 

Jaw, CutN, akh Uuitth 

Hands wiviu Jam 

:)im].li>s iii thi! Chin 

Rtfiucl Lips 

Gxmctic HiuU . 
Tut Cheeks , 

H'lfHi Climk BoncB 

Colour and Blnnltoa 
Tub Eaks 

A UtdcM Ornainent 

Coametics and Faaliion 

rhyirinpnoniii' Tagariea 

KoiK udU C'ii-ilUation 

A Mndcal Toice . 
Thi Kon 

Sin and Shape , 

ErolDtion or the I?a«e 

Greek and Hebrev No«c> 

rn-iiii-.. ■-:r'. I ■! -'I ■ ' ]■ Surgery 

XcM-Iir^nr; iii.'anJ Health 

CiisriRiir. Valut of Odonri 

Thk FuBsnus 

Beaotr and Urun 

FatUonaUa Defonuit; 

VrinklM. 
T)u Complexion 

'While rxriui BUck 

Conuetic HuiU . 

Freckle* and Smuhlne 
Tbz Eyzs , . 



Lnitre . 



(a) Lnitn , . . . . 4'S 

ib) Colour of Irli . , . . . . i78 

(c) UotbhudU of the Irii ..... t'V 

(d) „ „ Eygbull , . . iSO 
It) „ „ EyeliOf . . . .482 
{/) „ „ EjrebroiT* . . . i85 

Cotmetic Hint* , . . .US 

Thb Haib *M 

CkUM of Man's Naditf . . . . . .488 

BMnb ^d ^lousbichcK . ■ . . . 4S9 

Bildnen and D«pilaIon.'a . . . .493 

.fisthetic YulDe ofKair . . . . . ,494 

Enc:<ETTE iSD Blondi: . . . . . .498 

Uloniio vetiuJ Brunotto . . . ■ . .498 

Brunette nrmu Bbnile . . . . . .498 

Wbv CupiJ Favour* Brunette;! 499 

NATlOSALlTi- .VSD BXADTT . . . . . .605 

Fbrscb De&utt . . . . . SM 

Italian Butmr . . ..... Bll 

SrAHisH Beauty . . ..... SIS 

GbbHAH AMD AirsTlttAK BXAUTT . . . . .633 

Ekolibh Beautt ....... CiS 

Ajucicas Bbadtt ..,..., 63S 




A'- 



nOMAXTIC LOVE 



AK1> 



ISONAL BEAUTY 



■{ 




h ■ I I . -a*,aaa*iteiJBsfci 



FZNCK^ 



:mci: 



ii:i>:«];« 



KOHMfnC LCfVE ASD lERSON^L BBAUTT 



LORDOR ASD NEW TOIQC 
M/UaCHIAH AND CO. 
1387 



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Soc 5005.9 

A 



/ 



HARVARD 

UNIVERSITY 

LIPRARY 




■ A;^.-..i» 



CONTENTS 



IL 
ML 
IT. 



£TOLrnox of Bomaktic Lots 

CoitMIC ATTRACnON AXD ChKMICAL AFFIXITISS 

Fix>WKii Love axd Bxautv . 

iMFKiaOXAL AfFSCTIOX 

PxMoyAL Affections 

L Love for Animtls . . 

HatenuJ Loro 
Paternal Lova 
Filial Lore. 
V. Brotherlj and Sisterl j Love, 
n. Friendsbip. 
VII. Romantic Lova 
OnitToyia OF Love . 

i. Individnal Preferraco 
II. Monopoly or Ezcloaavenc&s 
in. Jcalonay . 
IV. Coyne« 
v. Gallantry . 
TL 8elf-8acrifica 
VII. Sympathy . 
nil. Pride of Conqnaat and P( 
IX. Emotional Hyperbole 
X. Mixed Moodt 

XI. Admiration of Personal Beauty 
Herbert 8pencer on Love 
Love amovg AxniAU 
Courtship 

(a) Jealousy . 
(&) Coyness 

(0 Individnal Preference 
{d) Personal Beaaty and Sexnal Sclocticm 
(1) PloUetive Coloui 



;on 



TAO* 

1 
3 
7 
11 
10 
1« 
19 
20 
22 
23 
24 
25 
20 
ZO 
CO 
30 
CO 
CI 
CI 
31 
SI 



32 



C3 
37 
C9 
40 
4S 
43 
48 



(2) 'Warning Colours . . . . .IS 

(S) Typical Culours . . . . . tS 

H) SciLual Colours . .' . . , .19 

Lore Clianni and Lotq Cills . . . . .CO 

. Lore Dancea snJ D-Uplay . . . . . {'■2 

Stmngen to Lova , , . . . . C4 

J'TimitiTi Courtihip . . . . . . Sfl 

(1) Captnro 56 

(2) PurchuB ...... GS 

(S) SerricQ ....... ES 

ladiviJunl Preference . . . . . .69 

Peraond Seiiuty and Sexual S«Uctioii . . . .CO 

JealouBy auJ rolTgmny , . . . . .02 

Uonopoly ami Mi.no^my . . . , .63 

Primitive Cojiiaa , . . . , .04 

Can AmpTiounNegroei Love t . . . . . Gfl 

EmoBT OF LovB ....... G7 

Love is Eottt ....... C7 

Anoikst Hebrew Love . . . . , .09 

Anciknt Artax Lovb ...... 73 

Hindoo Lt>vQ Uiuiini . . . . . .73 

Grkee Love . . . . . . . 7S 

rnmily Affection . . . . . .75 

IfoLove Stories . . . . . . .70 

"Woman's roaition . . . . . .77 

C!in[wronagD nmu Courtship . . ■ . .77 

rkto on CooTtaliip ...... 7S 

Parontol ermw Loven' Choico . . . . .73 

Tlia Hetrera ....... 79 

rinlomeLoTB ....... 80 

SapphoandTenialo Friendship . . , . .61 

CrepkBeaaty ....... 85 

Capid's Arrows ,,...., 34 

Origin af Lova ....... S5 

BouAN Love ........ 36 

Woman's Podtion ...... 3G 

Ko Wooing and Choico . . ' . . . , S7 

Tii^l, Dryden, and Scott . , , , .39 

Ovid's Art of Making Lova . , . . .90 

BirthofGalkntry SI 

HzDi^TAL Love ...,.,. 92 
Celibacy rermu Uuriage . . . . .92 

Wonua'* Lowert D^iadation , . , .93 



K«C*Uon of FeminiDc Clioicc 

C'littstianitv atiJ L^ve 
(Ijivalrv— MiiitflDt and Comk 

cyrsiij— r-jcuc 

(i) ?mich TronboJoiin 
{I) German UimKUngen 
Female Culture . 

Epenirr on Lore . 
Ilmnto Mill iilialupere 

UUDBBK 1.1)VE 

LcaJins Motive* . 
Uodcrn Covn«i . 

<1) An EchootCartnm 

(2) 3J»Ucn t»rau Wifa 

(3) Uodenty. 
(1) CnDDiiig to be SCnuige 

(5) I'rorta.«tin»iioD . 

Diutiriiitaga ofCojneu 
fornna l«euu Uonuui'a IjO»« 
Uuculinu trrtiU Fctulnioc Lore 
riirtetira urJ CwjocUy 

nirUliDD Winif COTDCW 

Uojfni CourUiiiji . 

Uodcm JinltJUTf . 

LcTTtJealouty 

Ifetro*twctiTe and rroajiactii 

Jnlowy and Btaat; 
Uonopolj or Eii Unii. w^t 

True Lore U Tnniieiit 

Iirir*t Lore Dot). 

lititie on Fint Vrrt 

Tint Lore it d«'. Bext 
I'rUe and Yauitr 

CoqnetTT 

Lore and Eank 

Hut Lot, In-^i..;-. Emo-.i 
l>c*ilopi[ifn[ ofSympatli; 
lltj and U-r, 

L«rt at Fint Sight . 




Yui CONTENra 










fPAOB 


Intellect and Love ....•• 164 


Gallantry and Self-Sacrifice 








157 


Active and Passive Desire to Please 








, 159 


Feminine Devotion . 








, 160 


EmctioTial Hyperbole 








, 162 


Hixed Moods and Paradoxes 








. 166 


Lunatic, Lover, and Poet . 








. 172 


Individual Preference • 








, 173 


Sexual Divergence . 








174 


Making Woman Masculine . 








. 175 


Love and Culture . 








. 176 


Personal Beauty • • . . 








. 177 


Feminine Beauty in Masculine Eyes 


* 




. 177 


Masculine Beauty in Feminine Eyes 






. 178 


CoTsmroAL Affection and Romantic Levi: 






. ISO 


Homance in Conjugal Love 






. 184 


Marriages of Reason or Love ^latches ? 








. 187 


Marriage Hints .... 








, 189 


Old ^LiiDS • . . • 








, 190 


Bachelors ..... 








. 194 


Genius and Makriaoe 








. 197 


Genius and Love . 








. 201 


Genius in Love • . . . 








. 204 


(1) Precocity .... 








. 204 


(2) Ardour 








. 207 


(3) Fickleness 








, 210 


(4) MultipUcit}- .... 








. 213 


(5) Fictitiousncss 








, 215 


Insanity and Love .... 








. 218 


Analogies • • . . . 








. 218 


£rotomanix^ or Real Lovo-Sickucss 








222 


The Language of Love 








, 223 


I. Words .... 








. 223 


IL Facial Expression . 








224 


III. Caresses 








. 225 


KissiNO — P.VST, Present, and Future 








227 


Among Animals .... 








. 227 


^Among Savages . . . 








. 228 


Origin of Kissing 








. 229 


Ancient Kisses .... 








. 232 


^lediffival Kisses . 








. 233 


^lodcru Kisses . 








. 234 


Love Kisses 








. 235 


How to Kiss 








. 237 



How TO TTni Lot* , . ■ . . . .238 

Ilnua ItuttoQS ...■..• 238 
CunfiJea'^a and Boldncu ..... 239 

ricualit AiMciAtiuuii - . ■ • . .2^0 

rmcrcraiice ....... 241 

feigned Indiffarencn ...... 241 

Compliment* ....... 244 

Love Letten , . . .240 

LoT« Channt for WonioQ ..... 2S0 

rropMiDg ....... SS3 

Dugnoaii, or Sign* of Lotd ..... 2£4 

How TO Core Lovb ....... 2S5 

AbMDce ........ 250 

Tnttl 257 

Eniplojmiant ....... 257 

lljirir^ Hueij 257 

FnaiiiiDc iDfiriorlty . . . . . , SflO 

FocautDg lifr Faiilu ...... SaS 

Bbimui vcmit Ftuiuij . . .203 

larr MMM Lore . . . . . 2Si 

i'Tirgnaat, -or Ckucci «f Btoorcty .... 2S5 

Xiii'i'TAMrr akdLote . . . 2flS 

Frtneh hort . . . . . 2S0 

lulwn Lot* ....... 274 

SpuiUh Lots .277 

Cmnan ton ....... 2S0 

EogluhLoT* . , .253 
Jln)<nc>nU.v 204 

tcmutVfaAw:t1utoT.\owLoyz . . . . .801 

LnfUKbllluwun 303 

iDiliriitiiALi SatiilJcDl to the Spocic* .... 302 

Sbokw »r Lore . .303 

(1) riivKcalBwtttjr . . . . .303 

(1) I-.-Vl.i. T-^iU 304 

(3) <:^'U.l.l<-ir„i,::.rvQii»Iiliu, . . .303 

Pock Sor«cE* or Bbactt . . ,310 

L HmIA .310 

Gmk DcautT . .313 

UnliiEvil I'lilineu .314 

UoJeni Hjsieut . . .... 316 

n. CroHiDg .318 

iiL llomtstk Lora ...... 3^3 

IT. Haul BefiDencat ...,., SS4 
XroLiTiox av Jamtm , .127 



X CONTENTS 

Sanje KoUoni of 6«aiitj , . . .327 

KoQ-Atbetio " Onumcntfttion " .... 32S 

renoDsl Reaaty ox a Fine Art . . . . .329 

Ncgatlre Testa of Beauty . . . .331 

(a) AnimaU. ...... 331 

<i) Sivoges 333 

(e) Degraded CImbm . . . ,333 

(<i) Age aai Decrepitude ..... 331 
(e) DUeue . . , . .331 

Toulive TetU of Beoaty ; . . .333 

(o) Symmotiy ...... 333 

(b) Ctudfttioii . . . . .339 

(c) Curratore . . , . .311 

UnscuUna imd Feminino Deauty . . . 312 

(rf) Delicacy. . . . , , .343 

(c) Sraoochnen . . . . .314 

(/) Lustra and Colour ..... 345 

(j) £it>mdon. Variety, Indiridttality . .348 

Thi F«rr ........ 351 

Si» 351 

Fuhlonable Ugliaest ■•.... 352 

Toitu of Bwiiity . . . . , , .351 

A Umcaful Gait . . . . . , ,367 

ETOlutioii of the Great Too , . . .350 

Tfntional Pecul inn lies ..,,,. 38] 
tleautifyinfe-Hysieno ...... 362 

Dancing and Gnce ...... 3fi4 

Danciug and Courtship ...... 365 

EToIntion of Dance Muiic ..... 307 

The Dsuce of Lova . . . , . .389 

Uallet-Danciog ....... 370 

The Lowek Lijibs .,,..,. 371 
lltuaeuLir Dsvtlopmrut ...... 3fl 

Dcantifjing Exerciso ...... 372 

FaslitoDBble UglincM ...... 37S 

Th« Crinoline Craze ...... 376 

Thb Waist C78 

The Beauty-Cnrvo . . . , . .373 

The Waip- Waist ilania , . . . . .379 

Hygienic Disadvinta;:,-cs . . . , .330 

.^thetio DisadvinUges . ■ . , . 3S1 

Corjiulanee and Leanness ..... 3S2 

The Fashion Fotish Analysed ..... 386 
Indindualintt nrjtu Fuhiun ..... 389 



VucaliB( FMhioni 391 

CXBKT AKD UOMK . . . . S04 

FmiiDine Deniitjr ...... 394 

ItucnliDC Bcautj ,....■ 3JT 

Hip'j E(T(ct»fIifc].Br<«thing . . . . . 39r 

A M.^™! i.'u«lloi. =09 

Kick .si. Shwli.ei-. 400 

JLtM Asa H*M. 402 

XTt-liiuon and Sexual Diflcniicca .... 403 

Calitdimici aod Uumgo . . • . • 40S 
The Secoml Face . . . ■ . .40.1 

Tinfr Kills .400 

Ukuirart Secret* .•>••> 407 

JiW.CUlN.AXI. UlU-TB 408 

JiuuUnrwuiJtin 408 

3)iini.lnJl> the Chin 412 

ItcAue.1 Ui* 413 

CodQCtk lliiitu . . . . . .421 

Tn Cbeeis ........ 423 

Hiffh Ckwk Bone* 433 

Colour Hid lUnibM . . . . . .425 

Tu Eam* 439 

A VtUm Onuumnt 429 

Ca*B«tic* and Fuhioo . . . .431 

I'hv.i.'pTi'itTii' VagBriel .-•..• 433 
Kout and Ciriluation ...... 434 

A MiwmI Toiu 43:^ 

Tmb Ko«1 434 

Bin and Shapa . . 43tf 

Eroluioti of the Koar ..■■•• 438 
Greek and Hebraw Niwra . ,410 

l-a*li>..i;=i..U...r]i.i,. anrgery 443 

N„» I.r^-i.iii.-anJKcaJth 41S 

O ini .1 . Vilu^ o[ Odonn . . . . .440 

T» fuREDEAD • • • . 44S 

DcuiT and nr>iQ 448 

Faaluaoabl* Dcfonoltj . > . . . .430 
WiMiVlea 431 

Tin CoMrLKxicm ....... 4JZ 

Vbiu venut Black . . . 4S3 

Omotic Hiuta 4C0 

Frxklaa and SuuUne , . .401 

Tn Era 454 

Colev 46a 



Luitra . . . • . . 4W 

Form 47S 

Exprcadou ....... 4TS 

(a) Lttrtni *79 

lb) Colour of hli . . . . 478 

(c) UoramenU of the Iria ..... 479 
id) „ ,y EroUill , . .430 

(«) „ „ Eyelid* . . . .482 

(/) „ „ EysbroiTi . , .485 

Cosmetic HiaU. . . . . .485 

Tbb Haib 488 

CaoH of M«n'« Nnditj . . . .488 

Betnla and ^loiuCoclivn ...... 48V 

Baldnonand DepLtntorii.'a ..... 4n 

^thetic Vdnc of Hair . . . . . . 4M 

BRtrsETTI A>-i> BLO^-DF: . . . . . . 4H 

Bloodg rn-auj Brunctto . . . . . . 4S« 

Brunette refSiU BlonJo . . . . . .498 

Wliy Cupid FavouraBninettc^t . . . . . 4» 

Natiosality .V.VD BxiUTT . . . . . .605 

Fbrscs Bzautt . . . . ■ . 6M 

Italian Bkautt . . . . Qll 

Spanish Biauty . , . . GIS 

Gervan and AusrntAii Bxautt . . . . .523 

Encubh Bkadtt . . . . . .528 

Aiu£ica:i BKAtTTY . . . . . . 5S5 




EOMANTIC LOVE & PERSONAL BEAUTY 



BVOLXJTION OP ROMANTIC LOVE 

Or an the riietorieal eommonplaoeB in literature and oonTenation, 
none it more freqoentlj repeated than the aSMition that Lore, aa 
depicted in a thousand norela and poems every year, has existed 
at ail times, and in ereiy coontry, immutable aa the mountains 
and the stazi. 

Only a few months ago one of the leading German writers of 
the period, Ernst Eckstein, wrote an essay in which he endearoored 
to prove that not only was Lore as Mi hy the ancient Romans 
the moDB aa modem Lore, bat that it was identical with the 
modcxn sentiment even in its minutest details and manifestations. . 
He based this bold inference on the fact that in Ovid's Art Am^XS''''^ 
diieetions are given to the menre^pardingcertain tricks of gallantry 

such aa dusting the adored one's seat at the drcus, fanning her, 
applanding her favourites, and drinking from the cup where it was 
touched by her lips. 

Carious and interesting these hints are, no doubt But a doser 
examination of Roman literature and manners shows that Dr. 
Eckstein has been guO^ of the common blunder of generalising 
bom a sio|^ instance. Gallantry is one of the essential traits of 
modem Love ; and far from having been a common practice in 
ancient Rome, the interest of Ovid's remarks lies in the £ict that 
they give us the./lrs^ instance on reoord of an attempt at ^rallant 
behaviour on the part of the men; aa will be shown in detail in 
the chapter on Roman Love. 

And aa with Gallantry, so with the other traits which make xxp 
the groop of emotions known to us as Love. We look for them in 
vain among modem aavagea, in vain among the andeut dvilised 
natiooa Romantic Love is a modem sentiment, less than a 
thousand yean old. 

S B 




BOMANTIC LOVE & PERSONAL BEAUTY 



BVOLXJTION OP ROMANTIC LOVE 

Or all the riietorieal eommonplaoeB in literature and ooDTenation, 
none is more frequently repeated than the aSMition that Lore, aa 
depicted in a thousand novels and poems erery year, has existed 
at all times, and in every country, immutable as the mountains 
and the stars. 

Only a few months ago one of the leading German writers of 
the period, Ernst Eckstein, wrote an essay in which he endearoured 
to prove that not only was Lore as felt by the ancient Romans 
the same aa modem Lore, but that it was identical with the 
modem sentiment even in its minutest details and manifestations. . 
He based this bold inference on the fact that in Ovid's Art AmifS''''^ 
direetions are given to the menre^pardingcertain tricks of gallantry 
— such aa dusting the adored one's seat at the drcus, fanning her, 
applauding her favourites, and drinking from the cup where it was 
touched by her lips. 

Curious and interestiDg these hints are, no doubt But a doser 
examination of Roman literature and manners shows that Dr. 
Eckstein has been guil^ of the common blunder of generalising 
from a single instance. Gallantry is one of the essential traits of 
modem Love ; and far from having been a common practice in 
ancient Rome, the interest of Ovid's remarks lies in the £ict that 
they give us the^j^ instance on record of an attempt at jroUant 
behaviour on the part of the men; as will be shown in detail in 
the chapter on Roman Love. 

And aa with Gallantry, so with the other traits which make xxp 
the group of emotions known to us aa Love. We look for them in 
vain among modem aavages, in vain among the andeut civilised 
nationa. Romantic Love is a modem sentiment, less than a 
thousand years old. 

& B 




2 BOMANl:iC LOYE AND PEESONAL BEAUTY 

Coigugal Lore ib, indeed, often celebrated by Greek, Hebrew, 
and other ancient writers, but regarding Romantic— or pre-matri* 
monial — ^Love (which alone forms the theme of our noyelists), they 
are silent. The Bible takes no account of it, and although Greek 
literature and mythology seem at first sight to abound in allusions 
to it, critical analysis shows that the reference nerer is to Love as 
we understand it Greek Love, i\b will be shown hereafter, was a 
peculiar mixture of fiiendship and passion, differing widely firom 
the modem sentiment of Love. 

It is because among the Romans the position of woman was 
somewhat more elevated and modem than among the Greeks, that 
we fiod in Roman literature a vague foreshadowing of some of the 
elements of modem Love. 

In the Dark Ages there is a relapse. The germs of Love could 
not flourish in a period when women were kept in bratal subjection 
by the men, and their minds refused all nourishment and refine- 
ment. The Troubadours of Italy and France proved useful 
champions of woman, as did the German Minnesingers, by teaching 
the roediffival military man to look upon her with sentiments of 
respect and juloration. Yet their conduct rarely harmonised with 
their preaching; and the cause of Romantic Love gained little by 
their poetic efilisions, which were almost invariably addressed to 
married women. 

Not till Dante's Vita Nnova appeared was the gospel of modem 
Love — the romantic adoration of a maiden by a youth — revealed for 
the first time in definite language. Genius, however, is always in 
advance of its age, in emotions as well as in tJioughts; and the 
feelings experienced by Dante were obviously not shared by his 
contemporaries, who found them too subtle and sublimated for 
their comprehension. And, in fact, they were too ethereal to quite 
correspond with reality. The strings of Dante's lyre were strung 
too high, and touched by his magic hand, gave forth harmonic 
overtones too celestial for mundane ears to bear. 

It remained for -ShaLipere to combine the idealism with the 
realism of Love in proper proportions. The coloius with which he 
painted the passion and sentiment of modem Love are as fresh 
and as tme to life as on the day when they were first put on his 
canvas. Like Dante, however, he was emotionally ahead of his 
time, as an examination of contemporary literature in England and 
elsewhere shows. But within the laJ3t two centuries Love has 
gradually, if slowly, assumed among all educated people character- 
istics which formerly it possessed only in the minds of a few 
isolated men of genius. 




COSMIC ATTRACTION AND CHEMICAL AFFINITIES 9 

Before we proceed to prove all these assertions in detail, it will 
be well to cast a brief glance at the analogies to human Love 
presented by cosmic, chemical, and vegetal phenomena; as well as 
to distinguish Romantic Love from other forms of human and 
animal affection. This will enable us to comprehend more clearly 
what modem Love is, by making apparent what it is not 

COSMIO ATTRACTION AND CHEMICAL AFFINITIES 

It is a favourite device of poets to invest plants and even 
inanimate objects with human thoughts and feelings. The 
parched, withering flower, tormented by the pangs of thirst, 
implores the passing cloud for a few drops of the vital fluid ; and 
the cloud, moved to pity at sight of the suffering beauty, sheds its 
welcome, soothing tears. 

*' Aod 'tis my faith, that every flower 
Enjoys the air it hreAthei.'*~WoRnswoRTB. 

** The moon ihinet bright : in inch a night si this, 
When the iweet wind did gently kiss the trees, 
And they did make no noise. " 

** Porple the saik, and so perfumed that 
The winds were loTe-sick with them.**— Shaxspbiul 

One of the first authors who thus endowed non-human objects 
with bnnuui feelings was the Greek philosopher Empedokles, who 
flourisbed about twenty-three centuries aga Just as the lost of 
the great German metaphysicians, Schopenhauer, believed that all 
the forees of Nature — astronomic, chemical, biological, etc — are 
identical with the human Will, of which they represent different 
stages of development or " objectivation," so Empedokles insisted 
that the two ruling passions of the human soul, Love and Hate, 
are the two principles which pervade and rule the whole universe. 
In the primitive condition of things, he taught, the four elements, 
Earth, Water, Air, and Fire are mingled hiumoniously, and Love 
rules supreme. Then Hate intervenes and produces individual, 
separate forms. Plants are developed, and after them animals, or 
rather, at first, only single organs — detached eyes, arms, hands, 
etc Then Love reasseru its force and unites these separate organs 
into complete animals. Strange monstrosities are the result of 
some of these unions — animals of double sex, human heads on the 
bodies of oien, or homed heads on the bodies of men. These, 
however, perish, while others, which are congruous and adapted 
to tbcir surruuudiugs, survive and multiply. 




4 BOICANTIC LOYE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

Thru Empedokles, *'the Greek Darwin,'' was the originator of 
a theory of evolution based on the altmiate predominance of 
cosmic Love and Hate; Love being the attractive, Hate the re- 
pulsive force. 

In the preface to the first volume of Ihn Quixote, Cervantes 
refers those who wish to acquire some information concerning Love 
to an Italian treatise bj Judah Leo. The fUll title of the book, 
which appeared in Rome in the sixteenth century, is Dialoghi di 
amove, ComposH da Leone Medico, di naxione Ebreo, e di poi 
fcUto erisiiano. There are said to be three French translations of 
it, but it was only after long searching that I succeeded in finding 
a copy, at the Biblioth^ue Nationale in Paris. It proved to be a 
strange medley of astrology, metaphysics, theology, classical erudi- 
tion, mythology, and medieval science. Burton, in the chapter 
on Love, in his Anatomy of Melancholy, quotes fireely from this 
work of Leo, whom he names as one of about twenty-five authors 
who wrote treatises on Love in ancient and mediieval times. 

Like Empedokles, Leo identifies cosmic attraction with Love. 
But he points out tfajree degrees of Love— Natural, Sensible, and 
Rational. 

By Natural Love he means those ** sympathies " which attract a 
stone to the earth, make rivers flow to the sea, keep the sun, moon, 
and stars in their courses, etc Burton (1652) agrees with Leo, 
and asks quaintly, "How comes a loadstone to <kaw iron to it • . • 
the ground to covet showers, but for level ... no stocky 
no stone, that has not some feeling of love. Tis more 
eminent in Plants, Hearba, and is especially observed in v^getals ; 
as betwixt the Tine and Elm a great sympathy," etc. 

'' Sensible " Love is that which prevails among animals. In it 
Leo recognises the higher elements of delight in one another's 
company, and of attachment to a master. 

"Rational" Love, the third and highest class, is peculiar to 
God, angels, and men. 

But the inclination to confound gravitation and other natural 
forces with Love is not to be found among ancient and mediaeval 
authors alone. Paradoxical as it may seera, it is the "gross 
materiaUst," Dr. Ludwig Bfichner, who exclaims rapturously: "For 
it is love, in the form of attraction, which chains stone to stone, 
earth to earth, star to star, and which holds together the mighty 
edifice on which we stand, and on the surface of which, like 
parasites, we cany on our existence, barely noticeable in the infinite 
universe ; and on which we shall continue to exist till that distant 
period when its component parts will again be resolved into that 




CX)SMIC ATTRACTION AND CHEMICAL AmNITIES 5 

primal chaos from which it laboriously severed itself millions of 
years a^ro, and became a separate planet." 

Biichner carries on this anthropopathic process a step farther, 
by including all the chemical affinities of atoms and molecules as 
manifestations of love: "Just as man and woman attract one 
another, so oxygen attracts hydrogen, and, in loving union with it, 
forms water, that mighty omnipresent element, without which no 
life nor thought would be possible." And again: "Potassium 
and phosphorus entertain such a violent passion for orygen that 
even under water they bum — t.e. unite themselves with the 
beloved object." 

Goethe's novel. Elective Ajffinities^ which was inspired by a late 
and hopeless passion of its author, is based on this chemical notion 
that no physi&il obstacle can separate two souls that are united by 
an amorous affinity. But the practical outcome of his theory — 
that the psychic affinity of two persons suffices to impress the 
characteristics of both on the offspring of one of them — has nothing 
to support it in medical experience ; while the chemical analogy, 
with ail due deference to Goethe's reputation as a man of science, 
If against his view. His notion was that the children of two souk 
loving one another will inherit their characteristics. But what 
distinguishes a chemical compound (based on " affinity ") from a 
mere physical mixture, is precisely the contrary fact that the com- 
pound does not in any respect resemble the parental elements! 
Bead what a specialist says in Watts's Dictionary of CJumistry : — 

"Definite chemical compounds generally dlfifer altogether iu 
physical properties from their components. Thus, with regard 
to colour^ yellow sulphur and gray mercury produce red cinnabar ; 
purple iodine and gray potassium yield colourless iodide of potas- 
sium. . . . The density of a compound is very rarely an exact 
mean between that of its constituents, being generally higher, and 
in a few cases lower ; and the taste^ melt, refracting power^ fun- 
bility^ volatility^ conducting potccr for heat and electricity^ and 
other physical properties, are not for the most part such as would 
result from mere mixture of their constituents." 

Chemical affinities, accordingly, cannot be used as analogies of 
Love. Not even on account of the violent individual preference 
shown by two elements for one another, for this apparently indi- 
vidual preference is really only generic. A piece of phosphorus 
will as readily unite with one cubic foot of oxygen as with 
another ; whereas it is the very essence of Lc ve that it demands a 
union with one particular individual^ and no other. 

Equally nnsatiafartoiy are all aimilar attempts to identify Love 




6 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

with gravitation or other forms of cosmic attraction. Here is 
what a great expert in Love has to say on this subject : *' The 
attraction of love, I find/' writes Boms, *' is in inverse proportion 
to the attraction of the Newtonian philosophy. In the system of 
Sir Isaac, the nearer objects are to one another, the stronger is the 
attractive force. In my system, every milestone that marked 
my progress from Clarinda awakened a keener pang of attachment 
to her." 

How beautifully, in other respects, does the law of gravitation 
simulate the methods of Love ! Does not the meteor which 
passionately falls on this planet and digs a deep hole into it, show 
its love in this manner, even as that affectionate bear who smashed 
his master's forehead in order to kill the fly on it f Does not the 
avalanche which thunders down the raountoin-side and buries a 
whole forest and several villages, afford another touching illustra- 
tion of the love of attraction, or cosmic Love ? — a crushing argu- 
ment in its favour? Or the frigid glacier, in its slower course, 
does it not lacerate the 8ides of the valley, and strew about its 
precious boulders, merely by way of illustrating the amorous effect 
of gravitation 1 And millions of years hence, will not this same law 
of attraction enable the sun to prove his ecstatic love for our earth 
by swallowing her up and reducing her to her primitive chaotic 
state 1 Imagine a man and a woman whose love consists in this, 
that they must be kept widely separated by a hostile force to pre- 
vent them from dashing together, and reducing each other to atoms 
and molecules ! T/iai is the " love " of the stars and planets. 

But it is needless to continue this redtictio ad absurdum of 
pantheistic or panerotic vagaries. The metliod of the writers on 
Love here quoted — Empedokles, Leo, Burton, BUchner — has been 
to identify Love with cosmic force simply because they possess in 
common the one quality of attraction, by virtue of which the large 
earth hugs a small stone, and a large man a small maiden. 
Modem scientific psychology objects to this (t.e. not the hugging, 
but the method), because it does not in the least aid us in under- 
standing the nature of Love ; and because it is ns irrational to call 
attraction Love as it would be to ciill a brick a house, a leaf a tree, 
or a green daub a rainbow. For Love embraces every colour in 
the spectrum of human emotion. 

Having failed to find a satisfactory solution of the mystery of 
Love in the inorganic world, let us now see if the vegetable king- 
dom offers no better analogies in its sexual phenomena. 



FLOWEE LOVE AND BEAUTY 



FLOWER LOVE AND BEAUTY 

TTntQ a few decades a^o, it was the universal belief that flowers 
had been specially created for man's exclusive delight This was 
such an easy way, you know, to overcome the difficulty of explain- 
ing the immense yanety of forms and colours in the floral world ; 
and it was, above all, so flattering to man's egregious vanity. £uc 
one fine morning in May a German naturalist, Conrad Sprengel, 
published a remarkable book in which he pointed out that flowers 
owe their peculiar shape, colour, and fragrance to the visits of 
insects. Not that the insects visit the flowers in order to shape 
and paint and perfume them. On the contrary, tliey visit them for 
the unssthetic purpose of eating their pollen and their honey ; while 
the flowera' scent and colour exist solely for the purpose of indicating 
to winged insects at a distance where they can find a savoury lunch. 

But why should flowers take such pains to attract insects by 
serving them with a breakfast of honey, and by hanging out big 
petals to serve as coloured and perfumed signal-flags 1 Nature is 
economical in the expenditure of energy ; and as the production of 
honey and large flowers costs the plant some of its vital energies, 
we may be sure that this expenditure secures the plant some 
superior advantage. Sprengel noticed that the insects, while 
pillaging flowers of their honey, unwittingly brushed ofi" with their 
wings and feet some of the fertilising dust or pollen, and carried it 
to the pistil or female part of a flower. But it remained fur 
Darwin to point out what advantage this transference of the 
pollen secured to the flower. Darwin, says Sir John Lubbock, 
^' was the first clearly to perceive that the essential service which 
insects perform to flowers consists not only in transferring the 
pollen from the stamens to ihe pistil, but in transferring it from 
the stamens of one flower to the pistil of another. Sprengel had 
indeed observed in more than one instance that this was the case, 
but he did not altogether appreciate tiie importance of the fact. 
Mr. Darwin, however, has not only ma<le it clear from theoretical 
considerations, but has also proved it, in a variety of cases, by 
actual experiment. More recently Fiitz Miillcr has even shown 
that in some cases pollen, ii placed on the stigma of the same 
flower, has no more effect than so much inorganic dust ; while, and 
this it perhaps even more extraordinary, in others, the pollca 
placed on the stigma of the same flower acted on it like poison ** — 
a curious analogy to the current belief that close intermarriage is 
iigurioos to mankind. 




8 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

What Darwin and others have proved by their experiments is 
that cross-fertilised flowers are more vigorous than those fertilised 
with their own pollen, and have a more healthy and numerous 
of&priug. With this fact before us we need only apply the usual 
evolutionary formula to account for the beauty of flowers. It is 
well known that Nature rarely, if ever, produces two leaves or 
plants that are exactly alike. There is also a natiural tendency in 
all parts of a plant except the leaves to develop other colours 
besides green. Now any plant which, owing to chemical causes, 
favourable position, etc., developed an unusually brilliant colour, 
would be likely to attract the attention of a winged insect in search 
of pollen-food. The insect, by alighting on a second flower soon 
after, would fertilise it with the pollen of the first flower that 
adhered to its limbs, thus securing to the plant the advantages of 
cross-fertilisation. Thanks to the laws of heredity, this advantage 
would be transmitted to the young plants, among which again 
those most favoured woidd gain an advantage and a more numerous 
oflspring. And thus tlie gradual development not only of coloured 
petals, but of scents and honey, can be accounted for. 

What makes tlus argument irresistible is the additional fact, 
first pointed out by Darwin, that plants which are not visited by 
insects, but are fertilised by the agency of the wind, are neither 
adorned with beautifully-coloured flowers, nor provided with honey 
or fragrance. And another most important fact : Darwin found 
that flowers which depend on the wind for their fertilisation follow 
the natural tendency of objects to a symmetrical form ; whereas 
the irregular flowers are always those fertilised by insects or birds. 
This points to the conclusion that insects and birds are responsible 
not only for the colours and fragrance of flowers, but also for the 
shape of those that are most unique and fantastic. And this a 
priori inference is borne out by thousands of curious and most 
fascinating observations described in the works of Darwin, Lubbock, 
Muller, and many others. The briefest and clearest presentation 
of the subject is in Lubbock's FlmoerSf Fruits, and Leaves, which 
no one interested in natural {esthetics should fail to read. There 
is indeed no more interesting study in biology than the mutual 
adaptation of flowers, bees, butterflies, hummin?-birds, etc. ; for 
just as these animals have modified the forms of flowers, so the 
flowers have altered the shape of these animals. 

Many of the changes in the shapes of flowers are mode not only 
with a view to facilitate the visits of winged insects, but also for 
keeping out creeping intruders, such as ants, which are very fond 
of honey, but which, as they do not fly, would not aid the cauf e of 




FLOWER LOVE AND BEAUIT 9 

CT088-fertili8ation. Of these contrivances, " the most frequent are 
the interposition of c/ievaux de frUe^ which ants cannot penetrate, 
ghitiuous surfaces Trhich they cannot traverse, slippery slopes 
which they cannot climb, or barriers which close the way." 

How obtuse are those who, with Ruskin and Emerson, accuse 
science of destroying the poetry of nature ! . What poetry is there 
in the thought that flowers were made for unsesthctic man, when 
not one man in a thousand ever takes the trouble to examine one, 
while for every single flower on which a human eye ever rests, a 
million are bom to blush unseen ? 

But if we abandon the narrow anthropocentric point of view, 
and admit that insects too have a right to live, how the scope of 
Nature's poetry widens ! How easy it then becomes to share not 
only Wordsworth's belief that "every flower enjoys the air it 
breAthes," but to endow it with a thousand thoughts and emotions 
like our own— delight in a gaily-coloured floral envelope ; hope 
that yonder gaudy butterfly will be attracted by it ; anxiety lest 
that " horrid " ant may steal some of its honey ; determination to 
breathe the sweetest perfume on this darling honey bee, so as to 
induce it to speedily call again. 

Love dramas, too, tragic and comic, are enacted in this world 
of flowers and insects. Thus the Arum plant resorts to the fol- 
lowing stratngem to sectire a messenger of love for carrying its 
pollen to a distant female flower : — 

" The stigmas come to maturity first, and have lost the possi- 
bility of fertilisation before the pollen is ripe. Tlie pollen must 
therefore be brought by insects, and this is effected by small flies, 
which enter the leaf, either for the sake of honey or of shelter, and 
which, moreover, wlien they have once entered the tube, are 
imprisoned by the fringe of hairs. When the anthers ripen, the- 
pollen falls on to the flies, which, in their eflbrts to escape, get 
thoroughly dusted with it Then the fringe of hairs withers, and 
the flies, thus set free, soon come out, and ere long carry the pollen 
to another plant " (Lubbock). 

Then there are male flowers which go a-courting like any 
amorous swain of a Sunday night. One of these belongs to the 
Valisneria plant, concerning which the same writer observes that 
'^ the female flowers are borne on long stalks, which reach to the 
surface of the water, on which the flowers float The male flowers, 
on the contrary, have short, straight stilks, from which, when 
mature, the pollen detaches itself, rises to the surface, and, floating 
freely on it, is wafted about, so that it comes in contact with the 
Sftoiale flowerB.** 



10 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

Bat alas for the poor flowers! Few of them are thus privileged 
to roam about and seek their own bride. Most flowers have no 
more free choice in the selection of their spouse than an Oriental 
or a French girl. There is no previous acquaintance, no courtsliip 
before marriage, hence no Romantic Love, even if the undifferen- 
tiated germs of nervous protoplasm in the plant were capable of 
feeling such an emotion. 

Poor flowers ! Their honeymoon is without pleasure, uncon- 
scious. The wind may woo, the butterfly caress them — but the 
wind has no thought of the flower, and the insect's attachment is 
mere " cupboard love." The beauty of one flower cannot exist for 
another which has no eyes to see it ; its honey and its fragrance 
are not for a floral lover's delight, but for a gastronomic insect's 
epicurean use. No modest coyness, no harmless flirtation, no 
gallant devotion and self-sacrifice, enter into the flower's sexnal 
life; not even the bitter-sweet pangs of jealousy, for, as Heine has 
ascertained, '* the butterfly stops not to ask the flower, ' Has any 
one kissed thee before 1 ' nor does the flower aak, ' Hast thou 
already flitted about another ] ' " 

Thus '* flower-love," with all its poetic analogies, has none of 
the elements of Romantic Love. Even attraction fails, for pkuits 
are commonly sessile, and cannot go forth to seek a mate. 

** I pniyod the flowers, 
Oh, tell me, what is love f 
Only a fragrant sigh was wafted 
Thro' the night." — German Song, 

Two important lessons of this chapter should, however, be 
carefully borne in mind; for though our search for Love has 
so fur yielded only negative results, some light has been thrown on 
the general laws of Beauty in Nature. The lessons are : — 

(1) That there is in flowers a natural tendency towards Sym- 
metry of Form, all normal irregularities being due to the agency 
of insects and birds. 

(2) That the superior Beauty of one flower over another is due 
to its superior vitality or Health, which, again, is promoted by 
cross-fertilisation or intermarriage — the choosing of a mate not in 
the same but in another flower-bed. 

Regarding the beauty of flowers a further detail may be aiided. 
Some of the coloured lines on flowers are so placed as to guide the 
visiting bees to the nectar or honey. More complicated colour- 
patterns probably owe their existence to the advantage of having 
an easy means of recognition at a distance. It is well known that 



IMPERSONAL AFFECTION 11 

bees on anj single expedition visit the flowers of one species only. 
Now it has been experimentally proved by Lubbock that bees 
can distinguish different colours; and, if we may judge by analogy 
with the human eye, they can distinguish colours at a greater 
distance than forms. Hence the advantage to each flower of 
having its own colours in its flag. 

IMPERSONAL AFFECTION 

From the sexual life of plants we onght to pass on to that of 
animals; but before doing so, it will be advisable to ascertain 
clearly what is meant by Romantic Love, and how it differs from 
other forms of affection, impersonal and personal; from the love for 
inanimate objects and for plants and animals; from the family 
affections — maternal, paternal, filial, brotherly, and sisterly love; 
from friendship; and from conjugal love. 

Love is the most attractive word in the language, as Heine and 
Oliver Wendell Holmes liave remarked. Out of every half-dozen 
novels one is likely to have the word Love in its title, as a bait 
tore to catch readers. But whereas novelists always use this word 
in the sense of Romantic or pre-matrimonial Love, in common 
language it is vaguely used as a synonym for any kind of attach- 
ment, from that of Romeo to the schoolgirl who '*just lovfs 
caramek." For the verb to love there is perhaps no satisfactory 
and equally comprehensive substitute; but in place of the noun 
love it is advisable, at least in a scientific work, to use the word 
Affection, which comprehends every form of love mentioned above. 
In the present work Love, with a capital L, always means Romantic 
Love. 

Professor Calderwood, in his Handbook of Moral Philosophy, 
says that ^ Affection is inclination towards others, disposing us to 
give from our own resources what may influence them either for 
good or ilL In practical tendency, the Affections are the reverse 
of the Desires. Desires absorb. Affections give out Affections 
presuppose a recognition of certain qualities in persons, and, in a 
modified degree, in lower tentient beings, but not in tJdngs, for the 
exercise of Affection presupposes in the object of it the possibility 
either of harmony or antagonism of feeling." 

In other words, the eminent Scotch moralist thinks we can 
entertain affections only towards human beings, and, to some 
degree, towards animals; but not towards plants or inanimate 
objects. Careful analysis of our emotions, however, does not sus> 
ioin this distinction, which is as unpoetic as it is anthropocentrio 



12 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

and unscientific. Dr. Calderwood obyionsly confounds affection 
with sympathy. Sympathy means literally to suifer with another, 
or to share his feelings; and this, indeed, ** presupposes in the 
object of it the posnibility either of harmony or antagonism of 
feeling." But affection, in his own words, " gives out," and hencd 
can be bestowed, and is bestowed, by all emotional and refined 
persons on a variety of 'things," that are neither sentient nor 
even animate; and a poetic soul will even feel tympaihy with such 
a non-sentient thing as a crushed flower, for his imagination uncon* 
sciously endows it with the requisite feeling. 

"Things" are of two kinds — those fat^hioned by man, and 
those produced by Nature. A poem, a symphony, a vioUn, a 
novel come under the first head ; a tree, a precious metal, a 
mountain under the second. An author wiio has passed through 
the whole gamut of emotion in writing his book, follows its fate 
with a paternal pride and an affectionate anxiety as great as if his 
bodily child had been sent into the world to seek its fortune. 
Perhaps the story of the German soldier who was carried off his 
feet by a cannon-ball, and who grasped first his pipe and then Iiis 
severed leg, is not a legend. For was not his pipe, like a good 
friend, associated with all the pleasant hours of his life? An 
artist certainly can entertain for his favourite instrument an 
affection almost, if not quite, human in quality. When Ole Bull 
suffered shipwreck on the Mississippi, he swam ashore, holding his 
violin high above water, at the risk of his life. And to an 
amateur who has often called upon his pianoforte to feed his 
momentary mood with a nocturne or a scherzo, the instniment 
soon assumes the functions of " a true friend, to whom," as Bacon 
would say, " you may impart griefs, joys, fears, hopes, suspicions, 
counsels, and whatever lieth upon the heart to oppress it, in a 
kind of civil shrift or confession." 

As for ''things" not produced by man, who that has ever 
spent a summer in Switzerland is not quite willing to believe the 
legend of the Swiss Heimweh — the exiled mountaineer's remini- 
scent longing and affection for his native haunts, which causes him 
to die of a broken heart, even if wife and children accompany him 
in his exile? His feelings are not identical with the aesthetic 
admiration of a tourist ; for these imply a certain degree of novelty 
and artistic perception foreign to his mind. They are true 
impersoTial affection for the snowy summits, sluggish glaciers, 
azure lakes, chasing clouds coyly playing hide-and-seek with the 
scenery^ below ; the balmy breezes, and boisterous storm-winds ; 
the green slopes studded with cows, whose welcome chimes alone 




IMPERSONAL AFFECTION 18 

interrupt the sublime sileoce of the Alpine Bummita. For these 
sounds and scenes are so iiitenvoven with all his experiences, 
thoughts, and associations, that he cannot live and he happy 
witliout them in a foreign land. 

The attitude of an sesthetically-refined visitor is thus expressed 
by Byron : ** I live not in myself, but I become poi tion of that 
around me ; and to me high mouutains are a feeling " — ^a poetic 
anticipation of Schopenhauer's doctrine, that for true aesthetic 
enjoyment it is necessiiry that the percipient subject be completely 
merged in the perceived object, — the personal man and tlie 
impersonal mountain liecoming one and indistinguisliable. 

Like Romantic Love, tiie affection for the grander aspects of 
Nature appears to be essentially a modem sentiment. The 
Greeks, as has often been pointed out, had little regard for the 
impersonal beauties of Nature ; and to make the forests, brooks, 
and mouutains attractive to the popular mind the poets had to 
people them with personal beauties ; with nymphs and dryads and 
goddesses. - 

The latest phase of the modem passion for impersonal nature 
includes even its most dismal and awe-inspiring aspects, with an 
ecstatic predilection that would have seemed incomprehensible to 
an ancient Greek. This ])hase has been thus beautifully described 
by Ruskin : '* There is a sense of the material beauty, both of 
inanimate nature, the lower animals, and human beings, which in 
the iridescence, colour-depth, and morbid (I use the word 
deliberately) mystery and softness of it — with other qualities 
indescribable by any single words, and only to be analysed by 
extreme care — is found to the full only in five men that I know of 
in modem times ; namely, Rousseau, Shelley, Byron, Turner, and 
myself, differing totally and in the entire group of us from the 
delight in clear-stmck beauty of Angelico and the Trecentisti, and 
separated, much more singtdarly, from the cheerful joys of 
Chaucer, Shakspere, and Scott, by its unaccountable affection for 
' Rokkes blok ' and other forms of terror and power, such as those 
of the ice-oceans, which to Shakspere were only Alpine rheum ; 
and the Via Malas and Diabolic Bridges which Dante would have 
condemned none but lost souls to climb or cross, — all this love of 
impending mouutains, coiled thunderclouds, and dangerous sea, 
being joined in us ^ith a sulk}% almost ferine, love of retreat in 
valleys of Charmettes, gulphs of Spezzia, ravines of Olympus, low 
lodgings in Chelsea, and close bmshwood at Coniston." 

Ruskin Matters himself if he still imagines he is the sole living 
poBsesdor of this feeling. Though there is much hypocrisy and 




14 BOMAimC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTT 

gnide-book-star-admiration among tourists, there are yet unques- 
tionably hundreds who eigoy the Via Malas, the ioe-oceans and 
solitary Swiss volleys they visit ; and though their dismal delight 
may not be so intense as Buskin's, it is yet sufficient to indicate 
the growth of a general affection for impersonal mtture in all her 
moods, whether smiling or frowning. 

To a mind that can thus rise above human associations and 
u'nlities, the sublimest thing in the world is the absolute solitude 
of an Alpine summit. To the ignorant peasant the harsh cow- 
bell which interrupts this silence is sweet music, because it 
su^^cgcsts the abodes of mankind ; and on this primitive stage of 
asthetic culture Jefirey placed himself When he wrote that, ** It 
is ii*an, and man alone, that we see in the beauties of the earth 
which he inhabits." 

Inasmuch as mountain solitudes are accessible to only a very 
small proportion of mankind, the existence of true impersonal 
affection on a large scale can be more easily demonstrated by 
recurring for a moment to the floral world. A city belle is apt tn^ 
look upon floorers merely from a social or military point of view : 
the more bouquets, the more evidence of admiration and conquest 
of mole hearts. And tlie city belle can hardly be blamed for this 
callousness of feeling ; for bunched flowers have lost as much of 
their natural charm and grace as butterflies stiick up on rows of 
pins in a museum. But watch that fair ganlener in a suburban 
cottage or a country seat ; how she recognises every individual 
plant, every single flower, as a friend for whose comfort she 
provides with all the nffectir>nate care which as a child she 
lavished on her doll. If, after a refresliing shower, the flowers 
hold up tlieir heads and look bright and happy, her face reflects 
the same feeling ; if a drouth has parched them and dimmed their 
lastre, she will neglect her own pleasures to bring them water, 
and derive from this charitable action the same sympathetic 
pleasure as if they had been so many sufleri ng human beings. 
And if an early frost kills all her floral friends, her sorrow and 
despair will find vent in a flood of tears. AVhat is all this but 
affection — true affection — though flowers be but ''things," and 
not " sentient beings." 

Obviously Professor Calderwood erred in his definition of affec- 
tion ; for, as the above analysis shows, when the r^ard for an 
impersonal object rises to the fervour of adoring interest, it does 
not specifically differ from personal affections any more than, for 
example, maternal love differs from friendship. Unemotional 
persons, who have had no opportunities to cultivate their love of 




IMPERSONAL AFFECTION 15 

Natnre, may feel inclined to doubt this ; but they should remem- 
ber that just as there is an intellectual eminence (Shakspere, Kant, 
Wagner) which the ignorant are too laxy or too vreak to climb, so 
there is an emotional horizon, beyond which those only cph see 
who have taken the trouble to ascend the summit whence a wider 
scene is unfolded to the view. 

From one point of view, impersonal affections are even higher 
and nobler than personal attachments. The evolution of emotions 
has been but little studied, but so much is apparent — that there 
has been a gradual development from utilitaiian attachments to 
those that are less utilitarian, or less obviously so. Personal 
affections are too often exclusively selfish and based on material in- 
terests, as the loss of "friends," which commonly foDows the loss of 
wealth or position, shows. Whereas impersonal attachments are less 
apt to be interested, selfish, and fickle, since they presuppose more 
intellectual power, more imiigination, more refinement 

Again, although it must be admitted that man is the crown 
and compendiiun of Nature, uniting in himself most of the excel- 
lences of tiie lower kingdoms with others exclusively his own ; yet 
it cannot be denied, eitlier, that tlie vast majority of these 
"crowns" of Nature are so fiUl of flaws in wurkniunship, and 
have lost so many of their jewels, that the sight of them is any- 
thing but exhilarating. Indeed, it is obvious that the average 
plant and the average animal are, in their v>ay, far superior to the 
average man, in beauty, health, vitality; natural selection, uhich 
has been arrested in man, having made them so. No wonder, 
tlien, that some of the greatest minds have turned away from 
mankind, and devoted all their thoughts and energies to the 
world of " things " and ideas. 

Goethe and other men of genius have often been accused of being 
cold and unsympathetic, because they refused to shape their conduct 
80 as to please the people with whom they chanced to come into 
contact Had they wasted their affections and sympathies on their 
commonplace admirers and acquaintances, instead of bestowing 
them on art and science, on the great ideas that teemed in their 
brnini!, we should now be without many of those glorious works 
which could never have been created had not their authors ignored 
personal relations for the time being, and bestowed all their 
warmest impersonal affections on their ideas. 

As compared with men of genius, women have achieved but 
little that can lay claim to immortal fame ; and the principal 
reason of this is that their affections are apt to be too exclusively 
penonaL A girl will assiduously practice on the piano aa long as 






16 ROMANTIC LOVE AND TERSONAL BEAUTY 

that will assist her in fascinating her suitors. Bat how many women, 
oatside the ranks of teachers, continue tlfeir practice after marriage, 
from the impenonal love of music itself t Needless to saj they 
have no time ; for every hour devoted to emotional refreshment 
strengthens the nerves for two hours of extra labour. 

As regards the love of Nature, woman is, indeed, artificially 
hampered. She may botanise to some extent, but she cannot, as 
a rule, indulge in those solitary walks in a virgin forest which 
alone con establish a deep communion with Nature. If accom- 
panied by friend, brother, husband, or lover, her thought will 
inevitably retain a human tinge. No doubt there is something 
comic in the ardent affection with which a German professor hugs 
his pet theory regarding the Greek dative, or the origin of honey 
in flowers, and in the ferocity with which he will defend it against 
his best friends, if they happen to oppose it But such complete 
devotion to abstract crotchets is absolutely necessary to the dis- 
covery of original ideas : and as women are rarely able or willing 
to emerge from the haunts of personal emotion, this explains why 
they have achieved greatness in hardly anything but novel-writing, 
which is chiefly concerned with personal emotions. 



PERSONAL AFFECTIONS 

L — LOVE FOB ANIMALS 

Over inanimate objects and plants we have this great emotional 
advantage that we can love them, whereas they cannot love us, 
nor even one another, though related by numriage, like flowers. 

Animals, however, can love both us and one another and be 
loved ; and this establishes a distinction between them and lower 
beings, and a relationship with us, that warrants us in placing their 
attachments under the head of Personal Aflections. 

CalJerwood is sufliciently liberal to admit that, to a degree 
animals may be included in our- affections. But Adolf Horwicz 
who has written the most complete, and, on the whole, most satis- 
factory analysis of the human feelings in existence, denies this. 
" Love is and remains a personal feeling," he asserts ; it " can 
only be referred to persons, not to things. The tenderness of 
American ladies towards dogs and cats is simply a gross emotional 
caricature." 

So it is, very often, especially in the case of ladies who neglect 
their children and make fashionable pets of animals, changing and 
exchanging them with the fashion. But it is simply absurd to 




/ 



PERSONAL AFFECTION 17 

mention this case as a fair instance of human love towards animala 
How many of the greatest geniuses the world has produced have 
become famous for their affectionate devotion to their dogs ! '* A 
dog!" says an old English writer, ''is the only thing on this 
earth that loves you more than he loves himself.'' And should we 
be morally inferior to the dog — unable to love him in return 1 
especially when we remember that " histories," as Pope remarks, 
*'are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends." 

Yischer, the well-known Grerman writer on sesthetics, goes so 
far as to admit that whenever he is in society his only wish is, 
" Oh, if there was only a dog here ! " 

There is something much nobler and deeper than sarcasm on 
hmnanity in Byron's famous epitaph on his dog : — 

"Near this spot 
Are deposited the remains of one 
WJio possessed Beauty without Vanity, 
Strength without Insolence, 
Courage without Ferocity, 
And all the Virtues of man without his Vice^** 

I wonder if Horwicz could read the following exquisite prose 
poem of Turgenieff without feeling ashamed of himself: — 

*' We two are sitting in the room : my dog and L A violent 
storm is raging without 

'' The dog sits close before me — he gazes straight into my eyes. 

*' And I too gaze straight into his eyes. 

"It seems as if he wished to say something to me. He is 
dumb, has no words, does not understand himself ; but I under- 
stand hinL 

" I understand that he and I are at this moment governed by 
the same feeling, that there is not the slightest difference between 
US. We are beings of the same kind. In each of us shines and 
glows the same flame. 

" Death approaches, flapping his broad, cold, moist wings. • • • 

** And all is ended. 

"Who then will establish the difference between the flames 
which glowed within us two 1 

"No! We who exchange those glances are not animal and 
man.. 

" Created alike are the two pairs of eyes that are fixed on each 
other. 

" And each of these eye-pairs, that of the man as well as that 
of the animal, expresses clearly and distinctly an atuciaui craving 
for wMUmal eartmuJ* 



18 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUT7 

It is a viciouB trait of the haman character that it soon grows 
eallous to caresses, and that the unmasked expression of tender 
emotion is regarded as undignified aud in '' bad form." It is the 
absence in the dog's mind of this ugly human trait that makes him 
such a delightful friend and companion. However much you 
:are8S and fondle him, he will always be anxious and grateful for 
the next gentle pat on the head, the next kind look, and will 
never despise you for any excess of fond emotion lavished on him. 

The greatest flaw in Christian ethics is, that it takes so little 
account of this capacity of animals for affection, and our duties 
towards them. The duty of kindness towards animals is indeed, 
as Mr. Lecky remarks, *' the one form of humanity which appears 
more prominently in the Old Testament than in the New." ''Thou 
shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the com," 
is a precept which deprecates even a very modified form of cruelty 
to animals. Had this precept been given in a more generalised 
and comprehensive form, what an incalculable amount of suffering 
might have been saved the animals that had the misfortune to 
be bom in Christian countries, as compared with those in the 
Oriental countries. 

According to Mr. Lecky, Plutarch was the first writer who 
placed the duty of kindness to animals on purely moral grounds ; 
*' and he urges that duty with an emphasis aud detail to which no 
adequate parallel can, I believe, be found in the Christian writings 
for at least 1700 years." Some of the earlier Greek philosophers 
had based this duty on the doctrine of the transmigration of human 
souls into animal bodies ; and it is related that Pythagoras used 
to buy of fiishermen the whole contents of their nets, for the 
pleasure of letting the fish go again. Leonardo da Vinci, from less 
superstitious motives, used to buy caged birds for the same pur- 
pose ; and similar traits are told of otiier men of genius who were 
sufficiently refined to recognise the evidences of emotion in animals. 
In our times, finally, we have a man, Mr. Bergh, who devotes his 
whole life to the object of establishing the personal rights of 
animals to kind treatment on legal grounds. 

But, after all, the most influential fnend animals have ever 
possessed was Darwin, who, by establisliing their relationship to 
man on grounds which no one who understands the evidence can 
question, for ever vindicated for them the privilege of personal 
affection. The very grammar of our language has been affected 
by Darwinism. Formerly, it was customary to write " the dog 
ichich jumped into the wnter to save a child." Now we say, " the 
dog who jumixd into the water." In other words, animals are 



\ 




PERSOKAL AFFEGTIOH 19 

DO loDger regarded as 'Uhings," or animated machines, but aa 
persons. 

n. — IIATSBNAL LOVS 

Within the range of impersonal emotions and affection*, as we 
have seen, women are vastly inferior to men ; but in personal 
affections — partly owing to their almost exclusive devotion to 
them — women are commonly superior to men. Not always, 
however ; for, as we shall see later on, the prevalent dogma that 
woman's Romantic Love U deeper and more ardent than man's is 
an absurd myth. But in coigugal affection — which differs widely 
from Romantic Love— woman is generally more sincere, devoted, 
and self-sacrificing than man. In friendship, too, women are 
more sincere and ardent than men ; for friendship is an ancient, 
rather than a modem sentiment; and as women are more con- 
servative than men, they have preserved this sentiment (at least 
in early life), while among men it has become nearly extinct : — 

"All frieudship is feigning^ all loving mere folly. "^^bakspere. 

But the one affection in which woman stands infinitely above 
man is the maternal, compared with which paternal love is ordin- 
arily a mere shadow. Romantic Love in man and child-love in 
woman are the two strongest passions which the human mind 
entertains. 

In depth and strength these two passions are perhaps alike. 
In point of antiquity, the maternal feeling has an advantage over 
the Love-passion ; for, of all personal affections, the maternal was 
developed first, and the sentiment of Romantic Love last. 

Personal affections are of two kinds : (1) Those based on blood- 
relationship — maternal, paternal, filial, brotherly, and sisterly 
love ; (2) Those not based on blood-relationship — friendship and 
Romantic Love. Goigugal affection belongs psychologically to the 
first class. 

That of an relationships the one between mother and child is 
the most intimate is obvious. The child is part and parcel of the 
mother: her own-ffesh and blood and soul; and in loving it the 
mother practically loves a detached portion of herself — thus uniting 
the force of selfish with that of altruistic emotion. This is the 
primitive fountain of maternal affection. A second source of it 
lies in the resemblance of the child to the father, reviving in the 
mother's memory the romantic days of pre-matrimoniol Love. It 
must be an miending source of interest in a mother's mind to note 
which of the child's traits are derived from her, which from the 



80 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

&ther. If she loves herself and loves her husband, the chQd that 
unites the traits of both must be doubly dear to her. The fact 
that the child js inseparably associated with all the mother's joys 
and sorrows, from the wedding-day to death, constitutes a third 
source of her attachment ; and a fourth is the social regard and 
honour which an energetic and gifted son, or a beautiful and accom- 
plished daughter, may reflect on her. 

The mother herself is of course unconscious of the complex 
nature of her feeling and its origin ; especially in the first days, 
when the new feeling dawns npon her like a revelation. Ab in 
the case of budding Love, the feeling is at first less individual than 
generic — less the affection of this particular mother for this par- 
ticular child than the bursting out of the general feeling of mother- 
hood, inherited by her in common with all women. 

Natural selection helps us to explain how this general feeling 
of motherhood was developed. As among animals, so among our 
savage and semi-civilised ancestors, those mothers who fondly cared 
for their infants naturally succeeded in rearing a larger and more 
vigorous progeny than those mothers who neglected their children. 
And through hereditary transmission this instinct gradually acquired 
that marvellous intensity and power which we now admire. 

The sublime and almost terrible height to which this emotion 
can rise is most realistically depicted in Rubens's famous picture in 
Munich, representing the murder of the children at Bethlehem ; 
in which mothers grasp the naked daggers, and frantically expose 
their breasts to receive the blows intended for their little ones. 
Throughout the animal kingdom, including mankind, the femalb is 
less pugnacious than the male, less provided with means of defence, 
and hence more gentle and timid ; yet in the moment of peril the 
mother's affection absolutely annihilates fear, and makes her face 
danger and death with a courage, supernatural strength, and en- 
durance, rarely equalled by man, with all his weapons and natural 
consciousness of superior muscle. 

It is in this blind, impetuous, passionate willingness of self- 
Bocrificc that maternal affection most closely resembles the passion 
of Romantic Love. 

m. — PATERNAL LOVE 

For paternal affection Natural Selection has done much less 
than for maternal ; and it is easy to understand why. For, useful 
as the father's assistance is in securing various advantages to the 
growing child, yet even if he should cruelly abandon it altogether, 
the maternal love would still remain interposed to save and rear it 




PERSONAL AFFECTION 21 

Kor is it in the human race alone that paternal is weaker than 
maternal love. Among mammals, as Horwicz remarks, we even 
coDie across a Herr Papa occasionally who shows a great inclination to 
diue ou his progeny. And how irregularly the paternal — sometimes 
even the maternal — instinct is displayed among savages is gi*apbi- 
colly shown by tliis group of cases collected by Herbert Spencer : — 

'* As among brutes the philoprogenitive instinct is occasionally 
suppressed by the desire to kill, and even devour, their young 
ones ; so among primitive men this instinct is now and again ovei- 
ridden by impulses temporarily excited. Thus, though attached 
to their ofiiftpring, Australian mothers, when in danger, will some- 
times desert them ; and if we may believe Angas, men have been 
known to bait their hooks with the flesh of boys they have killed. 
Thus, notwithstanding their marked parental affection, Fuegiaua 
sell their children for slaves ; thus, among the Chonos Indians, a 
father, though doting on his boy, will kill him in a fit of angor 
for an accidental offence. Everywhere among the lower racep we 
meet with like incongniities. Falkner, while describing the 
paternal feelings of Patugonians as very strong, says they often 
pawn and sell their wives and little ones to the Spaniards for 
brandy. Speaking of the chUdren of the Sound Indians, Bancroft 
says t^iey 'sell or gamble them away.' According to Simpson, the 
Pi-Edes ' barter their children to the Utes proper for a few trinkets 
or bits of clothing.' And of the Macusi, Schomburgk writes, ' the 
price of a child is the same as an Indian asks for his dog.' This 
seemingly heartless conduct to children often arises firom the diffi- 
culty experience<l in rearing them." 

Some light is thrown on the genesis and composition of parental 
affection by the three reasons named by Spencer, why among 
savages and semi-civilised peoples in general sons were much more 
appreciated than daughters. While daughters were little more 
than an encumbi-ance to tbe parents, useless before puberty, and 
lost to them after marriage, the sons could make themselves useful 
in warding off the enemy, in avenging personal injuries, and in per- 
forming the funeral rites for the benefit of deimrted ancestors. 

In a higher stage of civilisation it is probable that utOitarian 
considerations of a somewhat different kind stUl formed a princdftal 
ingredient in parental love. A son was valued as an assistant in 
workshop or field, a daughter as a domestic drudge. Feelings of 
a tenderer nature were of course sometimes present, but that they 
were not general is shown by the fact, attested by numerous his- 
toric examples, that the aim of our paternal ancestors in centuries 
past was to make their children fear rather than love them. 



» ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

A slight element of fear is indeed neoessaiy for the roaintenanco 
of filial respect and discipline ; but our fore&thers were too prone 
to sacrifice their tender feelings of sympathy with their offspring 
to the gratification of parental authority, for the obvious resison 
that the latter feeling was stronger than the former. The fre- 
quency with which daughters es|)ecially were forced to sacrifice 
their personal preferences in marriage to the ambitions and whims 
of their father, affbnls the most 'striking instance of the former 
embryonic state of parental affection. 

In modem parental love Pride is perhaps the most conspicaous 
trait This Pride has two aspects — one comic, one serious. 
Nothing is more amusing than the suddenness with which the 
'* pride of authorship " converts a bachelor's well-known horror of 
babies into the young father's fantastic worship. Yet though he 
feels *' like a little tin god on wheels," he recognises the superior 
rank of the young prince, spoils his best trousers in kneeling 
before him, allows him to pull his moustache and whiskers, and, 
indeed, shows a disposition towards self-sacrifice almost worthy of 
a lover. 

The serious side of the matter reveals one of the greatest dif- 
ferences between paternal and maternal love. A mother's love is 
largely iufluenced by pity; hence she is very apt to lavish her 
fondest caresses on that child which happens to be imperfect in 
some way — say a cripple — ^and therefore unhappy. The father on 
the other band, will sliow most favour to his handsomest daughter, 
his most talented son ; and nothing will so swell a father's heart 
and cause it to overtlow with affection as the news of some great 
distinction acquired by this son. 

TV, — ^FILIAL LOVE 

Mr. Spencer is doubtless right in asserting that of all fiunily 
affections filial love is the least developed ; and in tracing this 
weakness especially to the parental hai-shness and disposition to 
inspire excessive fear just referred to. In Grermany the example 
of the Prussian king who so immercifuUy treated his children was 
extensively iinitate^i. The condition in France is indicated by the 
words of Chateaubriand : " My mother, my sister, and myself, 
transformed into statues by my father's presence, only recover 
ourselves after he leaves the room ;" and in England, in the 
fifteenth century, says Wright, "Young ladies, even of great 
families, were brought up not only strictly, but even tyrannicjiUy." 
And even two centuries later "children i^tood or knelt in trpiriHinor 




PEBSOKAL AFFECTION 83 

silence in the presence of their fathers and mothers, and might not 
sit without permission." 

Among animids filial affection can scarcely be said to exist, 
except as a very utilitarian craving for protection and sustenance. 
Among primitive men it is a common practice to abandon aged 
parents to their fate. The parents do not resent this treatment ; 
and of the Nascopies Heriot even says that tlie aged father 
'* osoally employed as his executioner the son who is most dear 
to him." Nor are cases of heartless neglect at all uncommon 
even among modem civilised communities. But the gradual 
change of fathers ^'froni masters into friends'' has tended to 
multiply and intensify filial love at the same rate as paternal ; 
and the advance of moral refinement will tend to make the lot of 
afred parents more and more pleasant, not only because the duty 
of gratitude for favours received will be more vividly realised and 
enforced by example, but because the cultivation of the imagina- 
tion intensifies sympathy, thus making it impossible for a son or 
daughter to be happy while they know their parents to be un- 
liappy. 

Our feelings are curiously complicated and subtly interwoven. 
Parents feel a natural pride in their children. The best way 
therefore to repay them for all their troubles is to act in such a 
way as to justify and intensify that pride. On the other hand, 
the thought that the parental pride is gratified also gratifies filial 
vanity, and proves an additional incentive to ambitious effort 

T. — BSOTHEBLT AND 8I.STEBLT LOTS 

Toung people of both sexes more frequently make confidants 
and *' bosom friends " of their playmates and classmates than of 
their brothers and sisters. Why is this so 7 Novelty perhaps 
has something to do with it The domestic experiences and 
emotions of two brothers or sisters are apt to be so much alike as 
to become monotonous; whereas a member of another family may 
initiate them into a fr^h and fascinating sphere of emotion and a 
novel way of looking at things. Moreover, friendship is very 
capricious in its clioice ; and as the number of brothers and sisters 
i4 limited, the selection is apt to be mode in the wider field outside 
the domestic circle. Again, it is a pectdiarity of human nature to 
appear in great neglige at liome, and to regard the nearest relatives 
as the best lightning-rods for disagreeable moods ; and this does 
not tend to deepen the love of brothers and sisters. 

It may be doubted whether this form of affection exists among 



24 BOMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

anlxnals or among primitiye men; and even among civiliBed peoples 
the bond is but a weak one, except in the most refined fAmilifl«, 
Though brothers feel bound to protect their sisters, they reserve 
most of their gallantry for some one else's sister; and though a 
sister will feel proud if her brother is one of a victorious crew, her 
heart will beat twice as fast if it is her lover instead of her brother. 
The English language has not even a collective word for the love 
of brothers and sisters; and even the partial terms, ''sisterly love" 
and " brotherly love," have more of an ecclesiastic than a domestic 
flavour. The German language has a collective word — and a big 
one too, — Geschtaislerliebe ; but it would perhaps be misleading to 
infer from its existence and size that this species of family love is 
more developed in Germany than in Engknd. The German's 
advantage apfiears to be philological merely, and not sociological. 
He is less of a traveller and colonist than the Englishman, who is 
very often separated from his brothers and sisters for years. Yet 
this sometimes is rather a gain than a loss; for it destroys that 
excessive familiarity which, as just noted, makes friendship rarer 
among members of the same hearth than between individuals of 
different families. 

To the wider circles of blood-relationsliip — up to " forty-second 
cousins " — tiie Germans pay much more regard than the English ; 
and the French perhaps go a step beyond the Germans. For in 
France each family, with its ramifications, forms a sort of clique 
into which au outsider can rarely enter. Needless to say that this 
forms a great impediment to Love's free choice. 

VL — FBIENDSHIP 

If we now turn to the two remaining species of personal affec- 
tion — Friendship and Love — the emotional scenery undergoes a 
great change. In all the cases so far considered, blood-relationship 
was a source of affection; whereas in firiendship it is commonly a 
disadvantage, and in Romantic Love it is positively abhorred, ex- 
cept in the more remote degrees. Some savage tribes, it is true, 
allow, or even prescribe, marriages between brother and sister — 
especially a younger sister; and cases occur of marriages between 
father and daughter, mother and son. But civilised society — 
guided by religious precepts, and possibly also by a vague instinc- 
tive recognition of the advantages of cross-fertilisation— condemns 
such unions as hideous crimes; and the mediieval theologians, in 
their extreme zeal, forbade all marriages within the seventh degre^ 
of relationship. 




PERSONAL AFFECTION 25 

In the case of friendship the objection to blood-relationship is 
not founded on a social or religious precept; but it exists all the 
same, as already noted. Perhaps Jean Paul's maxim that friends 
may have everything in common except their room accounts 
for its existence. Brothers and sisters are commonly too much 
alike in their thoughts and tastes to become fnends, in the special 
sense of the word. Hence it is that there is apt to be a deeper 
attachment between those brothers and sisters who have frequently 
been separated by school-terms than among those who are always 
together. For in friendship, as in love, a short absence is advan- 
tageous. 

Friendship is partly an outgrowth of the social instinct and 
partly a result of special associations, habit, community of interests 
and tastes. As a boy I had an opportunity to make some interest- 
ing observations on friendship among animals, showing that it 
differed in degree only, and not in kind or origin, from that of man. 
Among the animals we kept at our country-house were a dog, a pet 
sheep, and some pigs. Tiie dog showed his confidence in the 
sheep's amiable forbearance by abanSoning his cold kennel on 
winter nights and seeking warmer quarters by the side of his 
wooUy neighbour. For the pigs his friendly regards were sliowu 
in a less utilitarian manner, by driving away, unbidden and un- 
taught, any swinish tramps that appeared, uninvited, to share their 
meals. But the most peculiar relations existed between the sheep 
and the pigs. In the absence of any other means of satisfying its 
gregarious or social instincts, the sheep joined the pigs every 
morning in their foraging expeditions in the woods, returning with 
them in the evening. And, what was still more remarkable, when 
after a time a dozen sheep were added to our stock of animals, the 
old pet remained faithful to the pigs, and paid no attention what- 
ever to the newcomers. Here tJie friendly attacliment, based on 
habitual association and the memory of mutual pleasures of grazing, 
was strong enough to overcome the inherited fellow-feeling for 
members of its own species. 

Between this instance and those ordinary cases of companion- 
ship among men which are called friendship, there is hardly any 
difference. In the more intimate cases of special friendship the 
craving for companionship is strengthened by a community of 
thoughts and emotions. Bacon gives us in a nut-shell three of the 
ingredients of friendship which are not to be found in the primitive 
form just considered. The first is tiiis, that each friend becomes 
a sort of secular confessor, to whom the other may confide all his 
hopes and fears, joys and sorrows ; the second is this, that '* t 



M BOMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY . 

friend's wits and luiderstandiiig do clarify and break up in the 
communicating and discoursing with another;" so that ''he 
wazeth wiser than himself; and that more by an hour's discoiurse 
than by a day's meditation ; " the third is the '' aid and bearing a 
part in all actions and occasions " to be expected of a friend. 

Friendship is not a modem sentiment. Cases of it such as 
existed among the ancient Greeks and Romans, characterised by 
an ardour that made Friendsliip resemble the Love passion, are no 
longer to be met with, although a somewhat less intense form 
frequently occiuis among young men at college or younj; ladies in 
high schools : thus illustrating the law that the individual passes 
through the same stages of development as the race. 

'' The enthusiasm of friendship,'' says Voltaire in his PhUowpkic 
Didianary, ** was greater among the Greeks and- Arabians than it 
is among ourselves. The tales which these peoples have imagined 
on friendship are deli^htfrd; we have nothing to match them. 
We are somewhat dry in everythiDg. I do not see a single grand 
trait of friendship in our novels, in our histories, on our stage." 

Why is this so ? Let another Frenchman, La Rochefoucauld^ 
answer : '* The reason why the mnjoricy of women are but little 
touched by friemlslup, is because it seems insipid after one has 
experienced love." 

Precisely. The reason why the ancients, in their histories and 
dramas, made so much of friendship, while modem poets almost 
iiniore it, is that the latter have a subject a thousand times more 
fascinating than friendship, a subject unknown to the ancieuts— 
the inexhaustible subject of Romantic Love. 

Vn. — BOMANTIC LOVB 

That Love is superior to friendship is apparent from the one 
consideration that it includes M the features of friendship, aud 
adds to them a thousand ecstasies of which friendship never 
dreams. The lover, no less than the friend, gratifies his social 
instinct, his desire for companionship, his need of confessing his 
own and sharing another's hopes and fears, his craving for stimu- 
lating conversation, his sympathetic di8i)osition to give and receive 
nid in the trials of life. But if modem friendship ever had any 
moments to compare with the romantic episoiles, the tragic agonies 
and wild delights of love, would it be conceivable that our realistic 
novelists and poets could neglect it altogether and devote all their 
attention to Love ? 

The other personal affections fare no better in comparison with 




PERSONAL AFFECTION iti 

LoTe. How profloic even Conjugal Love Beems to ns as oompared 
with Romantic Love, of which it is the metaniorphosiB and 
continuation, is shown by the fieu;t that novelists always end their 
stories with the marriage of the hero and heroine. 

Maternal Love, however, has four traits which occasionally 
make it resemble Romantic Love in intensity. They are : (1) a 
disposition toward self-sacrifice ; (2) jealousy ; (3) an exaggerated 
adoration ; and (4) pride of ownership. But of these the first is 
the only one that ever quite rises to the giddy heights of rapturous 
Love. Jealousy is often aroused in mothers if their children 
display excessive fondness or partiality for their father or a family 
friend ; and they know well in such a case how to make the latter 
understand that his presence is an impertinence. But this 
momentary ebullition of feeling is but a storm in a tea-kettle 
compared to the ferocity of a jealous lover seeking to devour his 
rival Kor does a mother's excessive worship of the self-evident 
beauty and accomplishments of her offspring ever quite equal the 
hyperbolic illusion and folly of a lover. 

Again, Romantic Love is a monopolist who never shares his 
treasures of affection with another, whereas a mother, if she has 
more than one child, is obliged to divide her heart like an apple, 
so that each may get a slice. Would you infer from this that the 
mother has a deeper fund of affection than the lover, because she 
can love several at a time ? Impossible. The amount of emotion 
human nerves can bear is limited. The more you widen it, the 
shallower does it become. The general love for all mankind is 
the weakest and shallowest of all, the lover s concentrated affection 
for one person the deepest and strongest See what a terrible 
strain on his nerves this deep passion is: how he loses flesh, 
grows pale and feverish, and prone to self-destruction. Coidd a 
mother survive if she loved each one of five or ten children with 
the depth and intensity of a lover 1 No, we must take back what 
we said a few pages back. Maternal affection is after all a mere 
phantom compared with Romantic Love. 

And the ace of hearts is yet to be played — in favour of 
Romantic Love. The mother's affection is bestowed on what 
after all is merely a severed portion of her own individuality; 
whereas the two lovers are individuals utterly unrelated. And 
herein lies the Miracle of Love : that it can in a few da}'s, ay, a 
few minntes, ignite between two young persons who have perhaps 
never before seen each other, a passion more intense than that 
which in the mother is the growth of months and years. 

It fuUows as a corollary from this that Romoiltic Love is not 



28 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

only more intense, more conoentrated, more immediate and irre* 
sistible than parental affectioni but also more just, more in 
accordance with the highest precepts of morality, because more 
altruistic. For the mother loves only her own flesh and blood, 
while the lover adores a stranger ; like Romeo, he may even adore 
the daughter of an enemy. 

Thousands of fathers and mothers, moreover, bve their own 
ugly, vicious, and stupid children more than the beautiful, well- 
behaved, and clever children of their neighbours. Who, on the 
other hand, ever heard of a young man loving his ugly sister more 
than the beautiful and accomplished daughter of his neis;hbourf 

In consideration of the great importance of the family feelings 
as a social cement, the parental ix^ustice in question is pardoneid 
and even commended. But from the standpoint of progressive 
culture, under guidance of the law of Natural Selection, it must be 
condemned; for it favours demerit in prefereuce to merit, and 
retards the advent of the time when family and national prejudices 
will be forgotten and replaced by a loverlike, cosmopolitan admira- 
tion of personal excellence wherever and in whomsoever found. 

This matter, though it has a semi-humorous aspect, is of the 
deepest philosophic import If family affection, so important as 
the first step in the development of society, were the only form of 
personal love, close intermarriage between blood-relations woidd be 
unduly encouraged. Fortunately the all-powerful instinct d 
Romantic Love comes in as a corrective of family affection, basing 
its preferences not on relationship and resemblance, but on dif- 
ferences and complementary qualities, thus securing for the human 
race the advantages of '' cross-fertilisation." We have already seen 
that flowers owe their beauty to the cross-fertihsation brought 
about through the agency of bees and butterflies. In the same 
way the human race owes its supreme beauty to the cross-fertilisa- 
tion — the union of complementary qualities — brought about through 
the agency of Love. Is it perhaps for this reason that Love is so 
much like a butterfly, and that Cupid has wings ] 

Instead of being merely a transient malady of youth, as cynics 
aver, or only an epicurean episode in our emotional life, Love is 
thus seen to be one of the greatest (if not the greatest) moral, 
sesthetic, and hygienic forces that control human life. And in face 
of this fact the few pages, or lines, commonly devoted to this 
passion in psychologic text-books, seem wofully inadequate. No 
apology is therefore needed for our attempt to subject Romantic 
Love to a thorough chemical analysis, and to discover its ingredients. 
We shall first enumerate and briefly characterise these ingredients ; 




OVERTONES OF ROMANTIC LOVE 2» 

tben proceed to examine how many of them are to be found in the 
love of animals and savages, of the ancient nations and of oiir 
mediaeval ancestors ; and finally, we shall attempt to describe these 
various component parts of the passion, as fully developed in 
Modem Love. 



OYERTONES OF ROMANTIC LOVB 

Tint of all it is necessary to get rid of the prevalent illusion 
that Love is a single emotion. It is, on the contrary, a most 
complex and ever-varying group of emotions. Love is not a 
diamond which drops from a celestial body, cut and polished, und 
ready to be set into the human soid. Rather is it the crown of 
life, composed of various jewels, some of which, mixed with much 
coarse ore, may be found in the animal kingdom, among primitive 
men and ancient civilised nations; but of which no complete 
specimens are to be found till we come to comparatively modem 
times. Each lover has his own crown, but no two of them are 
exactly alike. The component jewels vary in size and brilliancy. 
Some — as Coyness, Adoration, Gallantry, Jealousy — are occasion- 
ally missing or lacking in lustre ; and in Ancient Love those are 
habitually absent which in Modern Love are most prominent and 
cherished. 

Perhaps the composite nature of Love can be still better illus- 
trated by a comparison with colours, and with '* overtones *' in 
music, between which and the elements of Love there exists a 
wonderfully close analogy. 

Professor fielmholtz has proved that just as white is not a 
simple colour, but a combination of all the hues of the rainlx)w, so 
any single tone produced by the voice or a mu ical instrument is 
not simple, as it sdenis, but contains, be^iides the fundamental tone 
which the ordinary listener alone hears, several partial or " over- 
tones,"' which blend so closely with the fundamental t«)ne, that it 
takes a veiy delicate ear and close attention to distinguish them. 
Were it not for these overtones, all instmmeuts would sound alike, 
and music would lose all its charms of '* colour.'' For the funda- 
mental tones of ifistmments and voice^t are identical, and the only 
thing that enables a musician to tell at a distiince whether a given 
note proceeds from a piano, voice, or violin, is the presence of these 
overtones, which vary in their number, relative loudness and pitch 
(or height), thus giving rise to the differences of quality or Umhrt 
in instmments. 



80 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

In LoTe the fundamental tone is the sexual relation — the fiust 
that one of the loTers is male, the other female. This fundamental 
tone does not yary throughout Nature. It is the same amonr 
animals and savages as among civilised men ; and what distinguishes 
the passion of one of these groups from that of the other is alone 
the overtones of love, whi(^ vary in number, relative promiuencei 
and refinement ("high-toned''). 

What are these overtones f 

L — ^INDIVIDUAL PBEFBBENCX 

What first ennobles Love and raises it above mere passion, la 
the stubborn preference for a particular individual A savage 
chief ignorant of Love would not hesitate a moment to exchange 
his bride for two or three other women equally young and tempt- 
ing ; whereas a man under the influence of Love would not give 
his beloved for the choice among all the beauties of the Caucasus 
and Andalusia. " If we pass in review the different degrees of 
love," says Schopenhauer, " from the most transient attachment to 
the most violent passion, we shall find that the difference between 
them springs from their different degrees of individualucUion," 

n. — MONOPOLY OE EXCLUSIVEXESS 

Closely connected with the firat overtone is that of cxclusive- 
ness. True Love is a monopolist. As in a sun-glass all the solar 
rays are concentrated into one burning fx^us, so are the lover's 
emotions on his beloved. Not only does he care for her alone of 
all women, but he voluntarily offers her a monopoly of his tlioughts 
and feelings. In retiun for this, however, he expects and exacts 
of her a like monopoly of her affection and favours ; and this leads 
to the next overtone. 

in. — JEALOUSY 

This is the salt and pepper of Love. A little of it is piquant, 
too much of it spoils the soup. The moral mission of Jealousy is, 
by means of watciifiilness and the inspiring of fear, to ensiu^ 
fidelity and chastity, and thus help to develop the romantic 
features of Love. 

IV. — COYNESS 

This is a specially feminine trait of Love, which, by retarding 
the eager lover's conquest, augments and idealises his |)assioa. 



OVERTONES OF ROMANTIC LOVE 81 

In Modem Love, Coyness yaries in two directions — towards 
prudery on one side, coquetry on the other. 



V. — GALLANTET 

If Coyness is a peculiarly feminine ingredient of Love, Gallantry, 
on the other hand, is a specially masculine attribute. The eager 
desire to please, it is true, is also present in a woman's Love ; but 
it shows itself less as an active impulse to do something for the 
lover, than as a desire to please him by makiug herself as attractive 
as possible. 

VL — SELF-SACBiriCE 

In the most violent cases of Love this overtone may reveal 
itself in two ways : either as a mere exaggeration of Gallantry — a 
desire to please even at the risk of life ; or as a suicidal impulse in 
cases of hopeless passion — ^when the one object which seemed to 
make life worth living has been placed beyond reach. 

Vn. — SYMPATHY 

** In order to feel with another's pain it is enough to be a man ; 
to feel with another's pleasure it is needfid to be an angel/' If 
this be true, then lovers are angels. For not only do they bharr 
one another's pleasures, but it is impossible for tlie one to be really 
happy unless the other enjoys the same emotion. '*Docs that 
other see the same star, the same melting cloud ; read the same 
book, feel the same emotion that now delights me ? " — these are, 
in Emerson's words, the questions which the lovers, when separated, 
ask incessantly. 

Vm. — PRIDE OP CONQUEST AND POSSESSION 

In his suggestive but incomplete analysis of Love, in his 
Principles of Fsydudogy^ Mr. Herbert Spencer names as two 
of the emotions wliich enter into it, the Love of Approbation and 
Self-Esteem, which he thus defines : ** To be preferred above all 
the world, and that by one admired beyond all othci-s, is to have 
the love of approbation gratified in a degree passing every previous 
experience : especially as, to this direct gratification of it, there 
must be added that reflex gratification of it, which results from 
the pnaference being witnessed' by unconcerned persons. Further, 
there is the allied emotion of self-esteem. Tu have succecdinl in 



82 IXOyLLSTlC LOYE AND PSRSONAL BEAUTY 

gaining such attachment from, and sway over, another, is a practical 
proof of power, of superiority, which cannot fail agreeably to excite 
the amour propre'* 

This is well expressed, but the names are obviously not well 
chosen. It is hardly correct to intimate that the *' love of appro- 
bation " and '' self-esteem " constitute two of the group of emotions 
which we call Love. What the lover feels is not a '* love of 
approbation," etc^ but the emotion of Pruie at having conquered 
and gained possession of so desirable a prize. 

IX. — EMOTIONAL HTPKEBOLI 

The lover sees, thinks, and feels only in superlatives. His 
eyes are no longer mere " windows of the soul," but microscopes 
which magnify all the beloved's merits on the scale of seven square 
miles to the inch. And the hyberbolic imagery which constitutes 
the essence of love-poetiy is his everyday food — with a special 
menu on Sundays. 

X. — MIXED MOODS — MAJOR AND MINOR 

It is in Love that ''confiision makes his masterpiece." The 
lover is so incessantly tossed on the ocean of turbulent emotion 
that he soon censes to know or cnre which is up and which down, 
and all that remains is an all-engrossing sense of lovc-sicknes8» 

•• Angels call it heavenly joy, 
Internal torture the <k'viU say; 
And men I They cull it— Love."— Heixi, 

XI. — ADMIRATION OF PERSONAL BEAUTY 

Tills is the sesthetic overtone of Love ; and so prominent is it 
that it is commonly heard before and above all the others. 
"Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold," says Shiikspere; 
and if you tell twenty of your male acquaintances tliat you have 
been introduced to a young lady, nineteen of them will ask im- 
mediately, " Is she pretty t " No reporter ever writes about 
a girl murdered by a tramp or burnt in a house, without describing 
her as a moilcl of beauty, in order to double the reader's interest 
and quintuple his pity. Madame de Stael confessed that she 
would have gladly exchanged her literary genius for beauty. 
With the Greeks already the words Love and Beauty were in- 
separably associated; and even the Chinese, who are not em- 




LCV£ AMONG ANIMALS 83 

barrassed by an excess of beauty, have a proverb, ''With one 
emile she overthrew a dty, with another a kingdom." 

This completes the preliminary analysis of Love. I regret 
exceedingly that I have been able to dibcover only eleven " over- 
tones " in Modem Love : but inasmuch as at least six of these — 
Nos. V. to X. — are only about a thousand years old, there is 
reason to hope that some fine momiug in May a new one will be 
bom to make up the round dozen. If so, it is to be hoped it will 
assume in men the fonn of an absolute iusistance on feminine 
health, and an instinctive detestation of the hideous and love- 
killing fashions with which women still persist in mining their 
beauty. 

HERBEBT 8PENCEB ON LOYB 

For the sake of comparison I may cite Mr. Spencer's summary 
of the elements which he thinks compose Love: "Round the 
physical feeling forming the nucleus of the whole there are 
gathered the feelings produced by personal beauty, that constitut- 
ing simple attachment, those of reverence, of love of approbation, 
of self-esteem, of property, of love of freedom, of sympathy. All 
these, each excited in the highest degree, and severally tending to 
reflect their excitement on each other, form the composite psychical 
state which we call Love. And as each of these feelings is 
in itself highly complicated, uniting a wide range of states of con- 
sciousness, we may say that this passion fuses into an immense 
aggregation, nearly all the' elementary excitations of which we are 
capable ; and that from this residts its irresistible power." 

Let us now see how many of the characters of tme Romantic 
Love are to be found in the courtship of animals and savages. 



LOVE AMONG ANIMALS 

As comparative psychology is the youngest branch of philosophy, 
there are still among us thousands of excellent but ignorant folks 
who cling to the old mythologic notion that animals are animated 
machines or things " wliich " are devoid of intellect and feeling, 
and guided by a metaphysical fetish called '' instinct." To such 
the undertaking of a search for Love — real Romantic Love — 
among animals, will seem not only absurd, but a sort of high 
treason against human conceit To mitigate any possible indigna- 
tion on the reader's part, it may be advisable, therefore, to begin 
by giving a few illustrations demonstrating the existence of vaiiuus 

D 



S4 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

family affectiona aod fHeDcLshlp in the animal world; after which, the 
possibility of finding traces of Lore proper will appear less remote. 

Patemaly filial^ brotherly^ and sisterly love, comparatively 
weak and undeveloped in man, are indeed almost abscDt in the 
lower animals. Birds of the same brood do not recognise each 
other after they have left their nest ; and a dog will not hesitate 
to attack his own brother as a stranger after a year*s separation. 
The part which a male bird takes in feeding and protecting the 
young is, as Horwicz suggests, an element of his conjugal rather 
than his paternal feeling ; and a young animal that would risk its 
own life in defence of its mother or father is yet to be heard from. 

Fiiendship^ however, does exist between animals, as we have 
already seen ; and not only among animals of the same species, 
but of different species. " Happy families " of animals commonly 
hostile to each other have been known outside of the showman's 
cage. Biichner cites instances of friendship between a robin and a 
cat ; a fox and duck ; dog and deer ; cat and mouse ; and even 
such absurdly incongnious cases of attachment as between a crow 
and a bull ; a dog and an elephant ; a cat and a rattlesnake. But the 
deepest feeling of friendship which any animal is capable of feeling 
is undoubtedly the dog^s love of his master. "Professor Braubach," 
says Darwin, *' goes so far as to maintain that a dog looks on his 
master as on a god." " It is said," he adds in a footnote, '' that 
Bacon long ago, and the poet Bums, held the same notion.'' 

Materrud and conjugal affection, however, are, as in man, so 
in animals, the two strongest forms of family attachment A 
French author, M. Menault, has written a special treatise on 
L^ Amour Matti^nel chez Us Animaux^ and Dr. Biichner exclaims, 
^ propo$ : " If a human mother, with certain destruction staring 
in her face, dashes into a burning house to save her imperilled 
child, and thus finds her own death, this sacrifice is no greater, no 
more heroic, than that of a stork-mother who, after vain efforts to 
save her brood, is voluntarily burnt up with them in her nest ; or 
of those elephant-mothers who, as Schweinfurth narrates, in the 
African hunting expetUtions, when the bushes along the shore are 
ignited in order to drive out the elephants, seek to save their 
young ones by filling their trunks with water and sprinkling it 
over them, while they themselves are roasting." 

How low down in the scale of animal life traces of conjugal 
attachment are to be found is shown by the following case cited 
by Darwin : " An accurate observer, Mr. Lonsdale, informs me 
that he placed a pair of landsnails, one of which was weakly, into 
a small and ill-provided garden. After a short time the strong 




LOVE AMONG ANIMALS 85 

und healthy individual disappeared, and was traced by its track of 
slime over a wall into an adjoining well-stocked garden. Mr. 
Lonsdale concluded that it had deserted its sickly mate, but after 
an absence of twenty-four hours it returned, and apparently com- 
municated the result of its successful exploration, for both then 
started along the same track and disappeared over the wall." 
Apiiu, the natunilist, Mr. Bate, experimented on the conjugal 
feelings of Gammarus marintUy or the sandskipper common on 
English shores, by separating a male from its female, and im- 
prisoning both in the same vessel with many individuals of the 
same species. ''The female, when thus divorced, soon joined the 
others. After a time the male was put again into the same 
vessel ; and he then, after swimming about for a time, dashed 
into the crowd, and without any fighting at once took away his 
wife. This fact shows that in the Amphipoda, an order low in 
the scale, the males and females recognise each other, and are 
mutimlly attauied." 

Concerning birds, Darwin remarks: ''It has often been said 
that parrots become so deeply attached to each other that when 
one dies the other pines for a long time ; but Mr. Jenner Weir 
thinks that with most birds the strength of their affection has 
been much exaggerated. Nevertheless, when one of a pair in a 
state of nature has been shot, the survivor has been heard for days 
afterwards uttering a plaintive call ; and Mr. St. John gives 
various facts proving the attachment of mated birds. Mr. Bennett 
relates that in China after a drake of the beautifnl mandarin Teal 
had been stolen, the duck remained disconsolate, though sedulously 
courted by another mandarin drake, who displayed before her all 
his charms. After an interval of three weeks the stolen drake 
was recovered, and instantly the pair recognised each other with 
extreme joy." '' Dr. Buller says {Birdi of New Zealand) that a 
male king lory was killed, and .the female ' fretted and moped, re- 
fused her food, and died of a broken heart.' " 

But there are exceptions to this rule of conjugal attachment 
nnd fidelity, as is shown in the following quotation, which com- 
pletes the ciuious analogy between human and bird love connubial: 
''Mr. Harrison Weir has himself observed, and has heard from 
several breeders, that a female pigeon will occasionally take a 
strong fancy for a particidar male, and will desert her own mate 
for him. Some females, according to another experienced observer, 
Kiedel, are of a profligate disposition, and prefer almost any stranger 
to their own mate. Some amorous males, called by our English 
fanciers 'gay birds,' are lo successful in their gallantries that, as 




86 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

Mr. H. Weir informs me, they must be shut up oa account of the 
mischief which they cause." 

So there are Don Juans even among pigeons 1 

IntermarriageB or mixed unions also occur among birds. Says 
Darwin : " It is certain that distinct species of birds occasionally 
pair in a state of nature and produce hybrids. Many instances 
could be given : thus ]\Iacgillivray relates how a male blackbird 
and female thrush 'fell in love with each other/ and produced 
offspring. Several years ago eighteen cases had been recorded of 
the occurrence in Great Britain of hybrids between the black 
grouse and pheasant. ... A male widgeon, living with females 
of the same species, has Ix^n known to pair with a pintail duck. 
Lloyd describes the remarkable attachment between a shieldnlrake 
and a common duck. Many additional instances could be given ; 
and the Rev. K S. Dixon remarks that 'those who have kept 
many different species of geese together, well know wliat unaccount- 
able attachments they are frequently forming, and that they are 
quite as likely to pair and rear yomig with individuals of a race 
(species) apparently the most alien to themselves, as with their 
own stock.' " 

In their marriages animals have anticipated man in every 
possible arrangement — promiscuity, polygamy, monogamy, poly- 
andry. According to Darwin, ''Many mammals and some few 
birds are polygamous, but with other animals belonging to the 
lower classes I have found no evidence of this habit" He has 
not " heard of any species in the Orders of Cheiroptera, Edentata, 
Insectivora, and Rodents being polygamous, excepting that among 
the Rodents the common rat, according to some rat-catchers, lives 
with several females." Among the terrestrial camivora the lion 
seems to be the only polygamidt, while the marine carnivora are 
" eminently polygamous." 

Domestication sometimes has the bad effect of converting wild 
birds to Mormonism. Thus " the wild duck is strictly monogam- 
ous, the domestic duck highly polygamous." 

It is among wild birds in general that the most remarkable 
cases of conjugal attachment in the animal world are found. 
And since most birds are monogamous, pairing sometimes even fur 
life, we may hence draw the important conclusion that among 
animals, as among men, monogamy seems to favour the develop- 
ment of coiyugal love. Polygamy, on the other hand, everywhere 
introduces jealousies, rivalries, discords. Among Oriental nations 
where polygamy prevails, each wife must have her own apartments, 
and no one woidd dare to taste food prepared by another, for feai 




LOVE Among animals 87 

of pniiBoiL On some animals polygamy eeems to hare a similar 
eflfect, for we read that "Mr. Baxtlett believes that the Lopho- 
phonis, like many otiier gallinaceous birds, is naturally polygamous, 
but two females cannot be placed in the same cage with a male, aa 
they fight so much together." 

COUBTSHIP 

The foregoing illustrations, many of which sliow the gross 
injustice lurking in our expression ''animal passion," will haye 
prepared the reader's mind for the search after the elements of 
romantic or pre-nuptial Love in animals. 

The development of romantic, as distinguished from conjugal 
love, depends on the existence of a mare or less prolonged period of 
courlsJiip. "Where this is alisent Love is absent, as auiong the 
ancient nations and those of the modems who lock up their women 
until they are ready to be sold to a husband, at sight. 

Among animals the young females are not locked up or 
chaperoned. They are free to meet the young males and fkll in 
love with the one that pleases them most. 

As a rule the preliminaries to animal marriages are doubtless 
brief If a healthy, vigorous mole comes across a mature, healthy 
feoLolc, it is usuaUy a case of mutual veni, vidi, vicL 

In other c&^es, however, courtship is a more prolonged affair, 
owing partly to the coyness of the female, partly to the rivalries 
among the male suitors. 

Animal courtship is carried on either by single pairs in the 
romantic shades of the forests, or else at special nupticU mass 
meetings^ resembling those held by some primitive tribes whose 
unmarried young people assemble on certain doys in the year to 
select partners. Of the common magpie, for instance, Darwin 
relates that '' Some years ago these birds abounded in extraoniinary 
numbers, so that a gamekeeper killed in one morning nineteen 
males, and another killed by a single shot seven birds roosting 
together. They then had the habit of assembling very early in 
the spring at particular spots, where they could be seen in flocks, 
chattering, sometimes fighting, bustling, and flnng about the 
trees. The whole afiair was evidently considered by the birds as one 
of the highest importance. Shortly after tiie meeting they all 
separated, and were then observed by Mr. Fox and others to be 
paired for the season." 

This was known as the "great magpie marriage." In Gkr- 
many and Scandinavia similar assemblages of black game are ao 




38 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

common that special names have been given to them. ''The 
bowers of the bower-birds ore the resort of both sexes daring the 
oreeding season ; and here the males meet and contend with each 
other for the favours of the females, and here the latter assemble 
and coquet with the males." 

Two more coses may be cited : " With one of the vultures 
(CaiharUs aura) of the United States parties of eight, ten, or 
more males and females assemble on fallen logs, ' exhibiting the 
strongest denre to please mutually/ and after many caresses each 
mole leads off his partner on the wing. Audubon likewise carefully 
observed the wild flocrks of Canada geese, and gives a graphio 
description of their love-antics ; he says that the birds which had 
been previously mated * renewed their courtship as early as the 
month of January, while the others would be contending or 
coquetting for hours every day, until all seemed satisfied with the 
choice they had made, after which, although they remained to- 
gether, any person could easily perceive that they were careful to 
keep in pairs. I have observed also that the older the birds the 
shorter were the preliminaries of their courtship. The bachelors 
and old maids, whether in regret or not caring to be disturbed by 
the bustle, quietly moved aside and lay down at some distance 
from the rest.' " 

Separate courts/np may be illustrated by the following cases, 
the first of which is also interesting as showing that it is not 
among men alone that the female occasionally becomes the wooer; 
and the second as showing how early in the scale of animal life a 
primitive sort of courtship may be found. Concerning a wild duck 
brought up in captivity Mr. Hewitt says that " After breeding a 
couple of seasons with her owu mallanl, it at once shook him off 
on my placing a male pintail on the water. It was evidently a 
cose of love atjimt sight, for she swnm about the newcomer caress- 
ingly, though he appeared evidently alarmed and averse to her 
overtures of affection. From tliat hour she forgot her old partner. 
Winter passed by, and the next spring the pintail seemed to have 
become a convert to her blandishments, for they nested and pro- 
duced seven or eight young ones." 

The second case relates to the landsnail, concerning which 
Agassiz says : " Quiconque a eu roccasiou d'observer les amoura 
des limai^ns ne saurait mettre en doute la s^uction d^ploy^e dans 
les mouvements et les allures qui pr^parent et accomplissent le 
double embrassement de ces hermaphrodites." 

The opportunities for prolonged Courtship being thus given, the 
question arises, *' Do animals, while a-wooing, experience the sjime 




LOVE AMONG AinMALS 89 

feelingB as a human lover?" In other words, Are aojr of the orer- 
tunes of Romantic Love present in the amorous passion of animals? 

Several of tbem no doubt are habitually absent Animals have 
not sufficient imagination to me<litate consciously on their probable 
snooess or failure in Courtship;, and this lack of imaginative power 
exdudes those '* overtones " which are chiefly def>endent on that 
faculty; notably S}'mpathy with the beloved's feelings, Pride of 
Conquest and Possession, Hyperbolic Adoration, Voliutary Self- 
Sacrifice for the other, and the Woful Ecstasy of Mixed Moods. 
That Gallantry, or tlie Desire to Please, may be present is shown 
by the words I have italicised in the quotation just made regarding 
the courtship of vultures, and is further shown by the dispby oi 
their ornamental plunuige by mole birds to excite the attention of 
the female. Exdusiveuess of affection is indicated by the occa- 
sional indifference of the wooer to every rival ; and when we read 
of the German blackcock's love-dances, during which, " the more 
ardent he grows the more lively he becomes, until at last the bird 
appeatv like a frantic creature''; and that '*at such times the 
blackcocks arc so absorbed that they become almost blind and dtaf^ 
but less so than the capercailzie, " so that **bird after bird may be 
shot on the spot, or even cau^^ht by the hand " — when we read 
this, we feel tempted to credit these birds even with those highest 
and most specialised forms of lover's madness which lead to obli- 
vion — Self-Socrifice and Ecstatic Adoration. 

The four traits of Romantic Love which are doubtless present 
in the passion of animals are Jealousy, Coyness, Individuid Pre- 
ference, and Admiration of Personal Beauty. 

(a) JtaUjfu»y. — Volumes might be filled with accounts of the 
tragedies brought about through animal rivalry and jealousy during 
the season of love. ** The courage and the desperate conflicts of 
stags have often been described," says Darwin ; ** their skeletons 
have been found in various parts of the world, with the horns in- 
extricably locked together, shoving how miserably the victor and 
vanquishcil had perished." " Male sperm-whales are very jealous" 
at the season of love ; *' and in their battles ' they often lock their 
jaws together, and turn on their sides and twist about ' ; so that 
their lover jaws often become distorted." 

W'iien birds gaxe at themselves in a looking-glass, as they often 
do, the same authority inclines to the belief that they do it from 
jealousy of a suppoi«cd rival ; ajid Mr. Jenner Weir, he states, ** is 
convinced that birds pay particular attention to the colours of 
other birds, sometimes out of jealousy, and sometimes as a sign of 
kioship;" while *^fflany naturalists believe that the auging of 




40 ROMANTIC LOVE AKD PERSONAL BEAUTY 

binls 18 almoet exclusively ' the effect of rivalry and emulatioiiy' 
and not for the sake of charming their mates." 

Animal Jealousy is apparently dependent on the immediate 
Dresence of the rival and the female; while the Jealousy of a 
human lover is also a matter of the imagination, and smarts even 
more intensely during Her absence; for his morbid fancy then loves 
to picture Her in the arms of his victorious rivaL He does not, 
however, except in some southern countries, emidate the jealous 
lion by seeking to devour his rival, but is contented if he can ward 
him off by stratagem, or make him i^pear in a disadvantageous 
light in Her eyes. 

(6) Coyness, — Just as the Jealousy displayed by two animals 
fighting for a female is a gross, primitive emotion, so the Coyness 
of femde animab is crude and clumsy compared with the delicious 
subtlety with which a hiunan maiden veils a Yes under an 
apparent No. Yet it plays a prominent rdle in the courtship of 
animals. 

A human lover would often consider it a special privilege to be 
eaten up, skin, bones, and all, by his mistress ; but it is doubtful 
whether spiders are ever mildly enough in love to relish the conduct 
of their females, as described by Darwin : " The male is generally 
much smaller than the female, sometimes to an extraordinary 
degree, and he is forced to be extremely cautious in making his 
advances, as the female often carries her coyness to a dangerous 
pitch. De Geer saw a male that ' in the midst of his preparatory 
caresses was seized by the object of his attentions, enveloped by 
her in a web, and then devoured'; a sight which, as he adds, filled 
him with indignation and horror. Feniale fishes also are apt to 
give a cannibal tin^e to their coyness by eating up the smaller 
males — actions to wliich remote human analogies may be found in 
the coyness of mediaeval dames, who sent their lovers to wars and 
into lions' dens as conditions of enjoying their favours ; or, con- 
versely, in the habits of those Australians who eat their wives 
after they have ceased to be either ornamental or usefuL" 

Indubitable evidences of Coyness are found as low down as 
among insects ; as, for example, in the species called Smynthumm 
luteus, " wingless, dull-coloured, minute insects, with ugly, almost 
misshapen heads and bodies,'' concerning which Sir John Lubbock 
remarks : *' It is very amusing to see these little creatures 
coquetting together. The male, which is much smaller than the 
female, runs round her, and they butt one another standing face 
to &ce and movirig backward and forward like two playful lambs. 
Then the female pretends to run away, and the male runs after 




LOVE AMONG ANIMALS 41 

ber with a qneer appeamooe of anprer, gets in front and stands 
facing her again ; then she turns coyly round, but he, quicker and 
more active, scuttles round too, and seems to whip her with his 
antennae ; then for a bit they stand face to face, play with their 
antennn, and seem to be all in all to one another." 

The CSoyness of birds is illustrated by the following cases cited 
hj Biichner from Brehm and A. and E. Midler: *'A genuine 
coquette is the fenude cuckoo, who answers the coll of the male 
with a peculiar resonant, tittering or laughing loTe-call 'The 
call is seducing, promising in advance, and its effect on the male 
simply enchanting.' But how long the lovers pursuin:^ the siren 
have to wait before she accepts one of them ! A wild flight 
begins, among bushes and tree-tops, while the female encouruges 
the pursuers with repeated calls, and finally gets them into a state 
of erotic excitement bordering on madness. At the same time the 
female is no less excited than her frantic suitors. Her favouiite, 
DO doubt, is the moitt eager of the lovers, and her appaient 
resistance simply the desire to excite him still more ! . . . The 
female of the icebird (Aleedo upida) often teases her lover half a 
day at a time, by repeatedly appn^aching him, screaming at him, 
and flying away again. At the same time she never loses sight of 
him, but in her flight easts glances at him backwards and side- 
wise, moderates the rapidity of her flight, and retiuns in a wide 
curve if the male suddenly ceases from his pursuit" 

Could anjTthing be more naively, more humanly, more 
exquisitely feminine t If a lover, says a French philosopher, fails 
in bis suit, let him desist for a moment, and she will presently 
edl him bock. 

No inquiry has ever been made by naturalists, so far as I am 
aware, as to the origin of Coyness among animals. Two proboble 
sources of this feeling may therefore be here suggested. The first 
Is a vague instinctive presentiment (based on inherited cerebral 
impressions) that with mating the labours of life will begin : the 
painful lanng of eggs ; the loss of liberty during incubation — an 
incalculable loss to these most active of all acimals ; and the care 
of the young, which, again, is not a trifling matter, inasmuch as a 
fiunOy of starlings, for example, needs for its daily food more than 
eight hundred snails, caterpillarp, etc. ; and binls sometimes perish 
from exhaustion in the attempt to feed their offspring. 

The second source of Coyness is probably another instinctive 
feding (based on inherited experience) which induces the female 
to defer ber choice untO the combats and manceurres of the males 
hare shown which one is the most energetic, eoursfeoiiSy and 



41 ROMANTIC LOYE AND PERSONAL BEAUTT 

pensistent : for he will obviously be best able to rappori her 
brood, and protect it as well as herself against enemies. Hence, 
during the combats of rival males, the female is commonly a 
passive spectator, and at the end quietly marches or flies off with 
the victor. All of which, by the way, shows that among animals 
already masculine love is deeper than feminine. Indirectly, it is 
true, feminine Coyness is the cause of Love— but only of nuueuline 
Love ; for if the female animal always accepted the fiist male 
who asked her — 

** My pretty maiden, may I renture 
To otf«r you my arm and escort t ** 

there would be no opportunity for the growth of pre-matiimonial 
passion. 

(c) Individual Prfferenee, — Owing to our scant information 
concerning the courttthip of animals in a state of nature, Darwin 
did not succeed in discovering any cases among mammals of 
decided preference shown by a male for any particular female ; 
and regarding domestiitated quadrupeds, " The general impression 
amongst breeders seeuis to be that the male accepts any female ; 
and this, owing to his eaixemess, is, in most cases, probably tiie 
truth.'' A few cases of special preference or antipathy in dogs, 
horses, bulls, and boars, were, however, communicated to him. 
Concerning birds Darwin remarks that ** In all ordinary cases the 
male is so eager that he will accept any female, and does not, as 
far as we can judge, prefer one to the other, but • • • exceptions 
to this rule apparently occur in some few groups. With 
domesticated birds, I have heard of only one case of males 
showing any preference for certain females, namely, that of the 
domestic cock, who, according to the high authority of Mr. 
Hewitt, prefers the younger to the older hens." 

This, however, is at best only a polygamous sort of Preference, 
which, after all, lacks the essential traits of Individualisution and 
Exclusiveness. With the long-tailed duck (Harelda glacialut\ 
M. Ekstrom says, '* It has been remarked that certain females are 
much more courted than the rest. Frequently, indeed, one sees 
an individual surrounded by six or eight amorous moles." 
Whether this statement is credible Darwin dues not know ; but 
the Swedish sportsmen, he adds, shoot these females and stuff 
them as decoys. 

In female animals, on the other hand, the ''overtone" of 
Individual Preference appears to be more frequently present. 
Darwin even asserta that " the exertion of some choice on the 




LOVE AMONG ANIMALS 4:1 

part of the female seems a law almost as general as the enj^emess 
of the male ; " but this is not borne out by the numerous illustra- 
tions given by himself, sliowing that when two or more males are 
engaged in jealous comliat, '* the female looks on as a passive 
spectator/' and finaUy goes off with the victor, whiciiever of the 
rivals he may prove to be, without showing the slightest concern 
for the vanquished. An Australian forest-maiden might beliave 
similarly under these drcuuistanoes, but a civilised maiden woiUd 
ding to the one who had made the deepest impression on her 
previous to the combat ; and if wouuded, would adore him all the 
more ; for in her Love pity is a stronger ingredient than even the 
love of prowess. 

That female birds, however, $ometimes exert a choice is admitted 
even by Mr. A. R. Wallace (Tropical Mature, p. 199); and a few 
of the cases referred to by Darwin may here be cited : ** AudulK)n 
— and we must remember that he spent a long life in prowling 
about tlie forests of the United States and observing the birds — 
does not doubt that the female deliberately chooses her mate ; 
thoa, speaking of a woodpecker, he says the hen is followed by half 
a doien guy suitors, who continue performing strange antics 'until 
a marked preference is shown for one.' The female of the red- 
winged starling (Agelau$ pJtomictut) is likewise pursued by several 
males, 'until, becoming fiitigued, she alights, receives their 
addresses, and soon makes a choice.' He describes also how 
several male nightjars repeate<1ly plunge through the air with 
astonishing rapidity, suddenly turning, and thus making a singular 
noise ; ' but no sooner has tlie female made her choice than the 
other males are driven away.' " 

Concerning domesticated birds we have seen that that gallina- 
eaous sultan, the domestic cock, shows a decided preference for the 
yo un ge r hens in his harem. But the female is not a bit less 
frivolous and capricious ; for, according to Mr. Hewitt, she almost 
invariably prefers the most vigorous, defiant, and mettlesome male; 
beuee it is almost useless, he adds, ** to attempt true breeding if a 
fame-cock in good health and condition runs the locality, for 
aimost every hen on leaving the roosting-place will resort to the 
game^^ock, even though that bird may not actually drive away the 
male of her own variety." 

(</) Penonal Beauty and Sfxnai SeUctum, — Mr. WaUare, who 
di s cover e d the law of Natural Selection independently of Darmin, 
admits, as just stated, that " in birds the females do sometimea 
ticrt a choice"; but he adds th^t "amid the copious mass of 
bets and opinions collected hj Mr. Darwin as to the dispbj of 



U ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

colour and ornaments by tHe male birds, there is a total absence of 
any evidence that the females admire or even notice this display. 
The hen, the turkey, and the pea-fowl go on feeding while the 
male is di8pla3ring his finery ; and there is reason to believe that 
it is his persistency and energy rather than his beauty which wins 
the day." 

Briefly stated, the difference between the views of these two 
eminent naturalists is this : Darwin believes that in those cases 
where the sexes are not alike, the differences are due to the maleSf 
originally plain, having become modified through Sexual Selection 
for ornamental purposes ; while Mr. Wallace believes that colour 
is a normal product in animal integuments, proportionate to- their 
vitality, and that the sexual differences in ornamentation are due 
to tYi^ females having been modified through Natural Selection for 
the sake of protection. 

Perhaps the best brief resume Darwin has made of his views 
on this subject is given on page 421 of the Descent of Man 
(London edition, 1885), which may therefore be here cited in full : 
'^ If an inhabitant of another planet were to behold a number of 
young rustics at a fair courting a pretty girl, and quarrelling about 
her like birds at one of their places of assemblage, he would, by 
the eagerness of the wooers to please her and to display their 
finery, infer that she had the power of choice. Now with birds 
the evidence stands thus : they have acute powers of ob^^ervation, 
and they seem to have some taste for the beautiful both in colotur 
and sound. It is certain that the females occasionally exhibit, from 
unknown causes, the strongest antipatliies and preferences for 
particular males. When the sexes differ in colour or in other 
ornament the males with rare exceptions are the more decorated, 
either permanently or during the breeding season. They sedulously 
display their various ornaments, exert their voices, and perform 
strange antics in the presence of the femalea Even well-armed 
males who, it might be thought, would altogether depend for 
success on the law of battle, are in most cases highly ornamented; 
and their ornaments have been acquired at the expense of some 
loss of power. In other cases ornaments have been acquired at 
the cost of increased risk from biids and beasts of prey. W^ith 
various species many individuals of both sexes congregate at the 
same spot, and their courtship is a prolonged affair. There is 
even reason to suspect that the males and females within the same 
district do not always succeed in pleasing each other and pairing. 

*< What then are we to conclude from these facts and considera- 
tions t Does the male parade his charms with so much pomp and 




•^ ■^<«*^-dMb>>tf9»Maiitw4H«ll 



LOVE AMONG ANIMALS 45 

liTalry for do purpose t Are we not ju8ti6ed in belieTing that the 
female exerts a choice, and that the receives the addresses of the 
male who pleases her mostt It is not probable that she consciooslj 
deliberates; but she is most excited or attracted by the most 
lieautifiU, or melodious, or gallant males. Nor need it be supposed 
that the female studies each stripe or spot of colour ; that the 
peahen, for instance, admires each detail in the gorgeous train of 
tlie peacock — she is probably struck only by the general effect 
Nevertheleas, after hearing how carefully the male Argus pheasant 
displays his elegant primary wing-feathers, and erects his ocellated 
Illumes in the right position for their full effect ; or again, how the 
male goldfinch alternately displays his gold-bespangled wings, we 
ought not to feel too sure that the female does not attend to each 
detail of beauty." 

Now it was this very case of the Argus pheasant that first shook 
Mr. Wnlhice's •* belief in * sexual,' or, more properly, * female ' 
selection. The long series of gradations by which the beautifully- 
shaped ocelli on the secondary wing-feathers of this bird have been 
produced are clearly traced out ; the result l»eing a set of nnarkings 
so exquisitely shaded as to represent 'balls lying loose within 
sockets ' — purely artificial objects of which those birds could have 
no possible exfierience. That this result should have been attained 
through thousands and tens of thousands of female birds all pre- 
ferring those males whose markings varied slightly in this one 
direction, this uniformity of choice continuing through tliousands 
and tens of thousands of generations, is to me absolutely incredible. 
And when, further, we remember that those who did not so vary 
would also, according to all evidence, find mates and have offspring, 
the actual result seems quite impossible of attainment by such 
means." 

According to Darwin's own admission (Deiceni of Man, p. 
211), he ativanced the theory of Sexual Selection because, in his 
optuion. Natural Selection did not account for the various orna- 
ments and attractions of the males in question. Mr. Wallace, 
on the other hand, believes that Sexual Selection does not, while 
Natural Selection does account for the«e ornaments ; so, in place 
of Darwin's view that the beauty of certain male animals leails 
Uic females to firefer them to their less ornamented rivals, he sub- 
stitutes the thf^ry that it is the superior vitality, persistence, and 
vivacity of the favoured males that fascinate the fenudes, and that 
masctdine beauty is siuiply a natural result of superior vigour and 
superabundant health. 

Darwin doubtless em in claiming an ssthetic M&se lor animals 



46 BOMANTIG WYE AND PEBSONAL BEADTT 

80 bw in the scale of life as butterflies and other insects, and In 
attributing to it such eztraonlinary e£fects in the development of 
personal beauty. What Mr. Wallace has done in Tropical 
Nature is to show simply that it is quite minecessary to invoke 
the aid of so questionable an agency as Sexual Selection in order 
to account for the ornaments of animals ; and that the funda- 
mental principle of Darwinism, Natural Selection, accounts for 
everything. 

He maintains that colour is a normal product of organisation, 
and that not so much its presence as its absence needs accounting 
for. White and black are comparatively mre and exceptional in 
nature, while the various tints of rotl, blue, green, etc, are 
continually appearing spontaneously and irregularly in the integu- 
ments of animals. These irreguUir colours, if injurious to the 
species, will be at once elimimited by Natural Selection ; but if 
useful for purposes of identification or protection, they will be 
preserved and intensified. 

Now colour, Mr. Wallace continues, is proportionate to integn- 
mentaiy development, and is most conspicuous in the wings of 
butterflies and the feathers of birds, for the reason that, juat as 
^ the spots and rings ou a soap-bubble increase with increasing 
tenuity," similarly the delicately-organised surface of feathers and 
scales is highly favourable to the production of varieil colour-eflects. 

Colour being thus proportionate to integumentary development, 
we find next that integumentary development is, in turn, propor- 
tionate to vigour and vitality ; the strongest animals having the 
largest feathers, scales, horns, eta Hence the most vigorous and 
healthy animals are also the most beautiful, the most brilliantly 
coloured. And this correlation between healthful vigoiu* and 
beauty is still more strikingly shown in this, that '* The colours of 
an animal usually fade during disease or weakness, while robust 
health and vigour adds to their intensity. ... In all quadrupeds 
a ' dull coat ' is indicative of ill-health or low condition ; while a 
glossy coat and sparkling eye are the invariable accompaniments 
of health and energy. The same rule applies to the feathers of 
birds, whose colours are only seen in their purity during perfect 
health ; and a similar phenomenon occura even among insects, for 
the bright hues of caterpillars begin to fade as soon as they 
become inactive preparatory to their undergoing transformation. 
Even in the vegetable kingdom we see the same thing : for the 
tints of foliage are deepest, and the colours of flowers and fruits 
richest, on those plants which are, in the most healthy and 
vigorous condition." 




XOYE AMONG ANIMALS 47 

Add to all these considerations that '' this intensity of colora- 
tion becomes most developed during the breeding season, when the 
Tiulity is at a maximum," and we shall be prepared for Mr. 
Wallace's summing up of his case : — 

** If now we accept the evidence of Mr. Darwin's most trust- 
worthy correspondents, that the choice of the female, so far as she 
exerts any, DblLs upon ' the most vigorous, defiant, and mettlesome 
male ' ; and if we further believe, what is certainly the case, that 
these are as a rule the most highly- coloured and adorned with 
the finest developments of plumage, we have a real and not 
a hypothetical cause at work. For these most healthy, vigorous, 
and beautifid males will have the choice of the finest and most 
healthy females ; and will be able best to protect and rear those 
families. Natural Selection, and what may be termed Male 
Selection, will tend to give them the advantage in the struggle 
for existence ; and thus the fullest and the finest colours will be 
transmitted, and tend to advance in each succeeding generation." 

By this strong chain of reasoning (to which my brief resumS of 
eotirse cannot do justice) Mr. Wsilace shows that Darwin need- 
lessly introduced the principle of Sexual Selection into animal 
cuuruhip ; and ut the tame time furnishes a new confirmation of 
pnrwin'A compliment that he has ** an innate genius for solving 
difficulties." 

What makes Mr. Wallace's argument the more cogent is the 
fact that Darwin himself, in speaking of the lowest chisscs of 
animals, explains their beauty on the same principles as tliose 
which Mr. Wallace applies to the higher animids. Thus he says : 
'* We can, in our ignorance of most of the lowest auiniali, cnily 
say that their bright tints residt either from the chemical nature 
or the minute structure of their tissues, independently of any 
benefit thus derived." " It is almost certain that these animals 
have too imperfect senses, and much too low mental powers, to 
appreciate each other *s beauty or other attractions, or to feel 
rivalry." ** Nor is it at all obvious how the offspring from the 
more beautiful pairs of hermaphrodites would have any advantage 
over the offspring of the less beautifid, so as to increase in 
Bfdnber, umieu indeed vigour amd leaMiy generally coincided.^ 
And once more, ** The sedentary anneliils become duller-coloured, 
•ooording to M. Quatrefages, after the period of reproduction ; 
and this I presume may be attributed to their leas vigorous 
oooditioo at that time." 

80 fsr we have only considered the origin of animal colours in 
paeimL Mc WaUace, however, has not only made clear the 



48 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

general connection between beautiful and virid colours and health, 
but, by utilising his own researches and those of Mr. Bates and 
other natiu*alists, he has been able to show to what a great extent 
we can explain even the particular colours of the yarious classes 
of animals. He distinguishes four classes of animal colours— 
Protective, Warning, Sexual, and Typical 

(1) Fratedive Colours, — These '* are exceedingly prevalent in 
nature, comprising those of all the white arctic animals, the sandy- 
coloured desert forms, and the green birds and insects of tropical 
forests. It also comprises thousands of cases of special resemblance 
— of birds to the surroundings of their nests, and especially of 
insects to the bark, leaves, flowers, or soil on or amid which they 
dwelL Mammalia, fishes, and reptiles, as well as mollusca, present 
similar phenomena ; and the more the habits of animals are inves- 
tigated, the more numerous are found to be the coses in which their 
colours tend to conceal them, either from their enemies or from the 
creatures they prey upon." 

(2) Warning Colours. — In this class, on the other hand, the 
object is not to conceal the animal, but to make it conspicuous. 
Certain species of gorgeously-coloured butterflies, e,g. are never 
eaten by birds, spider?, liziirds, or monkeys, who eagerly feed on 
other butterflies. '* The reason simply is that they are not fit to 
eat, their juices having a powerftd odour and taste that is abso- 
lutely disgusting to all these animals. Now we see the reason of 
their showy colours and slow flight. It is good for them to be 
seen and recognised, for then they are never molested ; but if they 
did not difler in form and colouring from other butterflies, or if 
they flew so quickly that their peculiarities could not be easily 
noticed, they would be captured, and though not eaten, would be 
maimed or killed." 

Mimicry is the name given to a second and still more marvellous 
class of Warning Colours. They belong to defenceless creatures 
which so closely resemble other brightly-coloured but nauseous or 
dangerous animals that they are mistaken for the latter, and 
therefore left alone. £,G. 'MVasps are imitated by moths, and 
ants by beetles; and even poisonous snakes are mimicked by 
harmless snakes, and dangerous hawks by defenceless cuckoos." 

(3) Ti^ically-colowied animals are those species which are 
brilliantly coloured in both sexes, ''and for whose particular 
colours we can assign no function or use." This group ''comprises 
nn immense number of showy birds, such as Kingfishers, Barbets, 
Toucans, Lories, Tits, and Starlings ; among insects most of the 
largest and handsomest butterflies," eta "It is a suggestive fact 




LOVE AMONG ANIMALS «9 

that an the brightly-colotired birds mentioned above build in boles 
or form covered nests, so that the females do not need that proteo- 
tion during the breeding season which I believe to be one of the 
chief causes of the dull colour of female birds when their partners 
are gaily coloured." 

(4) Sexual Coloun, comprising those cases in which the sexes 
differ, and with which Darwin's theory of Sexual Selection is 
directly concerned. Through no dirtet fault of his own, Darwin 
leaves on his readers the impression — which has become almost a 
commonplace of conversation — that it is the general rule among 
animalii for the males of each species to be more ornamented than 
the females. The truth is, however, that ^ with the exception of 
butterflies the sexes are almost alike in the great mi\jority of 
insects. The same is the case in mammals and reptiles ; while 
the chief departure from the rule occurs iu birds, though even here 
in veiy many cases tlie law of sexual likeness prevails." 

The reason why I have devoted so much space to Mr. Wallace's 
colour theories is to emphasiBe the truth contained in this last 
sentence; the fact, namely, that even if Sexual Selection were 
accepted as an active principle, it would account in only a very 
limited number of cases for the personal beauty of animals, and 
the reader of Mr. Wallace's Tropical Nature and his CantrUmUom 
to the Theory of Natural Selection cannot fail to be convinced that 
Sexual Selection does not eren hold good in this limited number 
of eases, but that " tlie primary cause of sexual diversity of colour 
is the need of protection, repressing in the female those bright 
colours which are normally produced in both sexes by general 
laws." 

Incidentally Mr. Wallace mentions as an additional function of 
colour the fact that it may serve as a means of recognition to the 
sexca. '* Tiiis view affords us an explanation of the curious fact 
that among butterflies the females of closely-allied species in the 
same locality sometimes differ considerably, while the moles are 
much alike ; for, as the mules are the swiftest, and by ftir tlie 
highest flyers, and seek out the females, it would evidently be 
advantageous for them to be abb to recognise their true par men 
at some distance off." 

To me it serms that this function of colour is, next to Proteo- 
tioD, its most important object, and that Mr. Wallace does not 
give it sufficient prominence. He snyt, in speaking of Typical 
Colomn^ tliat we can assign ''no fuuction or use for them." But 
why should they not serve the sexes as a means of recognition at 
at a diitaacc 1 especially as odours can be reoQgniiad at a greater 

1 



60 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

distance than fonuB. Many yean before Darwin and Mr. WaHaoe 
wrote on this subject, Schopenhauer's genius anticipated this view 
of the matter. ** The extremely yari^ and vivid colours of the 
feathers of tropical birds," he wrote, '* have been explained in a 
very general way, with reference to their efficient cause, as due to 
the strong effect of the tropical light As their final cause I would 
suggest that these brilliant plumes are the gala uniforms by means 
of which the species, which are so numerous there and often belong- 
ing to the same genus, recognise each other ; so that every male 
finds his female. The same is true of the butterflies of different 
zones and latitudes" {W€U aU WiUe u. F!, u. 381). 

Schopenhauer of course errs in attributing, in his ignorance of 
Protective, Warning, and other colours, all the hues of birds and 
butterflies to this agency. But it is probable that whenever colours 
and other ornaments do not serve for purposes of protection (as 
€,<;. the lion's mane and the horns uf beetles, vide Tropical Nature^ 
p. 202), they serve the purpose of sexual recognition of species. 
A case cited by Darwin to prove that quadrupeds take notice of 
coloiu*, is very suggestive in this connection : ** A female zebra 
would not admit the addresses of a male ass until he was painted 
so as to resemble a zebra, and then, as John Hunter remarks, she 
received him very readily." 

It is probable, therefore, that in mnny cases the unique spots 
and stripes and colours of animals subserve the speciid use of 
facilitating the finding of a partner ; and in this way they rehite 
directly to the courtship and Roniantio Love of animals. Thus 
we see how the Love affairs of animals may indirectly affect their 
Personal Beauty iu a way quite different icom that suggested by 
Dai*win. 

LOVE-CHARMS AND LOVE-CALLS 

The same reasoning applies to the music of animals, vocal and 
instrumental, on which Darwin lays great stress. In his opinion, 
the music of some male animals serves to charm the females 
aesthetically, and thus gives to the best musicians special advan- 
tages through Sexual Selection. But the instances cited by him 
hardly warrant this conclusion, and seem rather to point to the 
inference that the function of animal music is chiefly to facilitate 
courtship, by making it easy for the females to discover the where- 
abouts of a male of tho same species. The evidence tends to show 
that it is not the male whose voice is most mellow and melodious 
that catches the female, but rather the one who is most vigorous 
and persistent and has the loudest organ^ As Jaques says in As 




LOVE AMONG ANIMALS 51 

You Like It : '' Sing it : 'tis no matter how it be in tune, so it 
make noise enough I" 

Darwin himaelf qaotes a natoraHst's statement, that "the 
striduktion produced by some of the Locustidce is so loud that it 
can be heard during the night at the distance of a mile ;" and such 
ases as *' the dramming of the snipe's tail, the tapping of the 
woodpecker's beak, the harsh, trumpetlike cry of certain water- 
fowl/' though Darwin tries to dispose of them on the ground of a 
difference in aesthetic taste, neyertheless incline one to the belief 
tUat the music of the forest trouliadours is not so much intended 
to gratify the aesthetic taste of the female as to guide her to the 
spot where the male awaits her ; for. contrary to common opinion, 
it is the female in these cases that searches for a male and not vice 
versd. Montagu, for instance, asserts that *' males of song-birds 
and of many others do not in general search for the female, but, on 
the contr.ir}'. their business in spring is to perch on some conspicu- 
ous spot, breathing out their full and amorous notes, which, by 
instinct, the female knows, and repairt to the tpot to choose her 
mate." And Dr. Hortman, speaking of the American Cicada 
Bcptemdecim, says : " Tbe drums are now heard in all directions. 
This I believe to be the marital summons from the males. Stand- 
ing in thick chestnut sprouts about as high as my head, where 
hundreds were around me, 1 observed the females coming around 
the drumniini; males." And, says Darwin, " the spel of the black- 
cock certainly serves as a call to the female, for it has been known 
to bring four or five females from a distance to a male under con- 
finement : but as the blackcock continues his ipel for hours during 
suoi*e!$sive days, and in the case of the capercailzie * with an agony 
of passion,' we are led to suppose that the females which are present 
are thus charmed." 

There appears to be no direct evidence, however, that female 
Hnls are mure charmed by one male than another, and prefer him 
on acomnt of lii^ superior song, as tbe theory of Sexual Selection 
jiostulates. And when we remember that likewise there is no 
evidence that birds, etc, are ever influenced in their choice by the 
superior colours of certain males, and that in fact it is the rule for 
ths female to follow passively the roost vigorous and Tictorious 
male, we ore brought back to the conclusion with which we set 
out — that it is not the superior songster wlio wins the female by 
charming her, but the loudest and most persistent songster, by 
fui«ltng her to the courting-place. 

Darwin himself evidently felt the weakness of his position, for 
he ooostantly speaks of '* love-channs or love-calls " in the same 



52 ROMANTIC LOYE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

• 

sentence. Thos, ^' the true song of meet birds and yarions stnuige 
cries ore uttered chiefly during the breeding-season, and serre as a 
charm, w merely cu a call-noUf to the other sex.'' Again : '* It 
is often difficult to coi^jecture whether the many strange cries and 
notes uttered by male birds during the breeding-season senre as a 
charm or merely as a call to the female." The distuiction between 
love ''charms" and mere ''calls" is of course of the utmost 
importance. For if male song charms the females and influences 
them in their choice, we have Sexual-sesthetic-female Selection. 
But if the male song merely serves as a call to the female and as 
a sign of species-recognition, then Natural Selection accounts for 
everything, because the most vigorous, loudest, and most persistent 
male will have the choice of the most numerous females brought 
to his side by his musical efibrts. 

LOVE-DANCSS AND DISPLAY 

Tliere is one more important link in the chain of Darwin's 
reasoning, which must be broken before his theory of Sexual 
Selection can be regarded as demolished. The mad antics of the 
blackcock and other birds have been already referred to ; and some 
of the lower animal.^ seem to endeavour to surpass them, as, for 
example, the male alligator, who strives to attract the attention of 
the female by splashing and roaring in the water ; " swollen to an 
extent ready to burst, with its head and tail lifted up, he spins or 
twirls round on the surface of tiie water, like an Indian chief 
rehearsing his feats of war." " To suppose," sajrs Darwin, " that 
the females do not appreciate the beauty of tiie males, is to 
admit that their splendid decorations, all their pomp and display, 
are useless ; and this is incredible." 

But ai-e there no other ways of accounting for all this " pomp 
and display"] Certainly, several of them. We have seen that 
tie most vigorous males are those which are most highly orna- 
mented, and that it is the vii^ur and vivacity of the males that 
seems to decide the choice of the females where there is any. Now 
instinct, t.f. inherited experience, teaches the female the connec- 
tion between vigour and display of onminent, and influences her 
choice accordingly. Again, the males indulge in their display for 
the purpose of arousing the attention of the passive female. This 
supposition is rendered the more pro1)able by Darwin's admission 
that *' we must be cautious in concluding that the wings are spread 
out solely for display, as some birds do so whose wings are not 
beautifiU." 




LOVE AMONG AKIMALS U 

A third motive of display is the need of finding an outlet for 
oferflowing nenrouB energy and excitement To thia Mr. Wallace 
refers as follows : *' At pairing time the male is in a state of exdu^ 
ment and full of exuberant energy. Even anomamented birds 
flutter their wings or spread them out, erect their tails or crests, 
and thus give veut to the nervous excitability with which they are 
r^ercharged." *'It is not improbable," he continues, — and this 
suggests a fourth use of display — '* that crests and other erectile 
feathers may be primarily of use in fright tning away enemiei^ 
since they are ge cmdly erected when angry or during combat" 

A fifth motive of display is suggested by an analogy Aimished 
by human butterflies and birds of Paradifie. Among animals 
where the sexes differ, it is commonly the male who is adorned the 
most With us it is the women. But woman's fineries are not 
intended to charm the eyes of men, but to excite one another's 
rivalry and envy. Now it seems that male birds, with whose 
plumes our heartless women are so fond of decking thcnisclver, are 
piilty of an aiialogoa^ weakness. They will sometimes display 
their ornaments, says Daruin, ** when not in the presence of the 
females, as occasionally occurs with grouce at their boly places, 
and as may be noticed with the peacock ; this latter bird, how- 
ever, evidently wishes for a spectator of some kind, and, as I have 
often seen, will show off his finery before poultry or even pigs. 
All naturalists who have closely attended to the habits of birds, 
whether in a state of nature or under confinement, are unanimously 
of opinion that the moles take delight in displaying their beauty,' 
And, onre more, *'with birds of Paradise a dozen or more full- 
plunu^ males congregate in a tree to hold a dancing-party, as it 
is colled by the natives ; and here they fly about, raise their wings, 
elevate their exquisite plumes, and make them vibrate ; and the 
whole tree seems, as Mr. Wallace remarks, to be filled with 
waring plumes." 

But if it be the unanimous opinion of naturalists who have 
doidy studied tlie habiu of bird^ " that the males take delight in 
displaying their beauty/' why should not the females also take 
pleasure in witnessing this di^pby t Perhaps tliey do, sometimen ; 
for even Mr. Wallace a«lmits that "the display of the various 
ornamental apfiendages of the male dunns: courtship may be 
attractive * to the female. But there is a world-wide difference 
between this assertion and the dorthne that the females are so 
great I r and so constantly influenced by their esthetic taste thst 
tii^ alw.nyi prefer amoti? niaks thr«e that are slightly more beau- 
tuiii tlia^ the others, tiius increasing thctr personal beauty by 




54 BOMANTIG LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

trausmiflsion. This is an assamption muupported by hctM^ md 
rendered unnecessaiy because Natural Selection accounts for all the 
phenomena in question. 

Admiration of Personal Beauty does not appear, therefore^ to 
enter noticeably into animal love, except in so far as a slight 
amount of sesthetic taste may be admitted in birds. This taste 
may be strengthened by the sight of the brilliant masculine omi^ 
roents during the season of love being associated with the 
remembered pleasures of courtship. 

Indirectly, however, female animals promote the cause of beauty 
by preferring the more healthy and vigorous individuals, who are 
commonly also the most beautifiU ones. And is not the same true 
of females of the human persuasion, who likewise are much less 
influenced in their choice by the beauty than by the boldness, 
energy, vivacity, and ''manliness'' of their suitors! It seems to 
hold true throughout nature that the female's Love is weak in the 
aesthetic element, her taste being little developed and too often 
neutralised by unconscious utilitarian considerations. 



LOVE AMONG SAVAGES 

STBANGEBS TO LOVE 

In passing from animals to human beings we find at first not 
only no advance in the sexual relations, but a decided retrogres- 
sion. Among some species of birds, courtship and marriage are 
inflnitely more refined and noble than among the lowest savages ; 
and it is especially in their treatment of females, both before and 
after mating, that not only birds but all animals show an immense 
superiority over primitive man ; for male animab only fight 
amons: themselves, and never maltreat the females. 

This anomaly is easily explained. The intellectual power and 
emotional horizon of animals are limited ; but in those directions 
iu which Natural Selection has made them sjyecialists, they reach 
a high degree of development, because inherited experience tends 
to give to their actions an instinctive or qnosi-instiuctive precision 
and certainty. Among primitive men, on the other hand, reason 
l)egins to encroach more on instinct, but yet in such a feeble way 
as to make constant blunders inevitable : thus proving that strong 
instincts, combined with a limited intellectual plasticity, are a 
safer guide in life than a more plastic but weak intellect minus 
the assistance of stereotyped instincts. 

If neither intellect nor instinct guide the primitive man to 




LOVE AMONG SAVAGES K 

weQ-regalated marital relatioim, rach as we find among many 
aniiuala, so again his emotional life is too crude and limited to 
allow any scope for the domestic affections. Inasmuch as, 
according to Sir Jolm Lubbock, gratitude, mercy, pity, chastity, 
forgiTeness, humility, are ideas or ieclings unknown to many nr 
most sayage tribes, we sliould naturally expect that such a highly- 
compounded and ethereal feeling as Romantic Love could not exi^t 
among tbem. How could Love dwell in the heart of a savage 
who baits a fish-hook with the flesh of a child ; who eats his wife 
when she has lost her beauty and the muscular power which 
enabled her to do all his haixl work; who abandons his aged 
parents, or kills them, and whose greatest delight in life id to kill 
an enemy slowly amid the most diabolic tortures ? 

Or how could a primitive girl love a man whose courtship 
consists in knocking her on the head and carrying her forcibly 
finim her own ^» his tribe t A niau who, after a very brief period 
of caresses, neglects her, tiikes perhafis another Hud younger wife, 
and reduces the first one to the condition of a slave, refusing to 
let her eat at his table, throwing her bones and remains, as to a 
dog, or even driving lier away and killing lier, if she diispleuses 
him t These are extreme cases, but tliey are not rare ; and in a 
slightly modifte<l form they are fouud throughout savogedom. 

That Love is a sentiment unknown to savages has been 
frequently noted in the works of anthropologists and tourists. 
When Ploss remarks that the lowest savages " know as little of 
marriage relations as animals ; still less do they know the feeling 
we call Love,'' he does a great injustice to animals, as those who 
have read the preceding chapter must admit Letoomeu, in his 
Sodoiopie, remarks : '* Among the Cafres Cousas. according to 
Licbtenstein, the sentiment of love does not oonstitute a part of 
mania^ ' The idea of love, as we understand it,' says Du 
Chaitlu, in speaking of a tribe of the Gabon, ' appears to be 
miknown to this tribe.' " Monteiro, speaking of the polygamous 
tribes of Africa, sny« : " The negro knows not love, affection, or 
jcmloony. ... In all the long year# I have been in Africa I have 
arver teen a nc^ro manifest the leoat tenderness for or to a 
aegreif .... I have never seen a negro put his arm round a 
woman's waist, or give or receive any caress whatever that would 
indicat e the sli^^htest loving regard or affection on either side. 
They have no words or expressions in their language indicative of 
albction or lore." 

Mr. S|)eocer, in commenting on this passage, remarks that 
* This testimony harmonises with testimonies cited by Sir John 



66 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEHSONAL BEAI7T7 

Lubbock, to the effect that the Hottentots 'are so cold and 
indifferent to one another that you would think there was no such. 
thing as love between them ' ; that among the Koussa Suiffirs 
there is * no feeling of love in marriage/ ; and that in Yariba, *% 
man thinks as little of taking a wife as of cuttiug an ear of com^ 
affection is altogether out of the question.' '' 

Mr. Winwood Reade, on the other hand, informed Darwin 
that the West Africans " are quite capable* of falling in love, and 
of forming tender, passionate, and faithful attachments." And 
the anthropologist Waitz, speaking of Polynesia, says that 
** examples of reed passionate love are not rare, and on the Fiji 
Islands it has happened that individuals married against their will 
have committed suicide ; although this has only happened in the 
higher classes." Unfortunately in these cases we are left in 
doubt as to whether the reference is to Conjugal or to Romantic 
Love ; coigugal attachment, being of earlier growth than 
Rt^mantic Love, because the development of the latter was 
retarded by tl^e limited opportunities for prolonged Courtship and 
free Choice. 

PRiMiTrvx comtrsHip 

In his anxiety to find cases of Romantic Love among North 
American and other primitive peoples, Waitz is obliged to fall 
back on legends of Lovers' Leaps and Maiden Rocks, and on a 
poem about a South American maiden who committed suicide on 
her lover's grave to avoid falling into the hands of the Spaniards. 
Legends and poems, unfortunately, do not count for much as 
scientific evidence. At the same time, it would doubtless be 
incorrect to asi^ert on the strength of some of the authorities just 
quoted that Love does not exist at all among savages, and there- 
fore to moke tiie chapter on Love among Savai^es iis brief as tliat 
cliapter on Snakes in Ireland. We shall find, on the contrary, 
that several of Love's ** overtones " are occasionally present ; and 
that though full-fiedged cupids may never appear with their 
{loisoued arrows, mischievous amourettes sometimes do flit across 
the field of vision. For the goddess of Love is ever watchfid of 
an opportunity for one of her emissaries to bag some game. 

Romantic Love is dependent on opportunities for Courtship. 
Amouir savages and semi-civilised nations we find three grades of 
Courtfihip — Capture, Purciiase, and Service. These must be 
briefly examined in turn. 

(1) Capture, — One of the most curious features of savage life 
Is the widely-prevalent custom called by McLennan Exogamy, or 



LOVE AMONG SAVAGES 57 

nuurying oat This custom compels a man who wishes a wife of 
his own to steal or purchase her of another tribe, private marriage 
within his own tribe being considered criminal and even punish- 
able with death. To this rule of Exogamy Sir John Lubbock 
traces the origin of Monogamy. In his view women were at first, 
like other kinds of property, held in common by the tribe, any 
roan being any woman's husband ad libitum. No man could 
therefore claim a woman for himself without infringing on the 
n^htB of others. But if he stole a woman from another tribe, she 
became his exclusive propert}', which he had a right to guard 
jesdously, and to look upon with the Pride of Conquest — a pride, 
however, quite distinct from that which intoxicates a civilisetl 
lover when he finds, or fondly ima<:^nes, that his goddess Itai 
chosm him among all his rivals. The primitive man's pride is 
more like that of the warrior who wears a large number of scalps 
in his belt; and as in his case marriage immediately follows 
Capture, this feeliug, moreover, belongs more pruperly to the 
sphere of conjugal sentiment than to that of Love. 

This primitive form of courtship, it is obvious, is very much 
ruder than that which prevails in the animal kingdom, where the 
males alone maltreat one another, while in this early human 
courtship the woman, if she resists, is simply knocked on the 
head, and her senseless body carried off to the captor's tent. 
Diefenbach relates concerning the Polynesians that '* if a girl was 
courted by two suitors, each of them grasped one arm of the 
beloved and pulled her toward him ; tlie stronger one got her, but 
in some cases not before her limbs had been pulled out of joint" 
And Wait2 says that "the girls were commonly alniucted by 
force, which led frequently to most violent fights, in which the 
girl herself was occasionally wounded, or even killed, to prevent 
her from fallinsr into the hands of the enemy." 

^Ir. £. B. Tylor, after stating that marriage by Capture may 
be seen at the present day among the fierce forest tribes of Brazil, 
continues : " Ancient tradition knows this practice well, as where 
the men of Benjamin carry off the daughters of Shiloh dancing at 
the feast, and in the famous Roman tale of the rape of the 
Sabines, a legend putting in historical form the wife-capture which 
in Roman custom remained as a ceremony. What most clearly 
shows what a recognised old-world custom it was, is its being thus 
kept up as a formality where milder manners really prevailed. 
It had passed into this state among the Spartans, when Plutarch 
says that though the marriage was really by friendly settlement 
between the families, the bridegroom's friends went through the 



58 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

pretence of carrying off the bride by violence. Within a few 
generations the same old habit was kept np in Wales, where the 
bridegroom and his friends, mounted and armed as for war, carried 
off the bride ; and in Ireland they used even to hurl spears at the 
bride's people, though at such a distance that no one was hurt, 
except now and then by accident, as happened when one Lord 
Howth lost an eye, which mischance seems to have pat an end 
to this curious relic of antiquity." 

Moreover, we are told that *' in our own marriages the * best 
man ' seems ori.<;inalIy to have been the chief abettor of the bride- 
groom in the act of capture." 

In a modified fonn " wife-capture " cannot be said to be extinct 
even in this advanced age. Elopement is the modem name for it. 
When the parents dissent and the couple are very young, thia 
climax of courtship doubtless is often reprehensible. But in those 
cases where the consent of all parties has been obtained, it ought 
to be universally adopted. Sudden flight and an impromptu mar- 
riage would add much to tne romance of the honeymoon, and would 
enable the bridal couple to avoid the terrors and stupid formalities 
of the wedding-day, the anticipation of which is doubtless respon- 
sible for the ever-increasing number of cowardly bachelors in the 
world. 

(2) Purchase represents a somewhat hi^^her stage of Courtship 
than Capture. Like Capture this custom has existed among the 
peoples of the five continents, and is still retained in some parts of 
Africa and elsewhere. In Holstein, Grennany, it prevailed in all 
its purity, acconling to Ploss, till the end of the fifteenth century. 
Nor would it be doing facts great violence to class our frequent 
money-marriages under this head. 

There are two grades of the custom of Purchase. In the first 
the girl has no choice whatever, but is sold by her father for so 
many cows or camels, in some cases to the highest bidder. Among 
the Turcomans a wife may be purchased for five camels if she be 
a girl, or for fifty if a widow ; whereas among the Tunguse a girl 
costs one to twenty reindeer, while widows are considerably 
cheaper. In the second class of cases the purchased girl is allowed 
a certain degree of liberty of choice, as we shaU see directly, under 
the head of Individual Preference. 

(3) Service. — On the custom of securing a wife by means of 
services rendered her parents, Mr. Spencer remarks : " The prac- 
tice which Hebrew tradition acquaints us A^ith in the case of 
Jacob, proves to be a wi(lelyHliffu.<e<l practice. It is general with 
the Bhils, Ghoiids, and Hill tribes of Nepaul ; it obtained in Java 




LOYE AMONG SAVAGES 69 

before Mabometanism was introduced ; it was oommon in ancient 
Peru and Central America ; and among sundry existing American 
races it still occurs. Obviously, a wife long laboured for is likely 
to be more rained than one stolen or bought. Obviously, too, the 
period of service, during which the betrothed girl is looked npon 
as a fnture spouse, affords room for the growth of some feeling 
higher than the merely instinctive — initiates something approaching 
to the courtship and engagement of civilised peoples." 

XNDIYIDUJLL PREFERENCE 

All the cases thus far referred to relate to what might be called 
indirect or mediate courtship. When a girl is captured and 
knocked on the liead she can hardly be said to be courted and con- 
siilted as to her wishes ; and the man too, in such cases, owing to 
the dangers of the sport, is apt to pay no great attention to 
a woman's looks and accomplishments, but to bag the first one 
that comes along. In courtship by Purchase, again, the girl is 
rardy consulted as to her own preferences, the addresses being 
paid to the father, who invariably selects the wealthiest of the 
suitors, and only in rare cases allows the daughter a choice, as 
among the Kaffirs if the suitors happen to be equally well off. 
And thirdly, in courtship by Service, the suitor's work is not done 
to please the daughter, but to recompense the parents for losing 
her. 

Tet there appear to be some instances of real courtship, in the 
modem sense of the word, among the lower races, where the lovers 
pay their addresses directly to the girl and she chooses or rejects 
at will Thus, among the Orang-Sakai, on the Malayan peninsula, 
the following custom prevails, as described by Ploss: "On the 
wedding-day, the bride, in presence of her relatives, and those of 
her lover, and many other witnesses, is obliged to run into the 
forest. After a fixed interval the bride^oom follows and seeks to 
catch her. If he succeeds in captiuing the bride she becomes his 
wife, otherwise he is compelled to renounce her for ever. If there- 
fore a girl dislikes her suitor, she can easily escape from hin\ 
and hide in the forest until the time allowed for his pursuit has 
expired." 

Darwm remarks, in trying to prove the existence of Sexual 
Selection among the lower races, that " in utterly barbarous tribes 
the women have more power ui choosing, rejecting, and tempting 
their lovers, or of afterwards changing their husbands, than might 
have been expected;" and he cites the following cases, among 



60 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

others : ** Amongst the Abipones, a man on choosing a wife, bap- 
gains with the parents about the price. But *it frequently 
happens that the girl rescinds what has been agreed upon between 
the parents and the bridegroom, obstinately rejecting the reiy 
mention of marriage.' She often runs away, hides herself^ and 
thus eludes the bridegroom. Captain Musters, who lived witJi the 
Patagonians, says that their marriages are always settled by incli- 
nation ; * if the parents make a match contrary to the daughter's 
will, she refuses, and is never compelled to comply.' In Tierra del 
Fuego a young man first obtains the consent of the parents by do- 
ing them some service, and then he attempts to carry off the girl ; 
' but if she is unwilling, she hides herself in the woods until her 
admirer is heartily tired of looking for her, and gives up the 
pursuit ; but this seldom happens.' " 



PEBSONAL BEAUTY AJSTD SEXUAL SELECTION 

Evidence proving that primitive women are influenced in their 
choice of a mate by sesthetic considerations appears to be almost 
08 scant as among animals. Darwin, however, tries to prove that 
men owe their beards to sexual or female selection; and the 
following more general instances may be cited for what they are 
worth : Azara ** describes how carefully a Guana woman bargains 
for all sorts of privileges before accepting some one or more 
husbands ; and the men in consequence take unusual care of their 
personal appearance." Among the Kaffirs " very ugly, though rich 
men, have been known to fail in getting wives. The girls, before 
consenting to be betrothed, compel the men to show themselves 
off first in front and then behind, and * exhibit their paces.' " 

In general, however, it seems that the women choose, not the 
handsomest men, but those whose boldness, pugnacity, and virility 
promise them the siu*est protection against enemies, and general 
domestic delights. Thus, we read that ** before he is allowed to 
marry, a young Dyack must prove his bravery by bringing back 
the head of an enemy ; " and that when the Apaches warriors re- 
turn unsuccessful, ** the women turn away from them with assured 
indifference and contempt. They are upbraided as cowards, or for 
want of skill and tact, and are told that such men should not have 
wives." 

It must be remembered, however, that (as we have seen in the 
case of plants and animals) the greatest amount of health, vigour, 
and courage generally coinciile with the greatest physical beauty; 
hence the continued preference of the most energetic and lusty men 




LOVE AMONG SAVAGES 61 

by tbe snperior women wbo hare a choice, has naturally tended to 
evolve a saperior type of niatily beauty. 

In tbe case of men it eeems mucb more probable that they 
frequently select their wives in accordnnce with an sestbetic stan- 
diird. Tbe chiefs of almost every tribe throughout tbe world have 
more than one wife ; and Mr. Mantell informed Darwin that until 
recently almost every girl in New Zealand who was prett}*, or 
promised to he pretty, was tapu to some chief; while among the 
Kaffirs, according to Mr. C. Hamilton, " the chiefs generally have 
the pick of tbe women for many miles round, and are most' 
persevering in establishing or confirming their privilege." In 
the lower tribes, where *' communal marriage" and marriage 
by Capture alone prevail, sesthetic choice is of course out of the 
question, and cannot make its appearance till we come to less 
pugnacious tribes, such as the Dyacks, whose children **bave the 
freedom implied by regular courtship,'' or the Sarooans, whose child- 
ren "have the degree of independence implied by eloi)ements when 
they cannot obtain parental assent to their marriage " (Spencer). 

In general, however, among tbe lower races, Sexual or aesthetic 
Selection leads to sorry residts, owing to tbe bad taste of the 
selectors. The standard of primitive taste is not harmonious pro- 
portion and capacity for expression, but Exaggeration. The negro 
woman has naturally thicker lips, more prominent cheek-bones, 
and a flatter nose than a white woman ; and in selecting a mate, 
preference is commonly given to the one whose lips are thickest, 
nose most flatteued, and cheek-bones most prominent : thus pro- 
ducing gradually that monster of ugliness — the average negro 
woman. What right we have to set ourselves up as judges, and 
* claim that our taste is superior to the negro's, is a question which 
will be discussed in a subsequent section of this treatise. 

One other point, however, may be referred to here, namely, 
th.it altnough the aesthetic overtone of Love — the Admiration of 
Personal B^uty — may enter into a savage's amorous feelings, it is 
only the sensuous aspect of it that affects him, the intellectual 
and moral sides being unknown to him. His admiration is purely 
physical He marries his chosen bride when she is a mere child, 
and before the slightest spark of mental charm can illumine her 
features and impart to them a superior beauty ; and subsequently, 
when experience has somewhat sharpened her intellectual powers, 
hard labour has already destroyed all traces of her physical beauty * 
so that the combination of physical and mental charms which 
'alone can inspire the highest form of Love is never to be found ia 
primitive woman. 



62 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTT 



JZALOUST AND POLYOAMT 

The moral mission of Jealousy, as stated on a preceding page, 
is, by means of watchfulness and the inspiring of fear, to ensure 
fidelity and chastity. Darwin says that from the strength of the 
feeling of jealousy all through the animal kingdom, as well as 
from the analogy of the lower animab, especially those which 
come nearest to man, he '* cannot believe that absolutely pro- 
miscnous intercourse prcTailed in times past, shortly before man 
attained to his present rank in the zoological scale." This may be 
true, yet it is astonishing to find how many of the lower tribes 
are utterly unconcerned regarding the morals both of married and 
unmarried women. A vast number of cases illustrating this 
absence of jealousy are collected in Waltz's Ant/iropolo^y, Spencer's 
Sociology the works of Lubbock, and especially in Floss's D<u 
Weiby L 205-214. In some cases girls are allowed to do as they 
please until after marriage, when they are jealously guarded ; in 
other cases the reverse is true. In some parts of Africa a breach 
of faith on the wife's part is regarded as an attack not on the 
husband's honour but on his property; hence a pecuniary com- 
pensation is all that is reqiured Lubbock enumerates a large 
number of races among whom the lending of a wife or daughter is 
a common and obligatory form of hospitality. And the Chibchas 
of South America went so far in their indifference to virginity 
that they considered a virgin bride to be unfortunate, " as she had 
not inspired affection in men.** 

Jealousy for the possession of a woman, however, was much 
sooner developed than jealous regard for her conduct The state- 
ment of Sir John Lubbock about the men of an Indian tribe, that 
they '* fight for the possession of the women, just like stags," and 
similar statements regarding other savages, imply that, just like 
stags, these men feel the pangs of primitive Jealousy. 

Among polygamous nations the women, too, often fight for the 
men, who^^e favourites in their absence are apt to suffer much at 
the hands of jealous rivals. It is among the polygamous semi- 
civilised nations in general that Jealousy asserts itself in the most 
shrill and dissonant manner. It is not that bitter-sweet romantic 
Jciilousy which by its constant fluctuations between hope and 
doubt fans a modem lover's passion into brighter flames ; it is a 
more vicious kind of conjugal Jealousy which destroys domestic 
peace and plots the ruin of rivals. In Madagascar, Mr. Spencer 
tells us, " the name for Polygyny — * fampovafesana ' — 8i{ 




k", . ^- -^-f^ .: — s„„K(..isi,iJi 



LOVE AMONG SAYAOES 68 

'the means of causing enmity'; and that kindred names tie 
eommonly applicable to it we are shown by their use among the 
Hebrews : in the Mishna a man's several wives are called ' tz&rot,' 
that is, troubles, adversaries, or rivals. ' In modem Persia, where 
polygamy prevails, the same state of affairs is encountered. Says 
Picas : * It mere are several women in the house, each one in- 
habits a separate division ; in the houses of the wealthy each 
wife, moreover, has her own servants. Constantly apprehending 
evil intentions, no woman touches the dishes of a rival." 

It is among the polygamous nations of the East, too, that 
history records such a profusion of bloody wars of succession 
waged by half-brothers; for how could fititemal or any other 
kind of domestic affection flourish in families where the mothers 
are constantly goaded hj Jealousy into deadly hatred of one 
another f 

MONOPOLY AND XONOOAKY 

The United States being a "free country," its government 
has sometimes been blamed by '* freethinkers " for attempting to 
repress Mormon Polygamy. But a free country is not one in 
which social experiments injurious to public welfare are to be 
necessarily allowed. Readers of history and anthropology know 
that polygamy is an experiment which has been tried so often 
with disastrous social results, that it may be looked upon safely 
as criminal and treated accordingly. Even the forcible argument 
of that spiteful old pessimist, Schopenhauer, that polygamy should 
be introduced because it would rid the world of old maids, does 
not save the institution ; since it is well — for the prospects of 
Beauty, at any rate — ^that souie women should be " eliminated " 
in the form of old maids. 

Among the causes which tended to nuike polygamy the eom- 
monest form of marriage among savages, four may be briefly 
enumerated : (1) The constant wars among the tribes decimated 
the men, leaving a larger proportion of women than men, although 
this was to some extent neiitni1ise<l by the habit of female in- 
fanticide, which the women indulged in to make themselves more 
cherinbed through scarcity and, possibly, to preserve their beauty ; 
(2) The women being commonly secured a« booty in war, it was 
naturally looked on as an bnnuur and a sign of valour to have 
more than one wife ; (3) Women being regarded and treated ta 
alavea, the more a man bad of tliem the mere they could, by their 
eombiDed labour increase his wealth and influence ii^ Use tribe ; 
(4) The rapid decay of the youthful beauty of primitiTe 



64 KOMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTT 

naturally inclined her husband, whose affection was solely based 
on those physical charms, to add a second or third, younger woman 
to his harem. 

As woman's position improved with adyancing dyilisatioii, 
the^e influences favouring polygamy were gradually weakened; 
and as in treating of Love among Animals, we found the moat 
remarkable instances of affectioii^-coigugal and romantic — among 
birds, wbo are mostly monogamous ; so, among the lower races of 
man, monogamy is commonly a sign of superior culture and higlier 
development of the affections. And this might have been foreseen 
a priori, inasmuch as monogoroy is the only marital relation com- 
patible with that Monoi>oly of affection which is one of the con- 
ditions of Romantic Love. How could a man feel an exclusive 
amorous interest iu liis bride, knowing that in a few months or 
years another would come to claim half his interest t or how 
could the bride concentrate all her Love on a man of whom she 
knew that he could give her only half or a smaller fraction of his 
affection ? 

A similar view is taken by Mr. Spencer. Monogamic nnionSy 
he says, ^ tend in no small degree indirectly to raise the quality of 
adidt life, by giving a permanent and deep source of sesthetie 
interest. On recalling the many and keen pleasures derived from 
music, poetry, fiction, the drama, etc. ; and on remembering that 
their predominant theme is the passion of love, we shall see that 
to monogamy, which has developed this passion, we owe a large 
part of the gratifications which ^1 our leisure hours." 

PRIMinVE C0TXES8 

Among the Samoiedes, says Klemm, " a man purchases a wifii 
for a number of reindeer, varying from five to twenty ; the bride, 
as is the ca^e also in Greenland, struggles violently against leaving 
the paternal house, and commonly she haa to be caught forciUj 
and bound on the bridegroom's fledge.'' In some of the Bedouin 
tribes the destined bride runs from tent to tent to escape being 
brought to the bridegroom. When an Esquimaux girl is attked in 
marriage, says Kranz (quoted by Mr. Spencer), she " directly falls 
into the greatest apparent consternation and runs out of doon^ 
tearing her bunch of hair ; for single women always affect the 
utmost bashful ness and aversion to any proposal of marriage, lest 
they should lose their reputation for motlesty/' So among the 
Bushmen a lover's attentions " are received with an affectation of 
great alarm and disinclination on her part '' ; while an Arab bride 




LOVE AMONG SAYAOES 05 

** defends herself with stones, and often inflicts wounds on the 
young men, even though she does not dislike the lover; for 
according to custom, the more she struggles, bites, kick:?, cries, 
and strikes, the more she is applauded ever after by her own 
companions." 

Obviously these glacier, forest, and desert belles have a some- 
what cruder way thaa our city belles of hiding their feelings. 

Mr. Spencer refers to the Coyness of these maidens as one 
motive or cause of wife-capture, but he does not iuquire into the 
origin of Go3rne88 itself, which is a much more interesting point in 
the psychology of Love. The fear " lest tbey should lose their 
reputation for modesty," mentioned above, is the most obvious 
cause of this exaggerated resistance, as it is of the excessive 
prudishness often encountered in some European civilised countries 
of to-day. Again, the sight of the harsh treatment to which her 
married sisters or friends are subjected, would make the primitive 
bride naturally averse to exchange her maiden freedom lor conjugal 
slavery. 

It seems, however, that in most cases, the Co3me8S is less real 
than simulated; and for this form of Coyness — reversing Mr. 
Spencer's reasoning — we may say that Exogjimy. or Capture, is 
responsible. For since Capture implies courage and valour on the 
part of the husband, it may have been to secure the ** prestige of 
a foreign marriage *' — ^as fashionable novelists would say — that the 
form of Capture was imitated in cases where there was no opposi- 
tion, either on the part of the girl or her parents. 

Another explanation of sham Goyne>s is afforded by the follow- 
ing case : Among the inhabitants of the Volga region, in Bussia, 
the bride is occasionally captured and carried off, though here too 
there is no opposition on her part or from her parents. The cause 
of this procedure is the desire to avoid the expense^ of tlie marriage 
citremony, which in that region are out of all proportion to the 
means of the lower classes. 

Finally it may be suggested that Coyness, so far as it really 
exists in the primitive maiden, owes its origin to the instinctive 
perception that the men value them more if they do not throw 
themselves into their arms on the first impidse. And more than 
anything else, this attitude of reserve feeds the flames cf Romantic 
Love by transferring its delights and pangs to the imagination. 

Yet, after all, man ifestit ions of Coyness must be the exception 
and not the rule in the lower races, inasmuch as in the vast 
majority of cases, where no choice is allowed the bride, there is 
liitie or no opportunity for the exercise of such a trait 

F 



66 



ROMAimC LOTS AND PERSONAL BEAUT7 



Of Oallantbt I have not succeeded in discoyering any tnoei 
in the records of savage life, except possibly in the case of the 
natives of Eamtchatka, where the wooer has to go into service for 
his bride, and during this time endeavours constantly to ligliten 
her labours and make himself agreeable to her. So far as Gallantry 
occurs, it is more likely to be a femiuine trait — as among one of 
the North American Indian tribes, where the maiden cooks her 
suitor's game, and sends him back the best morsels witli presents ; 
or as with another tribe, the Osages, where the maidens pay oburt 
to the warriors by offering them ears of com. 

As for the remaining characters of Romantic Love, which 
require a vivid imagination and persistent emotions for their reali- 
sation, it would be useless to look for them in Savagedom— except 
perhaps iu those infinitesimal proportions in which various chemical 
substances are found by analysts in mineral waters. The following 
may be offered as an approximate list of the ingredients in the 
Love of savage and semi-civilised peoples : — 



Selfishness 


• 1 






. 25-7684 


Inconstancy • 


■ 






. 20-8701 


Jealousy . , 








. Oto 20-7904 


Coyness . , 








„ 10 -55-23 


Imlividual Preference , 








„ 50073 


Personal Beauty 








„ 5-7002 


Monopoly . , 








„ 7-8024 


Pride of Possession « 








. 4-5082 


Sympathy . , 








0000 


Gallantry . , 








00006 


Self-Sacrifice . , 








Traces 


Ecstatic; Adomtion , 








* ft 


Mixed Emotions , 








• ff 



CAN AMEBICAN NEGROES LOVE 1 

It is a very interesting question how far the negroes trans- 
planted to America, who have adopted so many of tiie habits and 
ways of thinking of their white neighbours, are capable of forming 
a true romantic attachment, characterised by the various traits 
described in this work. I have not been able to find any con- 
clusive evidence on this head ; and should any readers of this book 
ixwitiveiy know any cases, I should be greatly obliged if they 
would forward a detailed account of tliem to me, in care of the 
publisher. 

As re^jards a negro's capacity for falling in Love with a white 
woman, the folio wiug interesting communication ^ ap|>eared in the 

* Signed Sue Han-}' Clag«tt 



HISTORY OF LOVE— LOVE IN EGYPT «7 

New York Nation^ 12th February 1885: ''In corroboration of 
'Bill Arp's' view, referred to in No. 1020 of the Nation^ that 
negroes, as a race, do not desire to ' mix ' with the white race, I 
may cite a remark recently made by a negro carpenter to a friend 
of mine. The latter said to him, as a village belle passed them 
on the street, ' Charles, don't you think that's a veiy handsome 
young lady ? ' 'I reckon so,' he answered doubtfully, and imme- 
diately added, ' Fact is, boss, us coloured folks don't think white 
ladies handsome ; we like 'em colom-ed the best.' 

" Had it been otherwise there would, doubtless, have been 
innumerable instances, in the North as well as at tlie South, of 
love-longings on the part of negro men toward girls of the dominant 
race. Yet during all the yeai-s I have spent in the Southern 
States, I never knew or beard of any instances of this kind, and 
their exceptional character in the North must be known to all 
your readers. The hopelessness of such attachments would, of 
coune, diminish their number; but fancy is always free, and 
' hopeless attachments ' among members of the same race are as 
common now as when Petrarch sighed for Laura, and Tasso wrote 
' The throne of Cupid has an easy stair,' himself having climbed it 
uninspired by hope. The existence of many persons of mixed 
blood throughout the country affords no proof that the two races 
feel toward each otiier the attraction of love ; for the fathers, in 
these cases, are almost invariably white, and the offspring cannot 
be called ' 1 'e-children,' but the fruit of mere passion linked with 
opportunity. 

HISTORY OF LOVE 

It would be a profitless task to hunt for the first traces of the 
variuus elements of Love in the records of all the nations of 
antiquity; for we meet almost everywhere with the same old story 
of Romantic Love impeded in its growth or its very existence by 
the degraded position of women, and by the absence of oppor- 
tunities for courtship, and for free matrimonial choice. A few 
remarks, however, must be made concerning Love among the 
ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, and our Aryan 
kinsfolk in India, before passing on to Medieval and Modem 
Love. 

LOVE IN EGYPT 

Dr. Georg Ebers, the Leipzig professor, and author of the 
popular series of historic Egyptian novels, remarks that '* if it ia 



68 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTT 

true that a nation's degree of culture can be estimated by the more 
or less favourable position accorded its women, then Egyptian 
culture ranks above that of all other ancient peoples." 

The women of ancient Egypt were not kept in seclusion like 
those of Greece. They did their own marketing, and had other 
domestic and public liberties and privileges which astonished the 
Greek historian Herodotus, who also mentions that although 
polygamy was tolerated among them, monogamy was the rule. 
Inasmuch as the Egyptians bad an advanced culture, invented 
many arts, promoted the sciences, and were industrial rather than 
militant in their occupations, it is possible that several of the more 
refined elements of Romantic Love may have existed among them; 
for just as we have seen that some animals have higher notions of 
love, conjugal and romantic, than some savages, although the 
latter represent a later stage of evolution, so it seems probable 
that among the nations of antiquity Love did not progress steadily, 
year by year ; but that «.omc nations had more and some less of 
it ; while the acquisitions of one period may have been lost in evil 
and corrupt times following, as was certainly the case in India. 

Since we have no such extensive literature of Egypt as we have 
of the Greeks, Romans, and Hebrews, it is not easy to arrive at 
definite conclusions. But the Egyptian custom of forming ** trial 
marriages *' for one year, and the ease with which a husband could 
divorce and expel his wife by simply pronouncing three words in 
her presence do not harmonise \Yith our modem notions of Love. 
How scornfully a modem Romeo would reject the very notion of 
such a trial-marriage ! for does he not feel absolutely certain that 
his Love is eternal and unalterable 1 

The institution of trial-morriuges seems to point to the conclusion 
that the Eg}^tians, like the Greeks, looked upon marriage primarily 
as a means of augmenting the family and the state, and not as a 
union of loving souls^-children or no children — which is the 
modem ideal. 

Professor Elvers of course has a right to make use of a poetic 
license in paiutlns^ the Love affairs of his Egyptian heroes and 
heroines in modern colours, as Shakspere docs in Antony and 
Cleopatra, At the same time it would give an added flavour to 
hLstoric romances if their pictures of domestic and public life were 
characterised by emotional realusm as well as by j^enerol antiquarian 
accuracy. The elaborate analysis of Love, for the first time 
attempted in the present monograph, should facilitate this, task 
for novellsta 



ANCIENT HEBREW LOVE 69 



ANCIENT HEBREW LOVE 

It 18 almost startliog to find, on consulting a Concordance of 
tbe Old and New Testaments, that in the whole of the Bible there 
is not a single reference to Romantic Love. Had this sentiment 
existed among the ancient Hebrews as it does among their 
descendants to-day, it vs obvious that it could not possibly have 
been ignored in the Book of Books, which so eloquently and 
poetically disceurses of everything else that is of vital interest to 
man. Conjugal Love (which apparently antedates Romantic Love 
in every nation) is indeed repeatedly referred to and enjoined, as 
well as the other family affections; but in the remaining cases the 
word Love is always used in the sense of religious veneration, or 
of regard for a neighbour or an enemy. 

This absence of any reference to Romantic Love is all the more 
surprising in view of the fact that among the ancient Hebrews 
woman was held more in honour than with any other Oriental 
nation, ancient or modem. Thus we are told in M'Clintock and 
Strong's Cyclopctdia of Biblical etc Literature, that " the seclu- 
sion of the harem and the habits consequent upon it were utterly 
unknown in early times, and the condition of the Oriental woman, 
as pictured to us in the Bible, contrasts most favourably with that 
of her modem representative. There is abundant evidence that 
women, whether married or immarried, went about with their faces 
unveiled. An unmarried woman might meet and converse with 
men, even strangers, in a pubUc place ; she might be found alone 
in the countr}- without any reflection on her character; or she 
might appear in a court of justice." The wife '* entertained guests 
at her own desire in the absence of her husband, and sometimes 
even in defiance of his wishes." 

Since, therefore, the Hebrew woman was not '* the husband's 
slave but his companion," how are we to account for the absence 
of Love t 

Some light is thrown on the matter by the prevalence of poly- 
gamy, which, as we have seen, is inimical to the growth of Love. 
Polygamy, though not universal, was sanctioned by the Mosaic 
law, except in the case of priests. '' The secondary wife was 
regarded by the Hebrews as a wife, and her rights were secured by 
law." In the cases of Abraliam and Jacob, polygamy was resorted 
to at the request of their own wives, ** under the idea that cliild- 
ren bora to a slave were in the eye of the law the children of the 
mistreM." Now if a woman advises her own husband to take 



70 EOHANTIC LOVE AND PEBSOKAL BEAUTY 

another wife, there must be a total absence of JealooBj and Mono- 
poly — the two elements of Romantic Love which pass into a»njugal 
affection without diminution of force. 

Again, although Hebrew women are said to hare had con- 
siderable liberty of going about alone in town and /country, this 
probably refers in most cases to the privilege of tending sheep and 
of fetching water at the well *' From all education in general,'* 
says Ploss, *' as well as from social intercourse with men^ woman 
was excluded ; her destination being simply to increase the number 
of children, and take care of household matters. She lived a quiet 
life, merely for her husband, who, indeed, treated her with respect 
and consideration, but without feeling any special tenderness 
toward her." 

It is the line which I have italicised in the above quotation 
that suggests the principal reason of the non-existence of Love in 
Biblical times : There were no meetings of the young, no oppor- 
tunities for Courtship, the indispensable condition of Love, which 
requires time and opportunity for its growth. And not only were 
there no regular opportunities for Courtship, but if they offered 
themselves casually, the young folks could not derive much benefit 
from them ; for not only the daughter's choice, but even the son's 
was neutralised by the parental command. ''Fathers from the 
beginning considered it both their duty and prerogative to find or 
select wives for their sons (Gren. xxiv. 3 ; xxxviiL 6). In the 
absence of the father, the selection devolved upon the mother 
(Gren. xxi. 21). Even in cases where the wishes of the son were 
consulted, the proposals were made by the father (Gen. xzxiv. 4, 
8) ; and the violation of this parental prerogative on the part of 
the son was ' a grief of mind ' to the father (Gen. xxvi. 35). The 
proposals were generally made by the parents of the young man, 
except when there was a difference of rank, in which case the 
negotiations proceeded from the father of the maiden (Exod. iL 
21), and when accepted by the parents on both sides, sometimes 
also consulting the opinion of the adult brothers of the maiden 
(Gen. xxiv. 51 ; xxxiv. 11), the matter was considered as settled, 
without requiring Uu consent of t/te bride" (M*Clintock and 
Strong). 

But how about the Song of Solomon — the Song of Songs 1 Is 
not that a song of Love, and an exception to oiu* general state- 
ment] It appears so at first sight; and the German writer 
Herder, in his detailed and glowing analysis of it, declares that it 
depicts love " from its first origin, from its tenderest bud, through 
all stages and conditions of its growth, its flowering, its maturing. 



ANCIENT HEBREW LOVE 71 

to the ripe fruit and new offshoot." Herder, however, is a very 
Qssafe and shallow guide in this matter. An attempt has hitely 
been made to rehabilitate him in Germany, where his fame has 
become almost extinct; but in vain, for his pompous, stilted 
rhetoric and imagery cannot conceal from modem readers his lack 
of ideas and limited knowledge of facts. He asserts that, as there 
is only one Groodness, one Truth, so there is but one Love (or 
Affection). If you do not love your wife, he says, you will not 
love your friend, parents, or child. A writer ^hose notions of the 
psychology of love are so excessively crude cannot be considered a 
trustworthy judge in the matter in question. So far as love is 
referred to in the Song of Solomon, it is probable that cox^ugal 
affection is meant. 

It is a curious fact that of the famous German, English, and 
French theologians who have written commentaries on the Song of 
Songs, 110 two seem to agree in their interpretation of its plot and 
siguiiifance. It is now generally agreed, too, that the Song was 
not written by Solomon, but some time after him. It seems, 
indeed, incredible that a monarch who bad a thousand wives, and 
whose affections must have been torn into a thousand shreds, and 
cannot have been very lasting, should have written these marvellous 
lines : ^ For love is strong as death ; jealousy is cruel as the grave : 
the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement 
flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods 
drown it : if a man should give all the substance of his house for 
love, it would utterly be contemned.'' 

This passage has a remarkably modem and romantic sound — so 
modem and romantic that it would not seem out of place in Shak- 
spere. But it needs no knowledge of Hebrew to see that the 
responsibility for this modem sound rests with the English trans- 
lators. Luther^s more literal version appears much less modem. 
Indeed, throughout the Song of Solomon the English translators 
have idealised the language of passion, in harmony with modem 
notions on the subject; so that it is only on reading Luther's 
version that one begins to understand why the Talmudists did not 
allow the Jews to read this lx)ok before their thirtieth year. 

Perhaps the most ingenious and consistent of the nimaerous 
interpretations of the Song of Solomon is that given by M. Chas. 
Bniston in the Encydopcedie des Sciencei Beligieuses (iL 610- 
612). The repetition of the flatteries occurring in the poem he 
explains by showing that the second time they refer, not to the 
Sidamite, but to a princess of Lebanon whom Solomon married. 
Henoe, he insists^ the r^tition is not so much a literary blemish 



72 UOMANTIC LOVE AND PEESONAL BEAUTr 

as an indication '^ combien est vil et m^prisable ramoor sensuel et 
polygame, qui pnxligue indiff^rement les m^ea flatteries a des 
femmes difll^ntea." 

The imaginative and poetic terms in which feminine channa 
are depicted in the Song of Songs show that, nevertheless, at least 
the sensuous phase of the overtone of Personal Admiration was 
strongly developed among the ancient Hebrews; not strongly 
enough, however, to lead them, as it led other ancient nations, to 
embody their ideals of feminine and masculine beauty in marble 
monuments of sculpture. 



ANCIENT ARYAN LOVE 

As it IS among the Aryan or M Indo-Ckrmanic " races of Europe 
and America that Modem Love has produced its most beautiful 
blossoms, it is, even more than in the cose of the non-Aryan Jews 
and Egyptians, of interest to know something concerning its 
prevalence among the Asiatic peoples who appear as the nearest 
modem representatives of our remote Aryan ancestors. 

In no country, perhaps, has the position of woman differed so 
greatly at various epochs as in India. Previous to the introduc- 
tion of Brahminism, women were held in esteem, enjoyed diverse 
privileges, and were allowed free social intercourse with the men, 
while monogamy was the recognised form of marriage. The 
Brahmins, however, introduced polygamy, setting a good example 
by sometimes marrying a whole family, ''old and young, daughters, 
aunts, sisters, and cousins " ; and one case is known of a Brahmin 
who had 120 wives, according to Schweiger Lerchenfeld. Family 
feeling was subordinated to considerations of caste, and by a 
sophistical interpretation of ancient laws the Brahmins introduced 
the custom of Suttee, or the burning alive of widows on the 
deceased husband's funeral pyre. This habit is sometimes 
regarded as the very apotheosis of conjugal affection, but it w:is 
simply what is known in modem psychology as an epidemic 
delusion; the poor women being rendered willing to sacrifice 
themselves by the doctrine that to die in this way was something 
specially voluptuous and meritorious ; while those who refused to 
be immolated were treated as social outcasts- who were not allowed 
to marry again or to adorn their persons in any way. 

The references to women in the laws of Manu show in what 
low esteem they came to be held in India. A few of the m.aTima 
contained in this work may be cited : " Of dishonour woman is 




ANCIENT ARYAN LOVE 73 

the cause ; of enmity woman is the cause ; of mundane existence 
woman is the cause ; hence w^mau is to be avoided." '* A girl, 
a maiden, a wife shall never do anything in accordance with her 
own will, not even in her own house." ** A woman shall serve 
her husband all life long, and remain true to him even after 
death ; even though he should deceive her, love another, and be 
devoid of good qualities, a good wife should nevertheless revere 
him as if he were a god ; she must not displease him in anything, 
neither in life nor after his death." So wretched, indeed, became 
woman's lot that Indian mothers, it is said, " often drown their 
femtilc children in the sacred streams of India, to preserve them 
from the fate awaiting them in life." Letoumeau states that 
'*up to modern times Hindoo laws and manners have been 
modelled after the sacred precepts. When Somerat made his 
voyage, it was considered improper for a respectable woman to 
know how to read or dance. These futile accomplishments were 
left to the courtesan, the Bayadere." 

HINDOO LOVE HAXIHS 

That such a state of affairs was not favourable to Romantic 
Love is obvious. Nevertheless there appears to have been a 
period — about 1200 or 1500 years ago— when some of the 
inhabitants of India were familiar with most of the emotions 
which enter into Modem Love. This evidence is contained in the 
S^ven Hundred Afaximi of U61a, a collection of poetic utterances 
dating back not further than the third century of our era, and 
comprising productions by various authors, including as u)any as 
sizteon of the female persuasion. They are written in a sister^ 
languaige of Sanscrit, the Pi-&krit ; and their form indicates that 
they were intended to be sung. Herr Albrecht Weber remarks in 
the DeuUdie 'BundicJtau with reference to this collection : *' At 
the very beginning of our acquaintance with Sanscrit literature, 
towards the end of the last century, it was noticed, and was 
claimed forthwith as an eloquent proof of antique relationship, 
that Indian poetry, especiaUy of the amatory kind, is in character 
rem.'irkably allied to our own modem poetry. The sentimental 
qualities of modem verse, in one word, were traced in Indian 
poetry in a much higher degree than they had been found in 
Greek and Roman literatiure ; and this discovery awakened at 
once, notably in Germany, a sympathetic interest in a country 
whose poets spoke a language so well known to our hearts, as 
^ though they had been bora among ourselves." 



74 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

Some of these maxims apparently depict the family life of the 
lower classes ; others appear rather as if they had besn intended 
to be sung by the Bayaderes, or singing and dancing girls of the 
Buddhist temples, who emancipated themselves finom the domestic 
and educational restrictions placed on other women, and sought to 
fascinate men with their wit, love, and aesthetic accomplishments. 
This suggestion U borne out by the fact that most of the maxims 
are feminine utterances, and often of questionable moral character. 
Although, therefore, some of these revelations of early Aryan Love 
have an unpleasant by-flavour, they are yet extremely interesting 
as showing how depen<Ient Romantic Love is on the freedom and 
the intellectual and aesthetic culture of woman. 

We find in the maxims of HaUl evidences of that important 
overtone of Love, Ecstatic Adoration or Poetic Hyperbole, which 
we have not encountered elsewhere, so far. What could be more 
modern than this : — 

*' Although all my possessions were burnt in the village fire, 
yet is my heart delighted, since he took the buckets fiom me 
when they were passed from hand to hand." 

Or this :— 

'* thou who art skilled in cookery, restrain thy anger ! The 
reason why the fire refuses to biuii, and only smokes, is that it 
may the longer drink in the breath of your mouth, fragrant as the 
red ix>tato-blossoms." 

The following two show how Personal Beauty was appreciated: — 

" He sees nothing but her face, and she too is quite intoxicated 
by his looks. Both, satisfied with each other, act as if in the 
whole world there were no other women or men." 

" Other beauties likewise have in their faces beautiful, wide 
black eyes, with long lashes, — but no one else understands as she 
does how to use them." 

How Love establishes his Monopoly in heart and mind, 
tolerating no other thought, is thus shown : — 

" She stares without a (vi-ible) object, draws a deep sigh, 
laughs into empty space, mutters unintelligible words — forsooth, 
there must be something on her heart." 

Ovid hitn.self might have written the following, showing 
Love's inconstancy : — 

** Love departs when lovers ore sep«arated ; it departs when 
tl.ey see too much of each other ; it departs in consequence of 
malicious gossip ; aye, it departs also without these causes." 

The nature of Coyness is evidently understood, for the lover is 
thus admonished : — 



GEEEE LOVE 75 

*' My BOD, Buch is the nature of love, suddenly to get angry, to 
make up again in a moment, to dissemble its language, to tease 
inmioderately." 

And yet the poet deems it necessary to tell a sweetheart 
that — 

*• By forgiving him at first sight, you foolish girl, you deprived 
yourself of many pleasures, — of his prostration at your feet 
[a trace of Gallantry], of a Idss passionately stolen." 

The sadness of separation thus finds utterance : — 

*' As is sickness without a physician ; as living with relatives 
when one is poor, — as the sight of an enemy's prosperity, — so is 
it difficult to endure separation from you." 

Thtis we find in Ancient Aryan Love some of the leading 
features of modern romantic passion. 



GREEK LOVE 

The Greeks, too, were Aryans, and they were the most refined 
and aesthetic nation of antiquity ; yet we look in vain in their 
literature for delineations of that Romantic Love which, according 
to our notions, ought to accompany so high a degree of culture. 

FAMILY AFF£CTI0N8 

Conju;i:al tenderness and the other family afiections appear, 
indeed, to have been known and cherished by the Greeks at all 
times, in the days of Athenian supremacy, when women were kept 
in entire seclusion, no less than in Homeric times, when they seem 
to have enjoyed more liberty of action. Plutarch tells us in his 
Conjugal PrecepU that " With women tenderness of heart is in- 
dicated by a pleasing countenance, by sweetness of speech, by an 
affectionate grace, and by a high degree of sensitiveness; " and Mr. 
Lecky thus eloquently sums up the evidence that the Greeks 
appreciated the various forms of domestic affecfion : — 

"The types of female excellence which are contained in the 
Greek poems, while they are among the earliest, are also among 
the most perfect in the literature of mankind. The conjugal ten- 
derness of Hector and Andromache ; the unwearied fidelity of 
Penelope, awaiting through the long revolving years the return of 
her storm-tossed husband, who looked forward to her as the crown 
of all his labours ; the heroic love of Alcestis, voluntarily dying 
that her husband might live ; the filial piety of Antigone ; the 



76 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

nugestio grandeur of the death of Polyxena; the more subdued 
and saintly resignation of Iphigenia, excusing with her last breath 
the father who had condemned her; the joyous, modest, and 
loving Nausicaa, whose figure shines like a perfect idyll among the 
tragedies of the Odyssey — all these are pictures of perennial beauty, 
which Rome and Christendom, chivalry and modem civilisation, 
have neither eclipsed nor transcended. Virgin modesty and 
coi^jugal fidelity, the graces as well as the virtues of the most 
perfect womanhood, have never been more exquisitely portrayed." 

NO LOVE-STORIES 

But Mr. Lecky, ignoring, like most writers, the enormous 
difference between coi^u<s:al and romantic love, forgets to notice 
the absolute silence of Greek literature on the subject of pre- 
matrimonial infatuation. Not one of the Greek tragedies is a 
" love-drama " ; romantic love does not appear even in the writings 
of Eiuipides, who has so much to say about women, and who 
named most of his plays after his heroines. Hod Love been 
known to Sophokles and Euripides, as it was known to Shakspere 
and Goethe, we shuuld no doubt have a Greek Borneo and Juliet 
and a Greek Faust, For although there were certain limitations 
OS to the scope and the dramatis persorue of a Greek play, there 
was nothing whatever to exclude a love-story. And when we 
consiiler how the sentiment of Love colours all modern literature ; 
how almost impossible it is for a play or a novel to succeed unless 
it embodies a love-story : the absolute 'ignorins: of this passion in 
Greek literature forces on us the inevitable conclusion that 
Romantic Love was unknown to them, or only so laiutly 
developed as to excite no interest whatever. 

And this conclusion harmonises with the dictum of the best 
Greek scholars. It is true that Becker, in his Char ikies, referring 
to the frequency with which the comedians introduce a youth 
desperately enamoured of a girl, faintly objects to the statement 
that '* There is no instance of an Athenian falling in love with a 
free-bom woman, and marrying her from violent passion," — made 
by Miiller in his famous work on the Dorians. But be makes the 
fatal admission that ''Sensuality was the soil from which such 
passion sprang, and none other than a sensual love was acknow- 
ledged between man and wife." No one, of course, would deny 
that sensual passion prevailed in Athens; but sensuality is the 
very antipode of Romantic Love. 




GREEK LOVE 77 



woman's posinoK 



How are we to account for this anomaly — the absence of sexual 
romance in a nation which was so passionately enamoured of 
Beauty in its various forms 1 

The answer is to be found in the non-existence of opportunities 
for courtship, and the degraded position of woman. The following 
sentences, culled at random from Becker's classical work, show how 
the Greek men regarded their women, whom they considered in- 
ferior to themselves in heart as well as in intellect Iphigenia 
herself is made to admit by Euripides that oue man is worth more 
than a myriad of women : — 

" The dpcrrf (virtue) of which a woman was thought capable in 
that age differed but little from that of a faithful slave." *' Ex- 
cept in her own immediate circle, a woman's existence was scarcely 
recognised/' '* It was quite a Grecian view of the case to consider 
a wife as a necessary evil." '* Athenians, in speaking of their 
wives and children, generally said rcKva icai ywaiicas, putting 
their wives lost : a phrase which indicates very clearly what was 
the tone of feeling ou this subject " (Smith). 

Women *' were not allowed to conclude any bargain or transac- 
tion of consequence on their own account," though Plato urged 
that this concession should be made to them ; and it was even 
" enacted that everything a man did by the counsel or request of 
a woman should be null." *' There were no educational institu- 
tions for girls, nor any private teachers at home." ** Hence there 
were no scientifically-learned ladies, with the exception of the 
Hetffirse." 

CHAPEROKAQX VERSUS COUSTSHIP 

In such an arid, rocky soil Love of course could not grow or 
even germinate. Still more fatal to the romantic passion, however, 
WAS the absolute seclusion of the sexes, precluding all possibility 
of courtship and free choice among the young. Greek women 
were not allowed to enjoy the society of men, nor to attend "those 
public spectacles which were the chief means of Athenian culture," 
and which would have afforded the young folks an opportunity of 
seeing and falling in love with one another. The wife was not 
even permitted to eat with her hrsband if male visitors were 
present, but had to retire to her private apartments, so absurd 



78 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PESSONAL BEAUTY 

was the jealoasy of the men. *' The maidena lived in the greatest 
seclusion till their marriage, and, so to speak, regularly under lock 
and key/' which had the " effect of rendering the girls exoessiyely 
bashful, and even prudish," and so stupid, in all probability, that 
no wonder the men considered marriage a punishment, and sou^t 
entertainment with the educated Hetsene — as to-day in France. 
Even young married women were obliged to have a chaperon. 
''No respectable lady thought of going out without a female 
slava" ''Even the married woman shrank back and blushed if 
she chanced to be seen at the window by a man." 

PLATO ON COUBTSHIP 

It is one of the most remarkable facts in the history of Love 
and of social philosophy that Plato, the most modem of all ancient 
thinkers, foremw the importance of pre-matrinumicU aequairUanee 
as the basis of a rational and happy marriage choice long before 
any other writer. Making allowance for the fact that Greek 
notions as to what is within " the rules of modesty'' differed from 
our own, the following passage cannot be too deeply pondered : 
People," Plato tells us in the sixth book of the Laws (p. 771), 
must be acquainted with those into whose families and to whom 
they marry and are given in marriage ; in such matters as far as 
possible to avoid mistakes is all-important, and with this serious 
purpose let games be instituted, in which youths and maidens 
shall dance together, seeing and being seen naked, at a proper age 
and on a suitable occasion, not transgressing the rules of modesty." 

PARENTAL VERSUS LOVERS' CHOICE 

Miirriages in Greece were often arranged for girls while they 
were mere children, of course without any reference to their 
choice, since they were looked upon i\a the property of the father, 
who could disix)8e of them at his pleasure. Besides these early 
betrothals there was an obstacle to free choice in the Athenian 
law which forbade a citizen imder very severe penalties to marry 
a forci^er. And a^in, " In the cose of a father dying intestate, 
and without male children, his heiress had no choice in marriage ; 
she was compelled by law to marry her nearest kinsman, not in 
the ascending line. . . . Where there were several co-heiresses, 
they were respectively married to their kinsmen, the nearest hav- 
ing the first choice " — a law resemblin!:i: one in the Jewish code, 
and exemplified by Ruth, as pointed out in Smith s Dictionary. 






GREEK LOVE 79 

How Sexual Selection was rendered impracticaUe in Greece 
ia farther shown in the following dtationa from Becker: *'The 
choice of the bride seldom depended on previons, or at least on 
intimate acquaintance. More attention was generally paid to the 
position of a damsel's family, and the amount of her dowry, than 
to her personal qualities" " It was usual for a father to choose 
for his son a wife, and one perhaps wliom the bridegroom had 
never seen." '' Widows frequently married again ; this was often 
in compliance with the testamentary dispositions of their husbands, 
as little regard being paid to their wishes as in the case of girls." 

Thus we see that three causes combined to prevent the growth 
of Romantic Love in Greece — the degraded position of women, the 
absence of direct Courtship, and the impossibility of exercising 
Individual Preference. 



That the absolute seclusion and chaperonage of the young 
women, and their consequent ignorance and insipidity, were the 
reasons why they could neither feel nor inspire Romantic Love, is 
shown by the fact that there existed in Greece in the time of 
Perikles a mentally superior class of women who appear to have 
aroused Love, or something veiy like it, by means of the artistic 
and intellectual charms which they united with their physical 
beauty. These women were called 'Erai/xic, or companions, evi- 
dently to distinguish them from the domestic women who were nc 
" companions " after the first charm of novelty had worn away : 
a state of affairs for which of course the men themselves, who 
gave them no education and locked them up, were to blame. 

What seems paradoxical is that these women, who were moraUy 
inferior to the others, should have been the first to inspire in men 
a more refined sort of Love ; but the paradox is rendeied the 
more probable by the circumstance that in India, likewise, we 
fi»und the first traces of Romantic Love among the Bayaderes, p. 
class corresponding to the Het^erse. 

There is reason to believe that Aspasia, who aided the greatest 
statesman of antiquity in writing his stirring speeches, inspired 
not only him but other great contemporaries with true Romantic 
passion — which they were enabled to feel because men of genius 
are not only intellectually but also emotionally ahead of their 
time. 

Diotima was another of these women. She was also revered 
as a prophetess, and is credited by Plato with having given 
Sokrates, and through him Greece, the first adequate discouTM oo 



80 ROMANTIC LOYE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

Love — a disooune, we may add, in which some flashes of true 
modem insight are mingled with the cnrionsly confused notions of 
the Greeks on the snbject of Love and Friendship. What these 
notions were is best seen by briefly considering the pectdiarities of 

PLATONIC LOYE 

On this subject the most incorrect and absurd notions univer* 
sally pervade modem literature and conversation. As commonly 
understood, '* Platonic Love " means a friendship between a man 
and a woman from which all traces of passion are excluded. Such a 
notion is utterly foreign to Plato's way of thinking, and is nowhere 
referred to in his writings. Platonic love has nothing to do with 
women whatever. It is an attachment between a man and a youth, 
which may be defined as friendship united with the ecstatic ardour 
which in modem life is associated only with Romantic Lova 

Mr. George Grote thus describes what he calls the *'traly 
Platonic conception of love " i It is " a vehement impulse towards 
mental communion with some favoured youth, in view of producing 
mental improvement, good, and happiness to both persons con- 
cerned : the same impulse afterwards expanding, so as to grasp 
the good and beautiful in a larger sense, and ultimately to fasten 
on gooclness and beauty in the pure Ideal" 

Once more, Platonic love might be defined as creative friend' 
ship, which has for its object the conception of great ideas,— of 
works of ait, literature, philosophy. Such a friendship, Plato tells 
us, should be formed between a man and a youth, not too young, 
but when his beard begins to grow and his intellect to develop ; 
and such a friendship is apt to last throughout life. 

Periiape the most striking instance in Greek literature of 
Pliitonic love is that given in Plato's Symposium as existing 
between the pure-minded Sokrates, who kept aloof from all Greek 
vices, and the beautiful young Alkibiodes. This youth thus 
describes the effect which the discourse of Sokrates has on him : 
*' When I hear him, my ijeart leaps in my breast, more than it 
does among the Eorybantes, and tears roll down my cheeks at his 
words, and I notice that many others have the same experience. 
When I heard Perikles and other excellent orator?, I came to the 
conclusion that they spoke well ; but this experience was different 
from the other, and my soul did not lose its control or gnash its 
teeth like a prostrate slave, but by this Marsyos ( » Sokrates) I 
was put into such a mood that the condition in which I found 
myself did not seem praiseworthy." 




GREEK LOTS 81 

He further describes Sokrates as being always *' in love with 
beautiful youths, and talking with them, and bdng quite beside 
himself"; hence when he (Alkibiades) appears at the Symposium, 
and finds Sokrates sitting next to the most beautiful man in the 
company, he chides him in words which have exactly the sound of 
Jealousy inspired by Eomantic Love : '' And why did you recline 
here and not next to Aristophanes, or some other wit, or would-be 
wit, but, instead, crowded forward in order to be next to the 
handsomest f " 

To which Sokrates replies : '' Agathon, come to my assistance ; 
for* my love for this person has cost me dearly. Ever since I 
have loved him, I have not l)een allowed to look at anylnxly, or 
to talk with any one who is beautifiU, or else this youth, in his 
jealousy and envy, does unheard-of-things, and chides me, and 
hardly refrains from violence. Be on your guiird, therefore, that 
he may not resort to violence now, and reconcile us, or if he dares 
to become unruly, assist me ; for I very much fear his madness 
and infatuation." 

Although this was probably said in the playful tone common 
to Sokrates, it yet is noticeable how closely the lauguage used 
resembles the language of modem Romantic Love. 

BAFPHO AND FEMALE FBIENDSHIP 

To this form of Platonic or mono-sexual love there existed a 
female counterpart, as shown in some of the lyric effusions of 
Greek poets. Some of these poets, it is true, especially Anakreon, 
knew naught of tiie imaginative side of Love— of its protracted 
tortures aud intermittent joys. Like a butterfly that kisses every 
flower on its way, he " cared only for the enjoyment of the passing 
moment" But Sappho apparently wrote of Love in terms worthy 
of Heine or Byron, as shown even in this crude translation of one 
of her poems : — 

•* While gazing on tby charms I hang, 
My voice died faltering on my tongue, 
mth sabtle flames my boAoni glows, 
Quick through each vein the poiiton flows ; 
Dark dimming niiKts my eyes surronndi 
My ears with hollow murmurs sound. 
My limbs with dewy chiliness freeze, 
Ou my whole fniuie pale tremblings seize. 
And losing colour, sense, and breath, 
I seem quite languishing iu death.*' 

Longmus calls this the most perfect expression in all ancient 

G 



82 SOMANTIG LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

literature of the effects of Love. It happens, howerer, to hare 
nothing to do with Love. For, as Plato's ** lore " is merely 
ecstatic friendship between man and youth, so Sappho's love is 
friendship between two women. This is the opinion of Bode and 
Miiller, and it is entirely borne out by the language of the original 
text 

It has been suggested that Sappho, being a woman, and a 
Greek woman, could not have addr^sed such glowing words to a 
mail without violating the current notions of decorum ; and hence 
wrote as if she were a man addressing a woman. But Sappho was 
one of the ^Eolian women who had greater liberty than the 
Athenians ; and she was, moreover, a blue-stocking who would not 
have stuck at such a trifle as shocking Greek notions regarding 
woman's privileges. And in some of her poems she does mention 
a youth '* to whom she gave her whole heart, while he requited 
her passion with cold indifference " (Miiller). 

One of the Platonists, Maximus Tyriiis {du, 24, p. 297), takes 
the same view regarding Sappiio. *' The love of the Lesbian 
poet,'' he says, *' what can it be, if we may compare remote with 
more recent things than the Sokratic art of love ? For both 
appear to promote the same Friendship^ she among women, he 
among men. They both confess they love many/ and are capti- 
vated by all beauties. For what Alkibiades und Charmides are to 
Sokrates, Gyriuna and Atthis and Anaktoria are to Sappho." 
*' E^en Sokrates confesses that it was from Sappho that he partly 
derived his noble views of the enthusiastic love of mental beauty " 
{Phoedon, c 225). 

To one of the girls just referred to, Sappho addresses these 
words : '* Agiiin does the strength-dissolving Eros, that bitter- 
sweet, resistless monster, agitate me ; but to thee, Atthis, the 
thought of me is importunate ; thou iiiest to Andromeda." '* It 
is obvious," says Miiller, '^that this attachment bears less the 
character of maternal interest than of passionate love ; as amongst 
Dorians in Sparta and Crete analogous connections between men 
and youths, in which the latter were trained to noble and manly 
deeds, were carried on in a language of high- wrought and passion* 
ate feeling, which had all the character of an attachment between 
I^ersous of different seses. This mixture of feelings, which among 
nations of a calmer temperament have always been perfectly 
distinct, is an essential featiu*e of the Greek character." 

Greek Love, i,e. Friendship, being thus tinged and strengthened, 
as we see in the cases of Sokrates and Alkibiades, Sappho and 
Atthis, by jealousy, ecstatic adoration, exclusivencss, admiration 



GREEK LOVE 83 

of penonal beauty, and other qualities which modern civilisation 
has transferred to Romantic Love, we are enabled to understand 
why Friendship was so much more potent and prevalent in 
antiquity than it is now, when, having lost these traits through 
the differentiation of cTnotions, it seems "insipid to those who 
have tasted Love." 

The lesson to be learned from this whole discussion on Greek 
Friendship is of extreme importance to the psychology of Love. 
It is this: The Greeks were too intellectual and refined not to 
have at least a vague presentiment of the higher possibilities and 
charms of imaginative Love. But Greek women — with the rare 
exceptions referred to— were too stupid to enable the men to 
realise their vague ideal Hence they sought it in ardent attach- 
ments to youths, who tDere quick-minded and able to sympathue 
with their intellectual aspirations. And thus Greek Love became 
identical with male friendship— the female friendship referred to 
being a sort of compensating echo. 

Greek Love is symbolised in the mythic youth Narcissus, who 
looms all the beautiful nymphs that are eager for his caresses, and 
fiills in love with his own image reflected in the water. 

GREEK BEAUTT 

It even seems as if, apart from Love, the Greeks admired 
youthful masculine beauty more than feminine charms; aud many 
of them would probably have agreed with Schopenhauer that men 
are more beautiful than women. Certain it is that, as the most 
eminent critic of Greek art, Winckelmann, points out "the 
supreme beauty of Greek art is male rather than female." 

The following citation from Grote's famous work on Plato 
suggests some reasons for this fact, besides reflecting further light 
on points discussed in the preceding pages : — 

" In the Hellenic point of view, upon which Plato builds, the 
attachment of man to woman was regarded as a natural impulse 
and as a domestic, social sentiment; yet as belonging to a commoi^ 
place rather than to an exalted mindy and seldom or never rising 
to that pitch of enthusiasm which overpowers all other emotions, 
absorbs the whole man, and aims either at the joint performance 
of great exploits, or the joint prosecution of intellectual improve- 
ment by continued colloquy. We must remember that the wives 
and daughters of citizens were seldom seen abroad; that she had 
learned nothing except spinning and weaving; that the fact of her 
harlng seen so little and heard as little as possible, was considered 



84 BOl^lAirnC LOVE AKD PEBSONAL BEAUTT 

88 Tendering her more acceptable to her husband ; that her sphere 
of duty and exertiou was confined to the interior of the fiunily. 
The beauty of women yielded satisfaction to the senses, but little 
beyond. It was the masculine beauty of youth that fired the 
Hellenic imagination with glowing and impassioned sentiment. 
The finest youths, and those, too, of the best families and education, 
were seen habitually uncovered in the Pahestra and at the public 
festival-matches; engaged in active contention and graceful exercise^ 
under the direction of professional trainers. The sight of the 
living form in such perfection, movement, and variety, awakened a 
powerful emotional sympathy, blended with aesthetic sentiment, 
which in the more susceptible natures was exalted into intense and 
passionate devotion. The terms in which this feeling is described, 
both by Plato and Xenopbon, are among the strongest which the 
language atfordft — and are predicated even of Sokrates himself 
Far from being ashamed of this feeling, they consider it admirable 
and beneficial, though very liable to abuse, which they emphatically 
denounce and forbid. In their view it was an idealising passion, 
which tended to raise a man above the vulgar and selfish pursuits 
of life, and even above the fear of death. The devoted attachments 
which 1: inspired were dreaded by the desi)ots, who forbade the 
assemblage of youths for exercise in the Palaestra." 

Another reason for the Greek preference of masculine beauty is 
suggested by Mr. Lecky, who attributes it to the fact that the 
principal art of the Gi*eeks, sculpture, is "especially suited to 
represent mole beauty, or the beauty of strength '' ; whereas 
" female beauty, or the beauty of softness," became the principal 
object of the painters, afler Christianity had won attention for the 
feminine virtues of gentleness and delicacy. (For further remarks 
on Greek Beauty, see the chapters on " Four Sources of Beauty," 
and " The Nose.") 

cupid's akrowb 

Possibly some of my readers have not yet quieted all their doubts 
regarding the existence of real Love among the Greeks ; for did 
they not have special deities of love — Aphrodite and Elros, Venus 
and Cupid 7 Quite so ; but those familiar with Greek history 
know that the cult of Venus had but a remote connection with 
imaginative or Romantic Love, which alone is here under considera- 
tion. Yet our modern poets owe a vast debt of gratitude to the 
ancient bards for these raythLc- deities, whom they have simply 
taken and idealised, like Love itself. There is, especially, the 
mischievous Dan Cupid, who, in his modem metamorphodia, is still 




GREEK LOVE 85 

" the anointed sovereign of sighs and groans.'' This little fellow 
seems to have been taken very seriously indeed by the earliest 
Greeks. He has one attribute — wings — which we readily under- 
stand, as Love is inconstant ever; but another of his attributes 
would excite the greatest surprise in our minds were we not so 
accustomed to it as to accept it as a matter of course, namely, his 
arrows. It would seem more in accordance with modem notions 
that he should produce his magic effects by means of Love-potions 
or other Love-charms, rather than with such a warlike weapon as 
an arrow. 

A German feuilletonist, Dr. Michael Haberlandt, has hitely 
advanced an ingenious theory to account for this weapon. The 
ancient Greeks had the peculiar belief that all diseases were caused 
by the invisible poisoned arrows of evil or angry deities ; as in the 
well-known case of the offended Apollo sending his pest-laden 
arrows among the Hellenes. Now love, in the irresistible and 
maddening, though primitive form known to the early Greeks, was 
doubtless looked on as a real, mysterious affliction, and not merely 
as love sickness in tlie figurative modem sense: what more natural 
therefore than to attribute it to the arrows of a mischievous deity? 

In course of time poetic fancy added to the image of Cupid 
other attributes that natiirally suggested themselves : the wings to 
symbolise fickleness; a bandage to indicate blindness; while the 
arrows were represented as dip]X2d in poison, gall, or ijoney. The 
airious fact may be added that the ancient East Indians, whose 
deities numbered 330,000,000 (in round numbers), likewise had a 
god of love armed with bow and arrows : a conception which they 
seem to have originated independently of the Greeks. 

OBIGIN OF LOYE 

Plato's Symponum contains two curious theories of the cause 
and origin of love, which, in conclusion, may be briefly suiumarised, 
as they help to characterise Greek notions on this subject. Tbc 
first is placed in the mouth of Sokrates, who says he heard it of 
the Hetaira Diotima. What, she asks, is the cause of this love- 
sickness, this anxiety of men and animals, first to get a mate, and 
then to take care of the offspring ? It is, she replies, the desire to 
perpetuate themselves. For just as the famous heroes and 
heroines — Alkestis, Achilles, Kadros — would not have so nobly 
sacrificed their lives had they not been sustained by the thought 
that tlicir fame and glory would smvive among future generations; 
80 the fact that parents in the afifection for their young will even 



86 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEKSONAL BEAUTY 

go 80 for as to sacrifice tbeir own lives to protect them. Is due to 
their craving for immortality in their offspring. 

This theory may be regaided as a vague foreshadowing of 
Schopenhauer's, which will be considered in another place. 

The second theory of the origin of love is attributed by Plato to 
Aristophanes, who relates it in the form of a myth. Hunuw 
nature, he begins, was not always as it is now. At the beginning 
there were three sexes: one, the male, descended of the sun-god; 
the second, female, descended of the earth ; and the third, which 
united the attributes of both sexes, descended of the moon. Each 
of these beings, moreover, had two pairs of hands and legs, and 
two faces, and the figure was round, and in rapid motion revolved 
like a wheel, the pairs of legs alternately touching the ground and 
describing an arc in the air. 

These beings were fierce, powerful, and vain, so they attempted 
to storm heaven and attack the gods. As Zeus did not wish to 
destroy them — since that would have deprived him of sacrifices 
and other forms of human devotion — he resolved to punish them 
by diminishing their strength. So he directed Apollo to cut each 
of them into two, which was done; and thus the number of human 
beings was doubled. Each of these half-beings now continually 
wandered about, seeking its other half. And when they found 
each other, their only desire was to be reunited by Vulcan aud 
never be parted again. ^And this longing and striving after 
union — this is what is meant by the name of Love." 

The waggish Aristophanes appends a caution to human beings 
not to offend Zeus again, because it was that god's intention, on a 
rei)etition of the offence, to split human beings once more, so that 
they would have to hop about on one leg ! 

One of the metaphors used by the comic poet is very pretty, 
even if translated into terms of Mo<lern Love. He compares the 
two divided halves of one human being to the dice which among 
the ancients were used as marks of hcspitidity, being broken into 
two pieces, of which each person received one, and which were 
afterwards fitted together in token of recognition. A pair of 
lovers, then, are like these halved dice, naturally belonging to 
each other, and craving to be reunited. 

EOMAN LOVE 

woman's position 

Among the Romans the domestic position of women was on the 
whole much more favourable to the growth of feminine culture 




BOMAN LOVE ZT 

than in Greece. They were not jealously guarded in special apart- 
ments, but were allowed to retain tlieir seat at the table and joiu 
in the conversation when guests arriTed, as Cornelius I^epos points 
out with a pardonable sense of superiority. Becker, in his GalltUy 
thus states the difference between Greek and Roman treatment of 
women : *' Whilst we sec that in most of the Grecian states, and 
especially in Athens, the women (t.e. the whole female sex) were 
little esteemed and treated as children all their lives, confined to 
the gynaikoreitis, shut out from social life and all intercourse with 
men and their amusements, we find that in Rome exactly the 
reverse was the case. Although the wife is naturaUy subordinate 
to the hu{>band, yet she is always treated with open attention and 
rcg:ird. The Roman housewife always appears as the mistress of 
the whole household economy, instructress of the children, ond 
guardian of the honour of the house, equally esteemed with the 
paterfamilias both in and out of the house." 

*' Widking abroad was only limited by scniple and custom, not 
by a law or the jealous will of the husband. The women fre- 
quented public tlieatres as well as the men, and took their places 
with them at festive banquets." '^ Even the vestals participate«l 
in the banquets of the men." Although "learned women were 
dreaded," a knowledge of Greek and the fine arts was in later 
times counted an essential part of feminine culture. ''Certain 
advantages accrued to those who had many children, jus trium 
liberorum.** Masculine "voluntary celibacy was considered, in 
very early times, as censurable and even guilty ;" and irom 
Festus "we learn that there was a celibate fine." The statement 
apparently credited by Mr. Lecky that for 520 years there was no 
case of cQvorco in Rome, has been shown to rest on a misconcep- 
tion of a passage in Gellius. Yet " manners were so severe, that 
a senator was censured for indecency bex^u^e he hod kissed his 
wife ill the presence of their daughter." It was also considered 
" in a high degree disgraceful for a Roman mother to delegate to 
a nurse the duty of suckling her child." 

NO WOOINO AND CHOICE 

Yet amid all these domestic virtues and family affections wo 
■earch in vain for the prevalence of Romantic Love. We have 
already seen that for the growth of this sentiment something more 
is needed than domestic affection, and that something is comprised 
in the word Wooing. There was no wooing at Rome. In most 
eases, the father took his daughter's heart in his hand, and, treat- 



W BOMANTIC LOVE AITO PERSONAL BEAUTY 

ing it as a piece of personal property, bestowed it on the snitoi 
who best ** suited " him. *' From the earliest times," says Ploss, 
*' it was customary in Rome to marry girls when they had barely 
reached their twelfth or thirteenth year ; engagements were prob- 
ably made at a still earlier age. Althoagh lewdly the daughter's 
consent was required, in actual practice she exercised no choice; her 
extreme youth in itself preTenting this. Often a marriage con- 
tract was a mere matter of agreement between two families in 
which love and personal favour were disregarded ; nor did even the 
betrothal bring the future couple into closer intimacy.** With 
reference to the laws of the Twelve Tablets, M. Legouv^ remarks, 
in his Histoire Morale dee Femmes, that ^* Rome was worthy of 
Athens. Not only did a Roman father dis[)ose of his daughter 
against her inclination, but he even had the right to dissolve a 
marriage into which she had entered, and to take away from his 
daughter the husband he had given her, whom she loved, and by 
whom she had children.'' In justice, however, it must l)C added 
that this latter right was rarely exercised ; but the fact that the 
Romans could tolerate the very notion of such a law shows what 
little account was made of love. 

Another absurd impediment to personal choice was nibe<l by 
the Theodosian Code, which compelled a girl to marry a man who 
had the same calling as her father — a custom which, indeed, seems 
to prevail in parts of Europe to the present day, and which is as 
incompatible with Love as the ancient Hebrew rule that the oldest 
daughter must be married first — a rule which compellcil Jacob to 
marry Leah before he could get his beloved Rachel, for whom he 
had laboured seven years. ** First come first served" is a rule 
which Cupid rarely heeds in the case of several sisters. 

In the case of the men it is possible that Sexiial Selection 
occasionally came into play, when early betrothals did not prevent 
it ; for the old Romans were too rational to anticipate the silly 
and criminal French custom of bargaining for a bride before they 
had even seen her. In such a case, it* the bride was attractive, the 
suitor's imagination, dwelling on the fact that this vision of love- 
liness was to be his own, exclusively, for ever, may have been 
warmed for a moment with something very like romantic senti- 
ment. But beauty in Rome, Ovid informs us, wjvs very rare — 
" How few are able to boast it !" — so that even with the men who 
had a choice. Individual Preference based on Personal Beauty 
could have been rarely exercised. And as for the women who had 
no choice, they may have felt a temporary elation on first meeting 
their destined husbands ; but '^^his feeling was merely the manifes- 




BOMAN LOVS 89 

tation of a xzgne instinct, comparable to the *' love " which a bevj 
of modern boarding-school *' buds " show for the only roan they are 
allowed to see reguhirly, — their ugly teacher, — and the unreality 
and silliness of which they laugh at themselves when they are at 
last allowed to meet the man of their own, individual, free choice, 
who teaches them the feeling of real Romantic Lov& 

• 

TIBGIL, DBTDEK, AXD 800TT 

Nevertheless, compared with Greek literature, the works of the 
Roman poets i»how an advance in their concq)tion of Love ; for 
they avoid at least the Hellenic confusion of love with friendship. 
Compared with the best modem pnets, however, who labour with 
the imre gold of Love alone, the Roman poet's productions still 
show much of the base ore from which the modem gold has been 
extracted. It is interesting;, in this connection, to read what 
Dryden has to say concerning Yiiprs conception of Love, and 
Scott's comments on Dryden. 

In his dedication of the jEneid^ Dryden speaks of Book IV. as 
"This noble episode, wherein the whole passion of love is more 
exactly described than in any other poet Love was the theme 
of his fourth book ; and though it b the shortest of the whole 
JEoeis, yet there be has given its bepnning, its progress, its tra- 
verMs, and its conclusion ; and had exhausted so entirely his 
subject, that he could resume it but very slightly in the eight 
ensuing books. 

'' i>\\t was warmed with the graceful appearance of the hero ; 
she smothered those sparkles out of decency; but conversation 
IJew them up into a flame. Then she was forced to make a con- 
fidante of her whom she might best trust, her own sister, who 
approves the passion, and thereby augments it : tlien succeeds her 
public owning it ; and after that the consummation. Of Venui 
and Juno, Jupiter and Mercury, I say nothing ; for they were all 
machining work ; but, possession having cooled his love, as it 
increased hers, she soon perceived the change, or at least grew 
suspicious of a change ; this suspicion soon turned to jealousy, and 
jealonsy to rage ; then she disdains and threatens, and again is 
humble and entreats, and nothing availing, de-^paira, curses, and at 
last becomes her own executioner. See here the whole process of 
that passion, to which nothing can be added." 

Sir Walter Scott, however, does add, in a foot-note to his 
•ditioo of Dryden : ** I am afraid this passage, given as a just 
dsKriptioa of love, serves to confirm what is elsewhere stated, that 



90 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEllSONAL BEAUTT 

Dryden's ideas of the female sex aud of the passion were very gross 
and malicious." 

otid's aat of maeino lovs 

Gross and malicious also are the ideas of the female sex and the 
passiou frequently encountered in the poems of Ovid ; not so coarse 
and cynical, indeed, as in Martial and CatuUus, but sufficiently so 
to have confounded the (esthetic judgment of the present genera- 
tion, and spread the notion that Virgil and Horace are greater 
poets tiian Ovid, whereas, from the poiut of view of originality and 
imaginativeness, by far the greatest of the three is Ovid, who also 
had much more influence on the great writers of the best period of 
English literature than his rivals, as Professor W. Y. Sellar has 
pointed out. 

Both these circumstances are to be regretted — the undervalua- 
tion of Ovid's genius as well as his frequent frivolity on which it 
is based. For Ovid was unquestionably the fust poet who had 
a conception of the higher possibilities of Love ; in fact he was 
the greatest, and the only great, Love*poet before Dante. His 
rare genius enabled him to anticipate and depict the modem ima- 
ginative side of Love, even while he seemed wholly devoted to the 
ancient sensual side. And, in reading his poems, great caution is 
necessary, lest these emotional anticipaluma of liis quasi- modem 
genius be supposed to have been common aud prevalent among 
less gifted Romans of his time. 

Ovid was a profound observer and psychologist, and had a 
most subtle knowledge of contemporary feminine nature ; Although 
the princi|)al object of his Ars Amoris is to teach men how to 
out-tmmp the natural cunning of women, yet he does not forget 
his feminine readers, but gives them numerous hints regarding 
the l)est way of fascinating fickle men. In the lieinedia Amoris 
he describes various remedies for healing Cupid's wounds, most of 
which are approved to the present day ; and the Elegies and 
Ileroides, too, are full of pretty modem touches and flashes of 
insight. A few of these points may be briefly alluded to. 

Coyness, although often manifested by the Roman women in 
almost as crude a manner as among savages, docs not appear to 
have been appreciated by all of them at its full value ; eo the poet 
frequently counsels them as to the more subtle ways of exercising 
it ; one of his rules for women being, that if they have oflended 
an admirer, the best way to make him forget it is to pretend to 
be offended themselves, which will restore the equilibrium. How 
the consciousness of being beautiful makes a woman courageous, 




KOMAN LOVE 91 

coy. and cruel is shown in another place. That eyes have a 
language plainer than speech is not a modem discovery ; and that 
a short absence favours, long absence kills, passion was also known 
to Ovid. He warns men against the danger of feigning love, 
because this may end in arousing genuine passion. Men are 
informed that courage and confidence in one's ability to win a 
woman are half the battle. And disappointed lovers are assured 
that failure sometimes turns into an advantage, for it may arouse 
pit3*, and love enter in the guise of friendship. 

The emotional hyperbole and mixed feelings of Love are not 
strangers to Ovid. He compares the tortures of Love to the 
berries on the trees in number, to the shells on the sea-beach ; for 
true Love, he says, always creates anguish and pain ; and " the 
sweetest torment on earth is woman." Among the companions of 
Cupid are "flattery and illusion.'' But **even if the beloved 
deceives me with false words, hope itself will yield me great 
ciyoyment," could only have been written by one who realised 
the imxiginative side of love. And in another passage the poet 
directly enjoins the necessity of intellectual culture to take the 
place of the faded charms of youth. 

Hero's Letter to Leander in the Heroxdes contains some pretty 
touches. Leander has informed his love that when the storm 
prevents him from swimming over to her, his mind yet hastens to 
meet her. But Hero is in great trouble at his prolonged absence, 
and her deepest anguisli is Jealousy of a possible rival : in the 
absence of red grounds of apprehension, her imagination invents 
them, as in a modern lover's mind. 8he siispects that his passion 
has lost the ardour which sustained him in his difficult feat ; and, 
too weak to quite swim over to him and back again, and anxious 
to save him the double journey, she suggests that they should 
meet in the middle of the sea, exchange a kiss, and each return to 
the shore whence they came. 

Is there an3rthing more exquisitely romantic or pathetic in all 
modem Love-poetry — in Shakspere, Heine, Bums, or Byron f 

BIBTH OF OALLjLNTBY 

Becker says of the Greeks that " The men were very careful as 
to their behaviour in the presence of women, but they were quite 
strangers to those minute attentions whic/i constitute t/ie gallantry 
oftlie modems." This holds true apparently of all other nations of 
antiquity ; and to a student of the history of Love it is therefore 
of exceeding iuterest to find in Ovid's poetry the first evidences 



92 BOMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSOKAL BBAlTlY 



of the existence of Gallantry — a dispoeition on the part of the men 
to sacrifice their own comfort to the pleasures and whims of women. 

"Mi. G. a. Simcox was the first writer, so far as I know, who 
pointed out Ovid's priority in this matter (in his History of Latin 
Literature), In Ovid, he says, ''The whole description of gallantry 
implies that tiie idea was a novelty, and that the lover would 
require a great deal of encouragement to enable him to make the 
sacrifice of paying such attentions as could be commanded from a 
servant This throws a new light on the habit the Augustan 
poets have of calling their mistress dominoy which is more note- 
worthy, for they call no man dominns. One does not trace the 
idea at all in Latin comedy, where the heroines are for the most 
part only too thankful to be caressed and protected. One finds the 
word in Lucilius, but even in Catullus it la hardly established." 

Instances of gallant behaviour are not rare in Ovid's poetry ; 
but the didactic tone in which they are detailed makes it almost 
appear as if the poet were recommending to his countrymen the 
value of a nice little discovery of his own which would convert 
crude love-making into a fine art. Never be so ungallant — he 
says in effect, though he does not use the word — as to refer to a 
woman's faults or shortcomings. Compliment her, on the con- 
trary, on her good points — her face, her hair, her tapering fingers, 
her pretty foot At the circus applaud whatever she applauds. 
Adjust her cushion, put the footstool where it ought to be, and 
keep her comfortable by fanning her. And at dinner, when she 
lias tasted the wine, quickly seize the cup and put your lips to the 
place where she has sipped. 

Unfortunately this morning dawn of Romantic Love, as de- 
picted in the pages of. Ovid, was soon hidden beneath the dark 
clouds of medieval barbarism, not to emerge again till a thousand 
years later. 

MEDL^VAL LOVE 

CELIBACY VERSUS MASRIAGB 

Were I asked to name the four most refining influences in 
modern civilisation I would answer : Women, Beauty, Love, and 
Marriage. Were I asked to name the essence of the early 
mediaeval spirit I would say: Deadly Enmity toward Women, 
Beauty, Love, and Marriage. 

This pathologic attitude of the mediaeval mind was at first a 
natural reaction against the incredible depravity and licentiousness 
that prevailed under the Roman Empire. But th6 reaction went 



MEDIEVAL LOVE 93 

to such preposterotts extremeB that the resulting state of aflTuirs 
"wus even more degrading and deplorable than the original evil 
It was like inoculating a man with leprosy to cure him of small- 
pox. It was bad enough to treat marriage as a fartt^ as did the 
later Romans, among whom there were women who ' had their 
eighth and tenth husband, while one case is related of a woman 
** who was married to her twenty-thinl husband, she herself being 
his twenty-first wife " ; while the public looked upon this case as 
a *' match '' in a double sense, the survivor being publicly crowned 
and feted as champion. But a thousand times worse was the 
mediaeval notion that marriage is a crime. And this preposterous 
notion — that a relation on which all civilisation is based, which is 
sanctioned even by many animals and ignored by only the very 
lowest of the savage^) — this criminal notion was foisted on the 
world by tlie fanatical priesthood in whose hands unfortunately 
Christianity was placed for centuries, to be distorted, vitiated, and 
utilised for political, criminal, and selfish purposes. 

^ The services rendered," says Mr. Lecky, '* by the ascetics in 
imprinting on the minds of men a profound and enduring convic- 
tion of the importance of chastity, though extremely great, were 
seriously counterbalanced by their noxious influence upon marriage. 
Two or three beautiful descriptions of this institution have been 
culled out of the immense mass of patristic writings ; but in 
general it would be difficult to conceive anything more coarse and 
more repulsive than the manner in which they regarded it • . . 
The tender love which it elicits, the holy and beautiful domestic 
qualities that follow in its train, were almost absolutely omitted 
from consideration. The object of the ascetic was to attract men 
to a life of virginity, and, as a necessary consequence, marriage 
was treated as an inferior state." 

"The days of Chivalry were pot yet," we read in Smith's 
Dictionary of Christian Antiquities^ " and we cannot but notice 
even in the greatest of the Christian fathers a lamentably low esti- 
mate of woman, and, consequently, of the marriage relationship." 

What an inexhaustible source of mediieval immorality this 
contemptuous treatment of marriage by the most influential class 
of society proved, has been so often depicted in glaring colours 
that these pages need not be tainted with illustrations. 

wokan's lowest degradation 

Woman was represented by the Fathers " as the door of hell, 
•as the mother of all human ills. She should be ashamed at the 



94 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

very thought that she is a woman ; she should live in continual 
penance on account of the curses she has brou<;lit upon the world. 
Women were even forbidden by a provincial council in the 
sixth century, on account of their impurity, to receive the 
Eucharist into their naked hands. Their essentially subordinate 
position was continually maintained " (Lecky). 

Not even the Koran took such a degrading view of woman as 
these early '* Christian Fathers." For the current notion that the 
existence of a soul in woman is denied by the Mahometan faith is 
contradicted by several passages in the Koran. 

The lowest depths of feminine degradation and the sublimest 
heights of fanatic^ folly and crime, however, were not reached in 
this early period, but some centuries later, when the incredible 
brutalities of the witchcraft triuls began. The vast minority of 
the victims were women ; and Professor Scherr, in his Getcliickte 
der DeuUchen Frauentnelty estimates that in Germany alone at 
least one hundred thousand '' witches " were burnt at the stake. 
No one on reading the accounts of these trials can help feeling 
that Shakspere made a mistake when he wrote that 

" All the world's a stage. 
And all the men and women merely players." 

He should have said, 

** All the world's a mndhonw, 
And all the men are fools and demons." 

More demons than fools, however. Superstition was, indeed, 
epidemic during the Middle Ages ; but those who superintended 
the witches' trials — the rulers and the clergy — were not the 
persons affected by it. If they did execute 100,000 victims in 
Germany ; if they did murder girls of twelve, ten, eight, and even 
seven years, on the accusation of having borne children whose 
father was Satan, or of having murdered persons who in some 
cases were actually present at the trial — the reason of this was 
not because the authorities believed this cruel nonsense. The real 
reason is given by Scherr : " The circumstance that the property 
of those who were burnt at the stake was confiscated, two-thirds 
( f it getting into the hands of the landowner (Orundherr), the 
other third into those of the judges^ cUrgy, aecitsers, and exectir 
tioners, has beyond doubt kindled countless witch-fires. . . . During 
the Thirty Years' War, especially, the trials for witchcraft became 
a greedily-utilised source of profit to many a country nobleman in 
reduced circumstances, and no less to bishops, abbots, audi 
councillors, who were in financial straits. Indeed, as early as the 



MEDIiEVAL LOVE 95 

iiztecntb century, one of the opponents of witches' trials, Cornelius 
Loos, justly observed that the whole proceeding was simply ' a 
newly-invented alchemy for converting human blood into gold.' " 

What difference is there between these civilised s:ivages and 
the Australian who eats his wife when he gets tired of her 7 Let 
those who are fond of seeking needles in haystacks search for 
traces of Romantic Love under such circumstances. 

NEGATION OF FEMININE CHOICE 

Feudal legislation combined with clerical contempt and criminal 
persecution in lowering woman's position. There were numerous 
and stringent enactments which ''rendered it impossible for 
women to succeed to any considerable amount of property, and 
which almost reduced them to the alternative of marriage or a 
nunnery. The complete inferiority of the sex was continually 
maintained by the law ; and that generous public opinion which 
in Rome hod frequently revolted against the injustice done to 
girls, in depriving them of the greater part of the inheritance of 
their fathers, totally disappeared." Beaumanoir says that ''Every 
husband may beat his wife if she refuses to obey his orders, or if 
she speaks ill of him or tells an untruth, provided he does so with 
moderation." Early German law permitted the father, and 
subsequently the husband, to sell, punish, or even kill the wife ; 
and in England wife-beating has not yet died out 

" If, in the times of St Louis," says Legouv^, " a young vassal 
of some royal fief was sought in marriage, it was necessary for her 
father to get his seigneur's ])ermission for her marriage; the 
seigneur asked the king's consent to his permission, and not till 
after all these agreements (father, seigneur, king) was site consulted 
regarding this contract which affected her whole life." How 
beautifully such a law roust have fostered the sentiment of Love 
which depends on Individual Preference and Special Sympathy ! 

Such laws no doubt were simply echoes of clerical teachings. 
"The girl," says St Ambrose of Rebecca, whom he holds up 
herein as an example, " is not consulted about her espousals, for 
she awaits the judgment of her parents; inasmuch as a girl's 
modesty will not allow her to choi>se a husband " (!). Irish 
" bulls " appear to have crept even into ecclesiastic enactments, 
for we read in Smith's Dictionary of Chriftian Antiquities that 
" An Irish council in the time of St. Patrick, about the year 450 
lays it down that the will of the girl is to be inquired of the 
father, and that the girl is to do what her father chooses, inos- 




96' ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAITIT 

much as man is the head of the woman." ** Even widows," we 
read further, *' under the age of twenty-five were forbidden by a 
law of Valentinian and Gratian to marry without their parents' 
consent; and St. Ambrose desires young widows to leave the 
choice of their second husbands to their parents." 

Compayr^ states in his History of Pedagogy that in the 
seventeenth century " woman was still regarded as the inferior of 
man, in the lower chisses as a drudge, in the higher as an orna- 
ment In her case intellectuxd culture was regarded as either 
useless or dangerous ; and the education that was given her was 
to fit her for a life of devotion or a life of seclusion from society." 

Still more, of coarse, was this the case in the times of St. 
Jerome, who in his letter to Lxta on the education of her 
daughter Paula, tells her that the girl must never eat in public, 
or eat meat. ''Never let Paula listen to musical instruments." 
Even her affections must be suppressed — all except the devotional 
sentiments. She must not be "in the gatherings and in the 
company of her kindred ; let her be found only in retirement" 
''Do not allow Paula to feel more ahection for one of her 
companions than for others." Ajid this ascetic moralist even 
recommends uncleanliness as a virtue : " I entirely forbid a yoimg 
girl to bathe ; " which may be matched with the following, also 
cited from Compayrd : " Tlie first preceptors of Gargantua said 
that it sulficed to comb one's hair with the four fingers and the 
thumb ; and that whoever combed, washed, and cleansed himself 
otherwise was losing his time in this world." 

In such a rough atmosphere of masculine ignorance, fanaticism, 
and cruelty the feminine virtues of sympathy, tenderness, grace, 
and sweetness could not have flourished very luxuriantly. Conse- 
quently there is doubtless more than a grain of truth in mediaeval 
proverbs about women, cynical and brutal as some of them are. 
Here are a few specimens : — 

" Women and horses must be beaten." 

" Women and money are tiie cause of all evil in the world." 

" Women only keep those secrets whicii they don't know." 

" Tnist no woman, and were she dead." 

" Between a woman's yes and no there isn't room for the point 
of a needle." 

" If you are too happy, take a wife." 

When we read that *' Montaigne is of that number, who, 
through false gallantry, would keep woman in a state of ignorance, 
on the pretext that instniction would mar her natural charms \ "" 
and that the same author recommends poetry to women, because 







MEDIAEVAL LOVE 97 

it is ''a wanton, crafty art, disguised, all for pleasure, nil for 
show, just as they are'*; ire recall with a smile John Stuart 
Mill's sarcastic reference to the tiQ>e, "Some generations ago, 
when satires on women were in Togue, and men thought it a 
clever thing to insult women for being what men made them." 

chuistiakitt and lotz 

Christianity claims to be pre-eminently the religion of lore, 
in the widest sense of that term, including, especially, religions 
veneration of a personal Deity and love of one s enemy. It has 
been as8erte<l by Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others that 
Christianity has done little or nothing in aid of woman's elevation; 
and it cannot be denied that much good would have resulted if 
more emphasis luul been placed by the Apostles on certain phases 
of the domestic relations. That Romantic Love is not alluded to 
in the Kcw Testament need not cause any surprise, for that 
aentimcnt cannot have existed in those days when Courtship and 
Individual Choice were unknown. But there are passages in St 
Paul's writings which were probably the seeds from which grew 
the mcdinval contempt for marriage and women. And altliough 
marriage is now zealously guarded by the Church, Love of tlie 
romantic sort is no doubi looked upon even to^iay by many an 
austere clergyman as a hannleas youthful epidemic — a sort of 
emotional m^isles — rather than as a new sesthetico-moral senti- 
nient destined to become the strongest of all agencies working 
for the improvement of the personal appearance, social condition, 
mod happiness of mankind* 

On the other hand, even agnostics must atlmit on reflection 
that Christianity contained elements which, despite the vicious 
fanaticism of many of its early teachers, slowly helped to 
aiutliorate woman's lot. In the first place. Protestantism, as 
embodied in Luther, performed an invaluable service by restoring 
and enforcing universal respect for the marriage-tie. He set a 
good example by not only defying the degrading custom ct obliga- 
tory celibacy, but by marrying a most sensilile woman — a nun 
who had escapeil with eight others from a convent at Nimtsch. 

Mariolatry, or the cult of the Virgin Mary, ii tlie second 
avenue through which Christianity influenced the development of 
the tender emotions. The halo of sanctity which it spread at the 
same time over virginity and motherhood has been of incalcidable 
value in raising woman in the estimation of the masses. 

A third way in which Christianity influenced woman*s position 



98 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

n saggested by the following remnrka of Mr. Leckr. who has 
done inodiiable senrioe to philosophy, in showing how emotions as 
well OS ideas change with time : '' In antiquity/' he says, " the 
virtues that were most admired were almost exclusively those 
which were distiuctively masculine. Courage, self-assertion, mag- 
nanimity, and, above all, patriotism, were the leading features of 
the ideal type ; and chastity, modesty, and charity, the gentler and 
the domestic virtues, which ore especially feminine, were greatly 
undervalued. With the single exception of coiyugal fidelity, none 
of the virtues that were highly prized were virtues distinctively or 
pre-eminently feminine." Now the " reli^on of love," by especially 
insisting on these '^feminine virtues," became a powerful agent 
in undermining the coarse mediaeval spirit with its masculine, 
military ^* virtues," alias barbarisms. 

CHIVALRY — MILITANT AND COMIO 

In the hoxiling wilderness of mediaeval masculine brutality and 
feminine degradation there was one sunny oasis in which the 
flowers of Love were allowed to groyr undisturbed for a few genera- 
tions, — until military ambition trod them again underfoot. This 
l>rief episode of gentler manners is known as the period of 
Chivalry. 

Ever since the fifth century the worship of the Virgin Mary 
had increased in ardour, and it was to be expected that at some 
favourable moment this adoration would be extended to the whole 
female sex, or at least its noMer representatives. This was the 
mission taken upon themselves by the knights and poets of 
chivalrous times. 

Chivalrj", it is true, was so often a mixture of clownishness and 
licentiousuess, its practice was so much less refined than its theory, 
that in opposition to those historians who havo sung its praises 
others have doubted whether its influence was on the whole for 
good or for evil For, although the knights voweil especially to 
protect widows and orphans, and respect and honour ladies, yet it 
was precisely under their regime that, when cities were taken 
and castles stormed, women were subjected to the most brutal 
treatment. 

The difficulty is best solved by distinguishing between two 
kinds of Chivalry — the Militant and the Poetic The militant 
type of knight-errantry was less inspired by the desire to benefit 
womankind than by ambition to gratify silly masculine vanity. So 
thoroughly was the medieval mind imbued with ideas of war that 




MEDIJEVAL LOVE W 

these knights coiild not conceive even of love except in a military 
guise. So they rode about the country in quest of adventure, 
ostensibly in the service of on adored mistress, but really to find 
an outlet, in times of peace, for pcutrup military energy and 
ambition. 

Spain and Southern France were the principal home of Chivalry 
Militant, because there a warm climate and smiling nature offered 
most favourable conditions to wandering knights in quest of 
adventure. Fortunately the world possesses, in Don Quixote, a 
lifelike picture of knight-errantry; for although the aim of Cer- 
vantes was to make lun, not so much of Chivalry as of trashy 
contemporaneous romances of Cliivalry, yet in doing this he could 
not avoid depicting the comic side of tlie institution itself, concern- 
ing which it is indeed difficile tatiram nan gcribere. 

It appears to have been the custom of these knights to wander 
about the country interfering in every quarrel, and, in default of a 
disturbance, creating one. 

Each knight had a Dulcinea, whom he had perhaps never seen, 
but in whose honour and for whose love he engages in aU these 
fombats. And whenever he meets another knight he forthwith 
challenges him to admit that this Dulcinea, whom the other has 
of course never seen, is the most beautiful lady in the world. The 
other knight echoes the challenge in behalf of his Dulcinea ; and 
the result is a combat in which the victor, by the inexorable 
logic of superior strength, proves the superior beauty of his chosen 
lady-love. 

The vanquished knight is then sent as prisoner to the victor's 
mistress with a message of love. 

The Germans do not often originate anything; but if they 
take up an idea or institution they work it more thoroughly 
tlian any other nation. So with the fantastic side of ChivsJry, 
which was introduced after the second crusade, during which 
German knights had come into close contact with French knights. 

'' Spain," says Professor Schcrr, '* has imagined a Don Quixote, 
but Germany has really produced one." 

His name was Ulrich von Lichtenstein, and he was bom in the 
year 1 200. " From his boyhood, Herr Ulrich*s thoughts were 
directed towanls woman-worship, and as a youth he chose a high- 
bom and, be it well understood, a married lady as his patroness, 
in whose service he infused method into his knightly madness. 
The circumstance that meanwhile he himself gets married does not 
abate his folly. He greedily drinks water in which his patroness 
has washed herself ; he has an operation jjcrformed on his tliick 



100 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTT 

double underlip, because she iuforms Llm that it is not inviting for 
kisses ; he amputates one of his fingers which had become stiff in 
an encounter, and sends it to his mistress as a proof of his capacity 
of endurance for her sake. Masked as Frau Vena<t, he wanders 
about the country and enj^ages in encounters, in this costume, in 
honour of his mistress ; at her command he goes among the lepers 
and eats with them from one bowl. . . . The most remarkable 
circumstance, howerer, is that Ulrich's own spouse, while her 
husband and master masquerades about the land as a knight in 
his beloved's service, remains aside in his castle, and is only men- 
tioned (in his poetic autobiography) whenever he returns home, 
tired and dilapidated, to be restored by her nursing.*' 

When a German knight had chosen a Dulcinea, he adopted and 
wore her colour, for he was now her love-servant, and stood to hiis 
mistress in the same relation as a vassal to his master. '* The be- 
loved," Scherr continues, '' gave her lover a love-token — a girdle 
or veil, a ribbon, or even a sleeve of her dress; this token he 
fastened to his helmet or shield, and great was the lady's pride if 
he brought it back to her from battle thoroughly cut and hewn to 
pieces. Thus (in Parzival) Gawan had fastened on his shield 
a sleeve of the beautiful Olibet, and when he retiuncd it to her, 
torn and speared, 'Ba ward des Miigdlein's Freudc gross; ihr 
blanker Arm war noch bloss, darUber schob sic ihn zuhand.' '' 

The attitude of the kniji^ht-errants may be briefly described as 
Gallantry gone mad. We have seen that a few traces of Gallantry 
are found in the pages of Ovid ; but it was during the age of 
Chivalry that this overtone of Love made itself beard for the first 
time distinctly and loudly. And as, when a new popular melody 
appears, everybody takes it up and sings <and whistles it ad nau- 
seam ; so these knights, intoxicated witli the novel idea of gallant 
behaviour toward women, took it up and carried it to the most 
ridiculous extremes. 

The women, naturally enough, unused to such devotion, became 
as extravagantly coy as the men were gallant They subjected 
this Gallantry to the most absurd and even cruel tests. The 
knights were sent to war, to the cnisades, into the dens of wild 
animals, to test their devotion; and few were so manly as the 
knight in Schiller's ballad, who, after fetching his Iwly's glove from 
the lion's den, threw it in her face, instead of accepting her willing 
favours. 

It is with reference to tliese coy and cniel tests of Gallantry 
that Wolfram von Eschenbach bitterly accuses Love of having 
caused the death of many a noble knight 




MEDIAEVAL LOVE 101 

• 

Yet, despite these absurdities, the trials and procrastinations to 
whicli the knights were subjected had one good result: they helped 
to give Love a supersensual, imaginative basis. This fact is broiight 
out clearly in the following statement made by Dr. Botticher in his 
learned work on Farzival. When, he says, after the middle of the 
twelfth century, the Troubadour love-poetry became known in 
Austria, " it was especially the idea of Minnedienst (love-service) 
that was seized upon with avidity : the knight wooes and labours 
for a woman's love, but she holds back and grants no favours until 
after a long trial-service. The final object of this service, the 
possession of the beloved, is regarded as quite mhordincUe to iht 
pangs and pleasures of wooing and waiting" 

Here was a novelty in Love, indeed! And, as good luck 
would have it, fashion lent its powerful aid to the innovation. 
The sentiment was that '' Whoever is not in the service of love is 
unworthy to be a courtier " ; and thus many a boor who would 
have very much preferred to continue treating women as servants, 
had to put his head into the yoke of Gallantry, in order to be 
^fashionable.* 

CmVALRY — ^POETIC 

If these knights of Chivalry bestrode theur warlike Rosinantes 
to show an astonished world for the first time what could be done 
in the way of Gallantry, the peaccfid poets of Chivalry — the 
Troubadours and Minnesingers — ^in turn mounted their winged 
Pegasus, and soared for the first time to the dizzy heights of 
Ecstatic Adoration or Emotional Hyperbole. 

"Woman was regarded," says Mr. Symonds, "as an ideal 
being, to be approached with worship bordering on adoration. 
The lover derived personal force, virtue, elevation, energy from 
his enthusiastic passion. Honour, justice, courage, self-sacrifice^ 
contempt of worldly goods flowed from that one sentiment, and 
love united two wills in a single ecstasy. Love was the consum- 
mation of spiritual felicity, which surpassed all other modes 
of happiness in its beatitude. Thus, Bernard de Ventadour 
and Jacopo da Lentino were ready to forego Paradise, unless they 
might behold their lady's face before the throne of God. For a 
certain period in modem history this mysticism of the amorous 
emotion was no affectation. It formulated a genuine impulse of 
manly hearts, influenced by beauty, and touched with the sense 
of moral superiority in woman, perfected through weakness, and 
demanding physical protection. By bringing the tender passions 
into accord with gentle mauneiB and unselfiah aspirations, it 



102 KOMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

served to temper the mdeness of primitive society ; and no little 
of its attraction was due to the conviction that only rffined 
natures could experience it. This new aspect of love was due to 
chivalry, to Christianity, to the Teutonic reverence for woman, in 
which religious awe seems to have blended with the service of 
the weaker by the stronger." 

These remarks, though applicable to Chivalrous poetry in 
general, refer especially to the Italian species. The most im- 
portant varieties of Chivalrous poetry, however, are those of tho 
Proven9al, or French, Troubadours, and the German Minnesingers. 
These must be briefly considered in turn, as they present national 
differences of importance to the history and psychology of Love. 

(a) French Troubadours. — ^As we live in a period in which 
the newspaper has become the greatest of moral forces, we can 
most easily realise the social influence of the Troubadours on 
reading, in Thieny, that " In the twelfth century the songs of the 
troubadours, circulating rapidly from castle to castle, and from 
town to town, supplied the place of periodical gazettes in all the 
country between the rivers Is^re and Yienne, the mountaina of 
Auvergne and the two seas." 

The wandering minstrels who wielded this poetic power were 
recruited from aU classes — nobility, artisans, and clergy. But, as 
Dr. F. Hueffcr remarks in his entertaining work on Provencal 
life and poetry, " By far the largest number of the Troubadours 
known to us — fifty-seven in number — belong to the nobility, not 
to the highest nobility in most cases, it is true. In several in- 
stances, poverty is distinctly mentioned as the cause for adopting 
the profession of a troubadour. It almost appears, indeed, as if 
this profession, like that of the churchman, and sometimes in 
connection with it, had been regarded by Provencal families as a 
convenient mode of providing for their younger sons." 

In a time when distinctions of rank were so closely observed, 
it was perhaps of special importance that these singers should be 
chiefly persons of noble blood. Women, it is true, have at all 
times shown a disposition to ignore rank in favour of bards and 
tenors ; but the mediseval nobles might have hesitated, frequently, 
to extend to cominoners the unlimited hospitality of their castles, 
and the privilege of adoring their wives in verse and action. 
These husbands, in fact, appear to have shown remarkable for- 
bearance towards their poetic guests. No doubt it flattered their 
vanity (overtone of Pride) to have the charms of their spouse 
sung by a famous poet in person ; and on acrx)unt of the social 
influence wielded by the Troubadours, owing to their successive 




MEDIEVAL 'LOVE 103 

appearance at all the castles in the land, it was, moreoyer, wise 
not to forfeit their goodwilL Sometimes, however, Jealousy held 
high carnival, as, in the case of Guillem, the hero of Hueifer and 
Mackenzie's opera, The Trotibadour^ wljo was murdered by the 
injured husband, and the faithless wife compelled to drink of the 
wine called '* the poet's blood," adulterated in a horribly realistic 
manner. The women, likewise, were frequently moved by Jealousy 
— not in behalf of their husbands but of the Troubadours, of 
whose art and adoration they desired a Monopoly, whereas these 
bards were very apt to transfer their fickle iiffections to other 
women. 

Fickleness, however, was not the greatest fault of these Trou- 
badours. Their great moral shortcoming was that they paid no 
attention to the borderline between conjugal and romantic love. 
Dr. Hueffer docs not recollect a single instance amongst the 
numerous love-stories told in connection with the Troubadours, in 
which the object of passion was not a married lady — a strange 
point of affinity with the modem French novel to which he calls 
the attention of those interested in national psychology. A case 
in point is that of Guirant (1260), one ^ whose pastorals is 
analysed by Hueffer : *' The idea is simple enough : an amorous 
knight, whose importunate offers to an unprotected girl are kept 
in check by mere dint of graceful, witty, sometimes tart reply." 
These offers of love are repeated at intervals of two, three, seven, 
and six years, and finally transferred to the woman's daughter, 
alwajrs with the same ImuI luck. His own wife, meanwhile, is 
never considered a proper object for his poetic effusions. Con- 
cerning the German imitator of foreign customs — Ulrich von 
Lichtenstcin, mentioned a few pages l)ack — we have likewise seen 
that his wife never entered his mind except when he came home 
" tired and dilapidated, to be restored by her nursing." 

Besides pastorals of the kind just referred to, the Troubadours 
had several other classes of songs, among them, the tensons, or 
contentions which were *^ metrical dialogues of lively repartee on 
some disputed points of gallantry." These may have given 
ground for the myth that aristocratic laidies of this period " insti- 
tuted Courts of Love, in which questions of gallantry were gravely 
discussed and determined by their suffrages," as, f.^. whether a 
husband could really love Iiis wife. The question whether any 
such debating clubs for considering the ethics and etiquette of 
love existed is still debated by scholars; but the best evidence 
appears to be negative. 

(6) German Minnesingen, — The German wandering minstidi 



104 KOMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

also belong mainly to the aristocracy, and imitated their French 
colleagues in paying their addresses chiefly to married women — a 
fact for which, in both cases, the rigid chaperonoge of the young 
must be held responsible ; for man unll make love, and if not 
allowed to do so properly he will do it improperly. Yet on the 
whole the Minnesingers, at least in their verse, were less amorous 
than the Troubadours. As Mr. L. C. Elson remarks in his 
Hittfyry of German Song : *' The Troubadour praised the eyes, 
the hair, the lips, the form of his chosen one ; the Minnesinger 
pniised the sweetness, the grace, the modesty, the tenderness of 
the entire sex. The one was concrete, the other abstract." 

Abstroctness, however, is not a desirable quality in poetry, the 
very essence of which is concrete imagery. Accordingly we find 
that with few exceptions the German Minnesingers are not as 
l)oets equal to their French prototyx>es. It was Schiller himself 
who passed the severest judgment on these early colleagues of hisL 
*'If the sparrows on the roof," he once remarked to a friend, 
" should ever undertake to write, or to issue an almanac of love 
and friendship, I would wager ten to one it would be just like 
these songs of love. What a poverty of ideas in these songs I 
A garden, a tree, a hedge, a forest, and a sweetheart — these are 
about all the objects that arc to be found in a sparrow's head. 
Then we have flowers which are fragrant, fruits which grow 
mellow, twigs on which a bird sits in the sunshine and sings, and 
spring which comes, and winter which goes, and nothing that 
remains except — ennui," 

Schiller's criticism, however, is too sweeping, for there were 
notable exceptions to these sparrow-poets, concerning one of whom, 
Hadlaub, the late Professor Scherer gives the following fascinating 
information in his History of German Literature : ''He introduces 
human figures into his descriptions of scenery, and shows as, for 
instance, in the summer a group of beautiful ladies walking in an 
orchard, and blushing with womanly modesty when gazed at by 
young men. He comimres the troubles of love with the troubles 
of hard-working men, like charcoal-burners and carters. 

'^ Hadkkub tolls us more of his personal experiences than any 
other Minnesinger. Even as a child, we learn, he liad loved a 
little girl, who, however, would have nothing to say to him, but 
continually flouted him, to his great distress. Ouce she bit his 
hand, but her bite, he says, was so tender, womanly, and gentle, 
that he was sorry the feeling of it passed away so soon. Another 
time, being urged to give him a keepsake, she threw her needle- 
case at him, and he seized it with sweet eagerness, but it was 




MEDLfiVAL LOVE 105 

taken from him and returned to her, and she was made to give it 
him in a friendly manner. In later years his pains still remained 
unrewarded; when his lady perceived him, she would get up and 
go away. Once, he tells us, he saw her fondling and kissing a 
child, and when she had gone he drew the child towards him and 
embraced it as she had embraced it, and kissed it in the place 
where she had kissed it" 

The gradual change in woman's position, social and amoraus, is 
indicated by the differences between the earlier and the later 
Minnesongs. In the early poems Professor Schcrer remarks, ^ The 
social supremacy of noble woman is not yet recognised, and the 
man wooes with proud self-respect . . . Another refuses himself 
to a woman wito desired his love. ... A fourth boasts of his 
triumphs. * Women,* says he, ^are as easily tamed as falcons* 
In another song a woman tells how she tamed a falcon, but he 
flew away from her, and now wears other chains. . . • 

*' In the later Minnesongs it is Hie vxmun who are proud, and 
Vu men tcko must languislJ* 

A still more remarkable change is noticed in the German Folk- 
songs which followed the periods of Miunesong proper. '* The 
women of these popular love-songs are not mostly married women ; 
tJiey are^ as a rule, youn^ maidens** [at last, pure Koroantic Love!] 
*' who are not only praised but also turned to ridicule and blamed. 
The woes of love do not here arise from the capricious coyness ot 
the fair one, but are called forth by parting, jealousy, or faithless- 
ness. Feeling is stronger than in the Minnesong, and seekc 
accordingly for stronger modes of expression." 

It is not a mere accident that true Romantic Love should have 
first appeared in these Folk-songs. For these were the products 
of gifted individuals in the lower classes, where chaperonage — 
arch enemy of Love — was less strict than among the higher classes. 

FEHAXE CULTURE 

That the women were not ungrateful to the mediaeval bards 
who first discovered in them the |>ossibilities of higher charms and 
virtues, is shown by their treatment of Heinrich von Meissen, 
Minnesinger, who was called Franenlob, because he constantly 
sang the "praise of woman." "When he died at Mainz in 1317 
they carried his bier to church with their own hands, and then, in 
accordance with the custom of the time, poured libations of wine 
cm his bier so freely that the whole floor of the church was covered. 

And there is every reason to believe that the women of 



IM ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEA17T7 

FranenloVs period deserved hU praises, because thej were in 
sesthetic, moral, and intellectual colture far superior to the women 
before or directly after their time. We read in Gottfried Ton 
Strassbur^s poem how Tristan, while Isolde healed his wounds 
instructed her in the arts and manners of court life. Isolde knew 
French and Latin besides her own langiuige. She played the 
violin and the harp, and san^ ; she wrote letters and poems, and 
would indeed have been a model of culture even at the present day. 
The twelfth centiuy even had a genuine blue-stocking, the nun 
Herrad von Landsber^, who wrote a cyclopsedm of all human 
knowledge, in the Latin tongue, called the Hortui Delinarum. 
Learniug throughout the mediaeval ages was all concentrated in the 
monasteries ; but at the period in question the monks did not 
retain everything for themselves, but aided the knights and the 
poets in instnicting the women of the court and nobility. 

Nor did these women neglect their domestic affairs or physical 
exercise. They accompanied the men on their falcon-hunting 
parties, and at home learned to spin, weave, sew, and make clothing 
for themselves and their husbands and children. At the tourna- 
ments and other games they appeared as Queens of Beauty to 
distribute prizes and inspire their admirers to heroic deeds ; and 
at banquets and other social gatherings they seem to have sup- 
plied more of the wit and entertainment than the men, whose mili- 
tary occupations left them less time for the cultivation of the arts. 

At the same time one cannot help smiling at the elementary 
rules of conduct which had to be given even to women of the 
nobility. You must not stare at a man long, or refuse to return 
his salutation, young ladies were told ; nor must you in walking 
take too long or too short steps. A poet of the middle of the 
thirteenth century (quoted by Mr. Hueffer) gives this advice to a 
girl : " If a gentleman takes you aside and wishes to talk of court- 
ship to you, do not show a strange or sullen behaviour, but defend 
yourself with pleasant and pretty repartees. And if his talk annoys 
you and makes you uneasy, I advise you to ask him questions," 
and contradict his statements, in order " to give a harmless turn 
to the fonversation." 

Like Greek and Roman civilisation, like the palmy days of 
Persian and Arabian culture, this mediaeval period of feminine 
ascendancy and refinement unfortunately did not last many gen- 
erations. Although, undoubtedly, chivalry accomplished real good 
for the time being, most of what went by that name was, after 
all, too much of a sham — less a matter of actuality than of poetic 
fancy. " Sincere and beautiful as the chivalrous ideal may have 




MEDIiByAL LOVE 107 

been," says Mr. Symonds, ''it speedily degenerated. Chivalry, 
though a vital element of feudalism, existed, even among the 
nations of its origin, more as an aspiration than a reality. In 
Italy it never penetrated the life or subdued the imagination of 
the people. For the Italo-Provengal poets that code of love was 
almost wholly formal" Petrarch, like Alberti and Boccaccio, 
indulges again in abuse of women as coarse and brutal as that oif 
the early ''Christian Fathers*'; and when we come to the sixteenth 
century, the scholar Cornelius Agrippa complains of the old state 
of affairs — woman's complete subjection : " Ux\just laws," he says, 
" do their worst to repress women ; custom and education combine 
to make them nonentities. From her childhood a girl is brought 
up in idleness at home, and confined to needle and thread for sole 
employment When she reaches marriageable years, she lias this 
alternative : the jealousy of a husband, or the custody of a convent 
All public duties; all legal functions, all active ministrations of 
religion are closed against her." 

The manner in which a great English poet, much later still, 
treated the women of his household was quite in consonance with 
the customs of prccediDg times. As an English author wrote, forty 
years ago, " Milton taught his daughters to pronounce Greek and 
Latin, so that they might read the classics aloud for his pleasure, 
but forbade their understanding the meaning of a word for their 
own — for which he deserved to be blind." 

Regarding France we read in Compayr^ that " Even in the 
higher classes, woman held herself aloof from instruction, and from 
things intellectuaL Madame Racine had never seen played, and 
had probably never read, the tragedies of her husband." Mme. de 
Lambert "reproaches Moli^ for having excluded women from 
recreation, pastime, and pleasure." F^nelon advised girls to leani 
to read and write correctly and to learn grammar, which "surpassed 
in the time of F^nelon the received custom." "No one knew 
better than F^nelon the faults that come to woman through 
ignorance — unrest, unemployed time, inability to apply herself to 
solid and serious duties, frivolity, indolence, lawless imagination, 
indiscreet curiosity concerning trifles, levity, and talkativeness, 
sentimentalism, and ... a mania for theology: women are too 
much inclined to speak decisively on religious questions." 

PERSONAL BEAimr 

Rarer even than feminine culture. Personal Beauty appears to 
have been throughout the Middle Ages. Most of the portraits of 



108 EOMAirriC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

women and men, as well as the ideal heads and figures in paintings 
and sculpture, are repulsively ugly and inexpressiye of higher traits. 
The general causes of mediiBval ugliness — neglect of personal 
hygiene and sanitary measures, hard manual labour, prevention 
of love-matches, etc. — will be considered elsewhere. In this placa 
only one cause need be alluded to. The old Church Fathers, it is 
wcU known, were not only unicsthetic but positively anti-sesthetic. 
Everything pleasing to the senses was denounced by them, espe* 
cially the physical beauty of women, which they looked upon as a 
special gift pf the devil. Such an attitude on -the jOLTt of the 
leading social class could hardly tend to encourage the cultivation 
of personal charms; and during the trials for witchcraft special 
efforts appear to have even been made to eliminate beauty forcibly; 
for the mere possession of unusual beauty sometimes sufBced to 
bring a poor girl to trial, outrage, torture, and death. 

It may have been due partly to a natural reaction against asceti- 
cism, partly to the rarity of spiritiuil beauty, that the mediseval poets 
in enumerating the charms of their mistresses, confine themselves 
almost exclusively to their physical features. Professor Scherr, 
after quoting Ariosto's description of his heroine Alcina in Orlando 
Furioso (vii. 11, 9eq,\ for comparison with similar efforts of 
German poets, observes : " It is very remarkable that, as in this 
female portrait sketched by Ariosto, so with mediaeval poets in 
general, including those of Germany, the principal accent is placed 
on the bodily charms of the women. Almost all sketches of this 
kind are purely material Intellectual beauty, as expressed in the 
features, is barely mentioned. These old romanticists were much 
more sensual than modem writers would have us believe.'' 



SPEySEB ON LOVE 

That Love, too, continueti to be looked at from a material point 
of view, long after the chivalric efforts to idealise it, is shown 
strikingly by the way in which Spenser compares love with friend- 
ship and family affection. In the fifth book of the Faery Queene 

lie asks — 

** Wliithcr shall weigh the balance down ; to wit, 
The dear affection unto kindred sweet, 
Or raging tiro of love to womankind, 
Or zeal of friends, combined by virtues meet ? " 

Like an ancient Greek he decides in favour of friendship— 

•* For natural afTection soon doth cease, 
And quenched is with Cupid's greater flami^ 




MEDL£YAL LOVE 109 

Bat faithful fhendsliip doth them both rappresii** 

(for) 
** Love ofwivX doth love of body paae.^ 

Could anything attest better than this the general mediseval 
ignorance of the psychic traits or '' overtones " which constitute 
Komautic Love t 

DANTE AND 8HAKSFEBB 

Long before the day of Spenser there lived, however, in Florence, 
a poet whose transcendent genius enabled him to feel and describe 
for the first time the real romantic sentiment of Love. It is tnie 
that some of the poets of Chivalry had before him attempted to 
depict the supersensual, tethereal side of the passion. But their 
portraits lacked the touch of realism : they described what they 
imagined ; Dante what he felt 

])ante was bom in 1265 : Modem Love was bora nine years 
later — 613 years ago. ''Nine times already since my birth," 
says Dante, " had the heaven of light returned to the self-same 
point almost, as concems its own revolution, when first the 
^orious lady of my mind was made manifest to mine eyes ; even 
she who was called Beatrice (she who confers blessing) by many 
who knew not wherefore. . . . From that time onward, Love 
quite goveme<l my souL . . . But seeing that were I to dwell 
overmuch on the passions and doings of such early youth, my 
words might be counted something fabulous, I will therefore put 
them aside," etc. 

These are the opening lines of the Vtia Nuovay in which 
Modem Love is for the first time portrayed with an air of sincerity, 
and concerning which Professor C. K Norton justly remarks that 
'' so long as there are lovers in the world, and so long as lovers are 
poets, will this first and tenderest love-story of modem literature 
be read with appreciation and responsive sympathy." 

What a privilege to describe First Love not only in an 
individual but a historic sense, as Dante did in this poem, which 
Rossetti calls " the auto-biography or auto-psychology of Dante's 
youth, till his twenty-seventh year." 

After that first sight of Beatrice one of her sweet smiles was 
the highest goal of his desires ; but so powerful was the spell of 
lier presence that he was obliged to avoid her. " From that night 
forth the natural functions of my body began to be vexed and 
impeded, for I was given up wholly to thinking of this most 
gndoiB creature ; whereby in short space 1 became so weak and 
80 i^uced that it was irksome to many of my friends to look upon 




110 KOMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

me • • . the thing was bo plainly to be disoemed ib my coante- 
iianoe that there was no longer any means of concealing it" Sach 
words as " trembling," ** confusion/' " weeping," constantly occur 
as the narrative proceeds. Love, he says, "bred in me sach 
overpowering sweetness that my body, being all subjected thereto, 
remained many times helpless and passive." When for the first 
time Beatrice denied him her smile, '* I became possessed with 
such grief that, parting myself from others, / toent into a lonely 
place to bathe the ground with most bitter tears." And in one 
of the sonnets interspersed he 



** My face shows my heart's colonr. 
No sooner do I lift mine eyes to look 
Than the blood seems as shaken from my heaxt^ 
And all my pulses beat at once and stop.'' 



»» 



But by far the most remarkable thing in the Vita Nnova^ is 
Dante's own indirect testimony that such Love as he felt, such 
supersensual, aesthetic Love, toas a novelty and a puzde to /ut 
contemporaries. For he tells how he met some ladies who gazed 
at him and laughed till one of them asked : ** To what en<l lovest 
thou this lady, seeing that thou canst not support her prcfleiice t 
Now tell us this thing that we may know it : for certainly the 
end of such a love must be worthy of knowledge." 

No doubt it was worth knowing ; for, as the author of the 
admirable article on " Poetry," in the eighth edition of the Bncy- 
clopcedia Britannica {IS59), remarks: "When in modem times 
the attempt was made to revive tragedy, it proved totxdly 
unsuccessful until this principle (of romantic love) was admitted 
into the drama to give it warmth and life. Of that species of 
composition which in its proper sense is peculiar to the modems, 
viz. the novel and romance, it forms, as we all know, the moving 
power. In short, it influences, more or less, every department in 
which the imagination has exerted itself with success since the 
revival of literature." 

Once more it is well to state that there ore geniuses in the 
emotional as in the intellectual world. Dante was both ; and the 
realistic descriptions he has given of the effects of Romantic Love 
have helped to sustain the notion that Love is immutable, and has 
existed at all times. But the indirect testimony to the contrary 
just quoted, and the whole argument of this chapter on Mediaeval 
Love, make it apparent that Dante's Love was the exception 
which proves that among the others Love did not exist And 
even Dante was not entkely modem in his Love. A modem 



MODERN LOVE 111 

lover would not have attempted to conceal the object of his Lore, 
bat would have made it apparent to all by his foolish actions that 
he was in Lore with this particular girl and no other ; he would 
perhaps have wooed more persistently, and his feelings would not 
have remained unchanged after her marriage to another. Like 
Petrarch, moreover, Dante cannot be quite acquitted of the 
suspicion that, after the first flush of excitement, the excessive 
and persistent purification and idealisation of his passion was 
based not so much on real amorous feelings and motives, as on an 
author's craving for an object on which to lavish his literary art 
of embellishment. 

Dante, in a word, hyper-idealised his passion. He became 
quite deaf to the fundamental tone of Love, and heard only its 
overtones. And herein lies his inferiority to Siiakspere. It is in 
the works of Shakspere that the various motives aiid emotions 
which constitute Love — sensuous, esthetic, intellectual — are for 
the first time mingled in proper proportions. Shakspere's Love is 
Modem Love, full-fledged, and therefore calls for no separate 
analysis. It is a primitive passion, purified and refined by 
intellectual, moral, and sesthetic culture. And though by no 
means unfversal, or even common, at the present day, it is yet of 
frequent occurrence, and will become more and more prevalent as 
time rolls on. To facilitate its progress by pointing out its 
characteristics, its evolution, and the measures that must be taken 
to foster it^ is one of the principal objects of this monograph. 

MODERN LOVE 

A BIOLOGIC TEST 

Writers on evolution have a very simple and convenient way 
of verifying their inferences, by applying the nde — which seems 
to hold true universally — that the different stages through which 
an individual passes in his development — physical and mental — 
correspond to the periods of development through which the whole 
race has passed. 

This principle, applied to our present problem, fits exactly, and 
proves that the account given in the preceding pages of the 
development of Love is correct 

Historically we have seen that of all affections Maternal Love 
is the earliest and (until after Romantic Love appears) the 
strongest. Then paternal, filial, and fraternal love are gradually 
developed, followed by friendship (Greek), and finally by Love propen 



112 nOMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAITIT 

Just 80 with the individaaL The baby's first lore Is for iU' 
mother, whose tender expression and beaming eyes throw the first 
reflected smile on its face, and touch the first cord of sympathetio 
attachment. Then the fjoither comes in for his shore of attention, 
followed by sisters and brothers. At school begins the era of 
friendship, representing " classical " lore, and often as ardent and 
Love-like as among the ancient Greeks. Finally Romantic Love 
appears on the scene, ecl^wing every other emotion. And, like 
historic Love, it generally passes through a blind, silly, chivalrio 
stage, known as " calf-love," which at last is succeeded by real, 
intense romantic passion, that leads to monogamous marriage, the 
central pillar of modem civilisation. 

Not only have we seen that Romantic Love is the latest and 
the strongest of all affections, but the causes which retarded its 
development have been indicated. Chief among these were the 
negation of Individual Preference, and the absence of opportunities 
for Courtship, already deplored by Plato. As long as women 
were captured, or bought, or disposed of by father or mother 
without any reference to their own will, Sexual Selection on the 
female's part was of course out of the question ; and on the man's 
part it was rendered impossible by the absence of Courtship. 
Wooing a woman was not winning lirr favour, but impressing her 
father with a display of wealth or social power. Thus there were 
no opportunities on her part for the display of personal charms or 
the cunning art of Coyness, or for inflaming and feeding his 
passion through Jealousy by bestowing an occasional mischief- 
making smile on his rivids ; there were no lover's quarrels 
followed by sweet reconciliations and an increase of Love ; no 
short absences fanning Love with sighs ; no alternate feelings of 
hope and despair, inspired by his or her fickle or uncertain actions; 
no chance for displays of Gallantry and mutual Self-sacrifice and 
assistance ; no sympathetic exchange and consequent doubling of 
pleasures, real or anticipated ; none, in fact, of the more subtlo 
traits and emotions which make Romantic Love what it is. 

VBNTJS, PLUTUS, AND MINERVi. 

It cannot be said that these obstacles to Love have been as 
radically removed as they ought to be. Oriental chaperonnge is 
still rampant in France, to the extinction of all true romantic 
sentiment. In other countries Parental Tyranny has considerably 
abated, but the Goddess of Love still has formidable rivals in 
Plutus, the god of wealth, and Minerva, the goddess of " wisdom " 




HODEKK LOVE 118 

or expediency. Thus it happens that even in the case of persons 
who are refined enough to experience Love, it is too often absent 
when they marry ; and, as a German pessimist sneeringly points 
out, no one has yet dared to tempt bride and bridegroom to 
perjury, by asking when the knot is tied, '*Do you laoe this 
woman f '* Do you love this man t " 

Nevertheless public sentiment is continually making war on 
Plutus and Minerva, and siding with Venus. Probably the 
mercantile element in marriage will not die out till a few weeks 
before the millennium, although Herbert Spencer is optimistic 
enough to believe it will sooner. "After wifensteoling," he says, 
" come wife-purchase ; and then followed the usages which made, 
and continue to moke, considerations of property predominate over 
considerations of personal preference. Clearly, wife-purchase and 
husband-purchase (which exists in some semi-civilised societies), 
though they have lost their original gross form, persist in disguised 
forms. Already some disapproval of those who marry for money 
or position is expressed ; and this growing stronger may be 
expected to pimfy the mouogamic union, by making it in all cases 
real instead of being in some cases nominal." 

It is indeed a most hopeful sign of progress, this strong and 
growing modem sentiment in favour of Romantic Love as against 
rival motives matrimom'oL Novelists, when the wills of the 
lovers and the parents clash, invariably and imconsciously side 
with the lovers ; and should a novelist moke an exception, many 
of his readers would close the book, and the others would finish it 
under protest and disappointe<1]y. Even when we read a news- 
paper reporter's thrilling and dramatic narrative of the elopement 
of a foolish young couple, fresh from the high-school, oiv hearts 
throb with sympathetic anxiety lest the irate parent should 
succeed in capturing the runaway couple. 

No doubt this instinctive modem prejudice in favour of 
Itomantic Love will ultimately throw a hdo of sacrcdness around 
it, which will raise Cupid's will to the dignity of an Eleventh 
Commandment — a consummation devoutedly to be wished ; for 
although the conjugal aficction which grows out of Romantic Love 
is not always deeper than that which results from unions not 
based on Love, the physical and mental qualities of the children 
commonly show at a glance whether or not the parents were 
brought together by Sexual Selection. 




114 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 



LEADING MOTIVES 

The poychic elements of Love which thus far have been 
compared to overtones, might also be regarded from a Wagnerian 
point of view as Leitmotive or leading motives in the Dnuna of 
Historic Love. In the first scenes, where the actors are animals 
and savages, followed by Egyptians, Hebrews, Hindoos, Greeks, 
and Romans, and mediaeval clowns and fanatics, these leading 
motives are heard only as short melodic phmses, and at long 
intervals, pregnant, indeed, with future possibilities, but isolated 
and never combined into a symphony of Love. In the last act, 
however, which we have now reached, all these motives appear in 
various combinations, in the gorgeous and glowing instrumentation 
of modem poets, with all possible figurative, harmonic, and 
dynamic nuances ; and at the same time so intertwined and inter- 
woven that no one apparently has ever succeeded in unravelling 
the poetic woof and distinguishing the separate threads. For us, 
however, who have followed these motives from the moment when 
they first appeared in a primitive form, it will be easy to dis- 
tinguish them and subject each one to a separate analysis. We 
shall first consider those which, like Coyness and Jealousy, ore 
already familiar and ncc<l only be considereil in their modem 
forms, and then pass on to those which are more and mora 
exclusively modem. 

MODERN COYNESS 

At least five sources or causes of modem female Coyness may 
be suggested : — 

(1) An EcJio of Capture. — Why are modem city-folks so fond 
of picnics ? It was Mr. Spencer, I believe, who suggested some- 
where that it is because picnics awaken in civilised men and 
women a vogue and agreeable reminisccuce of the time when their 
ancestors habituallv took their meals on meadows in the shade of 
a tree. If it is possible for such experiences to re-echo, as it were, 
in our nervous system through so many generations, thanks to the 
conservatism of oft-repeated cerebral impressions, then it does not 
seem so very fantastic to suggest that one cause of female Coyness 
may be a similar echo, or reminiscence, of the time when the 
primitive ancestresses of modem women were "courted" by 
Capture or Purchase, and so biwlly treated as wives that in course 
of time an instinctive impulse was formed in their minds to shrink 
back and say No to man's proposals. 




MODERN LOVE 115 

(2) JHcUden versus Wife, — It is hardly necessary, however, to 
rely upon such a remote sociological echo, so to speak, for an 
explanation of a girl's hesitation to become a wife even if her 
suitor pleases her. The tiiought of exchanging her maiden free- 
dom for conjugal restrictionc and duties ; of giving up the homage 
and admiration of all men for the possible neglect of one; of 
probably soon losing her youthful beauty, etc. — such thoughts 
would make many girls even more coy than they now are, did not 
the fear of becoming an old maiu act as a counterbalancing motive 
in favour of mairiage. 

(3) Modesty. — Esquimaux girl&, as we have seen, "affect the 
utmost bashfiilness and aversion to any proposal of marriage, lest 
they should lose their reputation for modesty." And the greatest 
analyst of the human heart puts the same philosophy into the 
mouth of Juliet in a passage which, although everybody knows it 
by heart, must yet be quoted. her< 



" gentle Romeo, 
If thon dost love, pronouuce it lAithfully i 
Or if thou think *st I am too anickly won, 
I'll frown and be perverse and say thee nay, 
So thon wiit woo ; but else, not for the world. 
In truth, fair Montngue, I am too fond, 
And tlierefore thou may'st think my 'haviour light: 
But tnist me, gentleman. Til prove more true 
Tlian those that have more cunnintf to be strange, 

I should have been more strange, I must confess^ 
But that thou overbeard'st, ere I was ware, 

II y true love's passion : therefore pardon me, 
And not impttU this yielding to lignl love, 
AVbich the dark night hath so discovered." 

(4) Cunning to he Strange. — No huntsman (except a monarch) 
would care to go to an enclosure and shoot the deer confined 
therein, nor a fisherman to catch trout conveniently placed in a 
pond. But to wade up a mountain brook all day long, climbing 
over slippery rocks, and enduring th^ discomforts of a hot sun and 
wet clothes, with nothing to eat, and only a few speckled trifles 
to reward him — that is what he considers ** glorious sport.*' 

The instinctive perception that a thing is valued in proportion 
to the difficulty of its attainment is what taught women the 
" cunning to be strange." Seeing that they could not compete 
with man in brute force, they acquired the arts of Beauty and of 
Coyness, as their best weapons against his superior strength — the 
Beauty to fascinate him, the Coyness to teach him that in Love, 
as in fishing, the pleasure of pursuit is the main thin|^ 



116 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEESONAL BEAUTY 

At fiiBt thia Coyness was manifested in a very crnde manner, 
as among the primitive maidens who hid in the forest ; or among 
the Roman women celebrated by Ovid, who locked their door and 
compelled the lover to beg and whine for admission by the honr ; 
or among the mcdiseval women who, to gratify their caprices and 
enjoy the sense of a newly-acquired power, sent their admirers to 
INirticipate in bloody wars before recognising their addresses. 
And so coarse-grained were the men that as soon as the women 
ceased to tease they ceased to woo ; as, for instance, in mediteval 
France, about the time of the Chansons de Geste^ ^ the man who 
desires a woman yet does not appear as a wooer ; for he knows he 
is certain of her favour," as we read in Ploss. Hence Cleopatra's 
brief and pointed rejoinder to Charmian when he advises her, in 
order to win Antony*s love, to give him way in everything, cross 
him in nothing : *' Thou tcachest like a fool ; the way to lose 
him." 

(5) Proercutinaium. — Love at first sight is frequent at the 
present day, but in ancient Greece and Rome marriage at first 
sight appears to have been more common. The classical suitor's 
wooing was generally comprised in three words: Vent, Vidi^ 
Vict; i,e. I Came, Saw the girl's fiithcr. Conquered his scruples 
by proving my wealth or social position. Sufficient brevity in 
tlus, no doubt : but brevity is not the soul of Love. 

'* Tant plus le chemin est long dans Tamour, tant plus un 
esprit ddlicat sent de phiisir," says Pascal, announcing a truth of 
which ancient and medioeval nations had no conception until 
female Coyness taught it them. Groethe evidently had the same 
truth in mind when he mentioned as a phase of ancient love 
(Roman Elegies) — 

^ In dor heroischon zeit, da Cotter nnd Gottinen liobton 
Foigto Begierde dom 131ick folgto Gcnuss dcr Bcgicr." 

That is, in prose, there were no preliminaries in the love-drama, 
which had only one act, the fifths in which the marriage is 
celebrated. 

Goldsmith en Lov\ — In Goldsmith's Citizen of the World there 
is a chapter on "Whether Love be a Natural or Fictitious Passion," 
in which reference is likewise made to the value of procrastination. 
As this passage shows Goldsmith to have been the first author who 
had an approximate conception of the development and psychology 
of Love, I will quote it almost entire. It is in tiie form of a 
dialogtie, and one of the speakers remarks: "Whether love be 
natund or no • • • it contributes to the happiness of every society 




MODERN LOVE 117 

in which it is introduced. All our pleasures arc short and can 
only charm at intervals; love is a method of protracting our 
greatest pleasure ; and surely that gamester who plays the greatest 
stake to the best advantage will, at the end of life, rise victorious. 
This was the opinion of Yauini, who affirmed that 'every hour 
was lost which was not spent in love.' His accusers were unable 
to comprehend his meaning ; and the poor advocate for love was 
burned in flames ; alas ! no way metaphoricxd. But whatever 
advantages the individual may reap from tins passion, society will 
certainly be refined and improved by its introduction; all laws 
calculated to discourage it tend to cmbrutc the species, and weaken 
the state. Though it cannot plant morals in the humxui breast, 
it cultivates them when there : pity, generosity, and honour receive 
a brighter polish from its assistance ; and a single amour is suffi- 
cient entirely to brush off the clown. 

" But it is an exotic of the most delicate constitution : it 
requires the greatest art to introduce it into a state, and the 
smallest discouragement is sufficient to repress it again. Let us 
only consider with what ease it was formerly extinguished tn 
Romey and with what difficulty it was tately revived in Europe : 
it seemed to sleep for ages, and at last fought its way among us 
through tilts, tournaments, dragons, and all the dreams of chivaliy. 
The rest of the world, China only excepted^ are, and have ever 
been, utter strangers to its delights and advantages. In other 
countries, as men find themselves stronger than women, they lay 
a claim to rigorous superiority : this is natural, and love, which 
gives up this natural advantage, must certainly be the effect of art — 
an art calculated to lengthen out our happier moments, and add 
new graces to society." 

To this conclusion the lady interlocutor in the dialogue objects 
on the ground that ''the effects of love are too violent to be 
the result of an artificial passion"; and suggests, by way of 
accounting for the absence of love, that " the same efibrts that 
are used in some places to suppress pity, and other natural 
passions, may have been employed to extinguish love"; and 
that "those nations where it is cultivated only make nearer 
advances to nature." 

Goldsmith thus leaves it in doubt whether he considers Love a 
natural or an artificial passion. In the three passages which I 
have italicised, he errs: first, in saying that Love was "extin- 
guished " in Rome, when in fact it never existed there, except 
incompletely in the poetic intmtion of Ovid and possibly one or 
two other poets ; secondly, he errs in remarking that it was lately 



118 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

''reviTed" in Europe, when in fact it was newly-born; and his 
ezceptlDg China, in speaking of the absence of Love, can only be 
looked on in the light of a joke in view of the absolute subjection 
of women to parental dictation, and the fact that, as one writer 
remarks, '' a union prompted solely by love would be a monstrous 
infraction of the duty of filial obedience, and a predilection on the 
part of the female as heinous a crime as infidelity." But his 
definition of Love as "the effect of art — an art calculated to 
lengthen out our hapfiier moments and add new graces to society" 
is exceedingly good. The art in question is known as Courtship : 
and it is the latest of the fine arts, which even now exists in its 
perfection in two countries only — England and America. The 
Italian language has no equivalent for Courtship, as Professor 
Mantegazza tells us in his Fitiologia delV Amore ; and a German 
commentator on this passage in Mantegazza comments dubiously : 
" Das Eutsprechende deutsche Wort diirfte vfo?U Werbung sein ; " 
" the corresponding Gennan word is presumably Werbung" 
"Presumably" is very suggestive. Yet the Germans have another 
expression of mediaeval ori<;in apparently, namely, "Einem Madchen 
den Hof maclien " — ** to pay court to a girl," which, though some- 
what conversational, has evidently the same historic origin as our 
word Coiu-t-ship; implying that formerly it was the custom at 
court alone to prolong the agony of Love by galknt attentions to 
women, which enabled them to exercise the " cunning to be 
strange." 

Disadvantages of Coyness, — Beneficial as are no doubt the 
effects which have been brought alioiit by female Cojmess in 
developing the art of Coiu-tship, there are corresponding evils 
inherent in that mental attitude which make it probable that 
Coyness will gradually disappear and be succeeded by something 
more modem, more natural, more refined. 

There are four serious objections to Coyness, one from a mas- 
ciUine, three from a feminine point of view. 

Men, in the first place, can hardly approve of Coyness ; for it 
certainly indicates a coiu^e mediaeval fibre in a man if he is obliged 
to confej*s that he can love a girl not for her beauty and anuability, 

but only because she tantalises and maltreats him : 

« 

" Snaniel-likc, the more she spurns my love, 
Tlie more it ''rows and fuwiieth ou her stilL'* 



Or, in Heine's delightful persiflage of this attitude— 

" Uebcrall wo du auch wandelst, 
Schaiist da mich zu alien Stundeo, 




MODEBN LOVE 119 

Uiid jemohr du micb misshandekty 
Trcuer bleib ich dir TerboDden. 

*' Pciin mich fesselt holdo Bosheit 
AVie mich Giite stets Tcrtrieben ; 
AVillst du sicher meiner los seio 
Mnast du dich in mich Terlieben." 

In one English sentence: Your amiability repels, your malice 
attracts mc ; if you wish to get rid of my attentions, you must fall 
in love with me. 

If a refined man can feel ardent affection for an animal, a friend, 
a relative, without being " spumed " and consequently ** fawning," 
why should not the same be true of his love for a beautiful girl ? 
It is true ; and hence the cleverest women of the pcrioil, feeling 
this change in the masculine heart, have adopted a different 
method of fascinating men and bringing them to their feet, as we 
shall presently see. 

Women, in turn, are injured by Coyness; first, because it makes 
them act foolishly. French and German girls are systematically 
taught to take immediate alarm at sight of a horrid man (whom 
they secretly consider a darling creatiu-c, with such a moustache) 
and conconl themselves behind their mamma or chaperon, like 
spring chickens creeping under the old hen at sight of a hawk. 
This sort of $pring-chichen coyness does infinitely more harm than 
good ; it makes the girls weak and frivolous, and as for the men, 
if they are systematically treated as birds of prey, how can they 
avoid falling in with their role f If men are to behave like gen- 
tlemen they must be treated as gentlemen, as they are in England 
and America. 

Coyness, again, makes women deceitful and insincere. 
'' Amongst her other feminine qualities," says Thackeray of one of 
Ills characters, "she had that of being a perfect dissembler." And 
in another place, *' I think women have an instinct of dissimula- 
tion ; they know by nature how to disguise their emotions fur 
better than the most consummate courtiers can do." It cannot 
be said that dissimulation is a virtue, though it may be a useful 
weapon against coarse and selfish men. If not the same thing as 
hy|)0crisy, it is next door to it ; and it cannot have a beneficial ' 
effect on a woman's general moral instincts if she is compelled con- 
stantly to act a part contrary to her convictions and feelings. 
Though as deeply in love as her suitor, she is commandetl to treat 
him with indifference, coldness, even cruelty, — in a word, to do 
constant violence to her and his feelings, and to lacerate her own 
Leart perhaps even more than the unhappy lover's. Thus instead 




120 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

of mutually enjoying the period of Courtship, and indulging in 
harmless l<anter, '' they gaze at each other fiercelji though ready 
to die for love " ; or, as Heine puts it — 

** Sie sahen sich an so feindlicb, 
Uod wollten Tor Liebe Tergehcn." 

And why all this penrerseness, this unnatunilness, this emotional 
torture? Simply because — once more be it said — the men of 
former days, the men who lived on pork and port, who delighted 
in bear-baiting, cock-fights, and similar oesthetic amusements, had 
nerves so coarse and callous that to make any impression on them 
the women had to play with them as a cat does with a mouse to 
ma'te it tcmler and sweet. 

Coyness lessens Wo7nan*s Love. — One more charge, the gravest 
of all, remains to be piled on top, as a last crushing aigunient 
against crude Coyness. An emotion, like a plant, requires for its 
growth sunshine, light, and open air; if kept in a dark cellar and 
stifled, it soon becomes weak and pale and langubhes. Man's 
superior strength and selfish exercise of it have compelled women 
to cultivate Coyness as an art of dissembling, hiding, and repressing 
their real feelings. But to repress the manifestations of anger, of 
pity, of Love, is to 8U[>press them ; hence Coyness has necessarily 
had the effect of weakening woman's Love. It weakens it in the 
same proportion as it strengthens man's. And hence, as I have 
said before, the current notion that women love mora ardently, 
more deeply, than men is an absurd myth. The poets have always 
shown a predilection for this, as for all other myths ; and as it is 
still served up as a self-evident truth in a thousand books every 
year, it is worth wliile to clear away the underbrush and let in 
some daylight on the subject 

Masculine versus Feminine Love. — One thing may be conceded 
at the outset : that woman's Love, when once kindled, is apt to 
endure longer than man's. Shakspere's " 'Tis brief, my Lord, as 
woman's love " is therefore a libel on the sex. Tlic difficulty is 
to get it under way. It takes so much of the small kindling 
wood of courtship (^* sparking'' it is called) to set a female heart 
aflame, that many men give it up in despair and remain bachelors ; 
or else, like the young man in Fidelio, they finally tell their girl, 
'* If you will not love me, at least marry me." 

It may also be conceded that Rousseau exaggerates when he 
says that " Women are a hundred times sooner reasonable than 
passionate : they are as unable to describe love as to feel it." 
This may have been true in his day ; but that there have since 




MODERN LOVS 121 

been some female authors who hare correctly described Love, and 
thousands of women who have been deeply in Love, it would be 
absurd to deny. All that is here maintained is that Love is of 
less frequent occurrence in women than in men; and when it 
does occur in women it is not usually so deep, so passionate, so 
maddening. The average woman knows little of Romantic Love. 
She has read about it in novels, in poems, and thinks how delight- 
ful it must be. The faintest symptom is taken for an attack, just 
as in perusing a medical book people commonly fancy they have 
symptoms of the disease they chance to be reading about. Thus 
it happens that young girls so easily ''fall in love," as they 
imagine, and are ready to elope with the first music teacher or 
circus rider that comes along — 

** A blockhead with melodious voice 
In iKmrding-scbooI may linvc liis clioice. 
And oft the danciiig-niaster's art 
CUuibs from the toe to touch the heart." — Swift. 

It is quite probable that Coleridge was right when he wrote — 

" For maids as well as youths have pcrislied 
From fruitless love too fondly cberished ; " 

although this does not seem to agree with the opinion of Shak- 
spere and Thackeray regarding the rarity of broken lovers* hearts. 
Monelli's work on Suicide does not contain any definite statistics 
d propoi ; but I have seen the statement in a newspaper that iu 
Italy, during 1883, thirty-six men and nine women committed 
suicide — four to one ; and the proportion will appear larger still if 
it is remembered that girls often commit suicide from an anguish 
deeper than a refu&d. 

The myth that woman's passion is deeper than roan's is com- 
monly ezpre^ed in the form given to it by Byron : that in man's 
life love is only an episode, whereas to a woman it is all in all 
Allowing for poetic exaggeration, it does not at all follow that 
because a man does not brood all his life over Love, he therefore 
loves less. The fact that Goethe, the poet, also wrote treatises on 
botany and physics, and made landscape sketches, did not decrease 
the depth of his poetic feeling but added to it. For it is a funda- 
mental law of psychology — except in pathologic cases — that 
continuous brooding over an emotion weakens and exhausts it; 
but after intervals of rest it emerges more fresh than ever. The 
various objects and ambitions that occupy man only serve to 
strengthen his feelings, his capacity for Love. That women are 
more easily swamped and carried away by emotions does not prove 



122 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTT 

their feelings to he deeper, but themselves to be weaker. One 
lake may be entirely foil, and yet not contain half as much water 
OS a larger lake which is only half-full 

It was evidently with a vague desire to justify or excuse 
woman's comparative weakness in Love that Ninon de L'Enclos 
wrote *' Women and flowers are made to be loved for their beauty 
and sweetness, rather than themselves to love." And that intelli- 
gent observer l^Irs. Childs adds the weight of her femlniue testi- 
mony by confessing her belief " That men more frequently marry 
for love than women." 

To remove all lingering doubt, con^der the "overtones" of 
Love separately. Is woman ordinarily as absurdly or ferociously 
Jealous as man, or quite so Proud of her conquest t Is she so 
deeply absorbed in Admiration of his Personal Beauty f Is she as 
Gallant, and as ready for Sacrifices ? or does she not rather take 
hia devoted services for granted, and consider them rewarded by a 
smile or some other trifle ? Indeed, the only element of Love 
which in woman is stronger than in roan is Coyness; and Coyness, 
as lias been shown, weakens woman's Love in the same degree as 
it increases man's. 

Of course it would be unjust to attribute to the effects of 
Coyness all the difference between man's and soman's Love. 
Much is due to the physiologic law that emotional capacity- 
amorous included — depends on brain capacity (not on the 'Mieart") ; 
and man's brain is more powerful than woman's. But crude 
mediiBval Coyness must bear a large share of the blame ; and it is 
probable that now, having played its rdle of bringing men to terms 
and making them gallant and polite towards women, it will dis- 
appear gradualiy. 

^'Der Mohr hat seine Schuldlgkeit gethon, Der Mohr kann 
gehen." 

Already, however, there is, especially in America and England, 
a superior class of women who, despising Coyness as crude, arti- 
ficial, and silly, have adopted in its place a much more refined 
method of making men fall in love with them. In one word, 
they have substituted Flirtation for Cojrncss. As this statement 
will to many appear paradoxical, if not absunl, it is necessary 
first to distinguish between Flirtation and Coquetry before trying 
to justify it 

Flirtation and Coquetry, — These two words are so constantly 
confused by careless or ignorant writers that some girls are almost 
as much offended if accused of Flirtation as of Coi]uctry. It was 
bad enough for Winthrop to say that " A woman without coquetry 




MODERN LOTE 123 

is as insipid as a rose without scent, champagne iirithont sparkle, 
or corned beef without mustard **(!), but there is no excuse what- 
ever for "Ik MarveFs" sa3dng that "Coquetry whets the appetite; 
flirtation depraves it Coquetry is the thorn that (guards the 
rose (!), easily trimmed off when once plucked. Flirtation is like 
the slime on water-plants, making them hard to handle, and when 
caught only to be cherished in slimy waters." No excuse, I say, 
l)ecause the dictionaries on our table tell us the veiy reverse. 
Flirtation, in Wel^ter, is simply " playing at courtship," without 
any cruel intentions ; while Coquetry is an attempt " to attract 
admiration, and gain matrimonial offers, from a desire to gratify 
vanity, and with the intention to reject the suitor." 

That this is the correct definition is shown beyond question 
by the adjectives which are commonly coupleil with those nouns : 
a " harmless Flirtation," a " heartless Coquette." 

A Coquette seeks to fascinate for the sake of fascinating. Like 
a miser, she mistakes the means for the end, and feeds on one- 
sided passion and admiration, until one morning she wakes up and 
finds her beauty gone, and herself the most disappointed and 
unamiable of old maids. Or again, she might be compared to a 
bank clerk who refused his salary because he was satisfied with 
the tinkling of the money which he heard all day long. The Flirt, 
on* the other hand, displays her accomplishments, her wit, and 
personal charms, for the sake of enlarging the facilities of Court- 
ship, the possibilities of rational Choice. 

One reason why Flirtation and Coquetry are so apt to be con- 
foimded is because the English peoples alone have the word 
FJirtation — naturally enough, as they alone allow their young 
people the blessings of Courtship and rational choice promoted by 
it. Foreigners, not appreciatini: exactly what is meant by the 
wonl, are apt to translate it as Coquetry. One Frenchman, who 
has lived long in England, has tried to define Flirtation for his 
countrymen by s^iying it consbted of " attentions without inten- 
tions." This definition was widely welcomed as very clever. 
Clever it may lie, but it is a definition of Coquetry not of Flirta- 
tion. For Flirtation never excludes possible intentions. 

Flirtation versus Coyness. — Flirtation, from the feminine point 
of view, may be defined as the art of fascinatiriff a man and leav- 
ing him in doubt wJiether lie is loved or not. There is no reason 
why a beautiful and bright girl should not charm, i.e. flirt with, 
every man who interests her, and to whom she has been properly 
introduced. No reason why she should not dispense her sweet 
smiles with complete impartiality, until she has made up her 



124 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

mind whom she wishes to marry. In so far as Coyness simply 
means reserve and dignity, she will of course still be coy ; biit'she 
will not ran awny to conceal herself in the forest, or lock the 
front door, or hide behind a chaperon's back, or affect to lie cyni- 
cally indifferent to men, or treat the one she likes best with 
affected cruelty. With refined men of the period Flirting, i.e. 
fascinating and leaving in doubt, is quite as effective in kindling 
adoration to ecstasy as crude Coyness was with the coarse-fibred 
men of the post Flirtation, indeed, is much more tantalising 
than Coyness, and therefore a complete modem substitute for it. 

There is a passage in Hume's Bistertatian an t/ie Possums 
which, though occurring in a different connection, strikes home 
the truth of the lost sentence most forcibly. '' Uncertainty," he 
says, ''has the same effect as opposition. The agitation of the 
thought, the quick turns which it makes from one view to another, 
the variety of passions which succeed each other, according to the 
different views : all these produce an agitation in the mind ; and 
this agitation transfuses itself into the predominant passion. 
Security, on the other hand, diminishes the passions. The mind, 
when lefb to itself, immediately languishes ; and in order to pre- 
serve its ardour, must be supported every moment by a new flow 
of passion." 

Of course to those of a girVs admirers who are for a while left 
in doubt and finally " get left " altogether, female flirtation may 
seem a cruel pastime. But there is a sort of historic justice in 
this torture which, indeed, almost amounts to an excuse for 
Coquetry; it is a species of feminine revenge for the long cen- 
turies of slavery in which muscular man held weak woman. 
Besides, no man has ever died of a broken heart, except in novels. 
And, again, who is to blame a pretty girl for having fascinated an 
unsuccessful lover t A rose yields its fi-agrance and beauty to all 
who wish to admire it. If a conceited young man comes along, 
imagines that all its beauty is for him alone, and tries to pluck it, 
he has only himself to blame if he feels the thorn of disappoint- 
ment. 

When Lord Chesterfield wrote, " I assisted at the birth of that 
most significant word 'flirtation,' which dropped from the most 
beautiful mouth in the world,*' he perhaps hardly realised how 
very significant a fixctor of social life Flirtation was destined to 
become. Mr. Galton wrote, not long ago, that without female 
Coyness " there would be no more call for competition among tho 
males for the favour of the females ; no more fighting for love in 
which the strongest male conquci-s; no more rival dispby of 




MODERN LOVE 125 

penonal channs in which the best-looking or best-mannered pre- 
vails. The drama of courtship, with its prolonged strivings and 
doubtful success, would be cut quite short, and the race would 
degenerate through the absence of that sexual selection for which 
the protracted preliminaries for love-making give opportunity." 
\\r])en Mr. Galton wrote this, he did not apparently realise the 
SDcial revolution that is going on, or understand that frank and 
natural Flirtation, which recognises every man as a gentleman 
until he has proved the contrary, affords much better opportunity 
for Sexual Selection and "protractei preliminaries of love-making" 
than crude, hypocritical, unnatural Coyness, which regards every 
gentleman as a beast of prey and a libertine. 

Flirtation being the modem art of widening the field of amorous 
competition and prolonging the duratiou of Courtship, it follows 
that there cannot be too much of it — quantitatively speaking. 
Qualitatively it easily degenerates into frivolity, as in the case of 
tliose girls who get engaged repeatedly before marriage, which 
shows a lack of judgment, of tact, and especially of delicacy, 
because a peach should never be touched on the tree but allowed 
to retain its first blush for the man who is to eat it 

Refined flirtation, in truth, requires much more wit, more tact 
and culture, than Coyness, or than Prudery, which is the north- 
pole of Coyness. Pmdery bears much resemblance to the artificial 
tiignity of a certain class of young men who, by means of per- 
sistent reticence, gain a reputation for aristocratic and cynical 
superiority. Coquetiy even is preferable to Prudery, for it is at 
any rate entertaining. 

To sum up this matter in one sentence : The coy Prude says 
No, even when she means Yes ; the cold Coquette says Yes and 
always means No ; the modest and refined Flirt says neither Yes 
nor No, but looks and smiles a sweet " Perhaps — if you can win 
my Love." 

Modem CourUlvip, — What a grotesque and topsy-turvy parody 
of liistory it is, this modem comedy of Courtship, in which the 
man is the slave and walks on his knees ! And how gracefidly 
the newly-crowned girl-queen plays her rdle, little suspecting that 
in the next act the husband will pn)bably throw away his self- 
assuined niaisk, and insist again on his liistoric rights as lord and 
master of the household ! 

The shock which follows this transition from the romance of 
Courtship to the realism of conjugal life is much the greatest in 
the case of the Prude. The Coquette need not be considered; 
she was bom without a heart, and nuuriage will not give her one. 




12B BOKANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTT 

But the Prade often owes her mmatuttUnees solely to an absmd 
educational system, and may be at heart the best of women. 
Previoos to marriage she is taught to rely on passiTO Ck>yne8S to 
arouse the desires of man. After marriage, when she yields her- 
self up, body and soul, she loses thiA weapon, the lover recoyers 
his courage and lowers the pitch of hii devotional ecstasy. This 
alarms the girl, who eagerly .endeavouis to recover the romantic 
Adoration by tiying to please aud coax and caress. But pleasing 
— or active fiisdnation — ^being an art which she never has prac- 
tised, she does it in a bungling way— overdoes it, in fact — thus 
increasing the husband's indifference. Had she learned the art of 
refined Flirtation, i.e. active fascination with wit and accomplish- 
ments, this domestic tragedy would never have been enacted. 
Her skill and tact would then have enabled her to preserve her 
husband's Gallantry, by supplying a constant variety and novelty 
in those feminine charms and graces in which a superior woman is 
as fertile as a man of genius in ideas. 

By her extremely reserved and passive attitude during Court- 
ship the Prude not only mars the probabilities of coig'agal liappi- 
ness, she also weakens her own Love directly, through Coyness, 
and indirectly, by making the man too servile and over-anxious to 
worship. For if a man immediately yields up his sword and pro- 
claims himself fatally stabbed by a white wench's black eye, there 
can be in her mind none of those small oUtncles and doubts 
which, like short absences, increase Love. Love-making should 
be a duel of wit and mutual fascination. The Flirt does her part 
of the fencinji^; the Prude simply hides behind her shield and 
waits to see if the man can break it, or coax her to throw it away. 
With a Flirt a man need not be a servile worshipper, but he may 
1)0 a Flirt likewise : which is a much more desirable attitude, 
not only because male flirtation will fan the woman's Love into a 
brighter flame through the stimulus of uncertainty, but also 
because it enables the man to preserve his dignity. Hence 
Beatrix's pointed advice to Henry Esmond : *' Shall I be frank 
with you, Harry, and say that if you had not been down on your 
knees, and so humble, you might have fared better with met 
A woman of my spirit, cousin, is to be won by gallantry and not 
by sighs and nieful faces. All the time you are worshipping 
I know very well I am no goddess, and grow weary of the 
incense." 

The girl of the period is the girl who flirts, and who expects 
every eligible man to take up her challenge for a tournament of 
wit and playing at Courtship. The reason why there is much 




MODERN LOVE 127 

more Romantic Love in America and England than in other 
eoantries is because there is more Flirtation, more opportunity for 
Courtship. 6n the Continent young folks are too constantly 
regarded from the marriage point of view. In Italy and France, 
when a young lady comes back from boarding-school^ she is 
married as quickly as possible before she has had a chance to full 
in love with a man of her choice. Consequence : she falls in love 
afttr marriage, and not always with her husband. In Germany a 
yoimg lady is allowed to see young men and even to walk with 
tliem in the street, in the daytime or in the evening, if properly 
chaperoned; but under no circumstances will she take a young 
man's arm, for that would imply an engageincnt In America it 
b otherwise ; but even there, in the South, it is taken for granted 
that if a young man caUs on a young lady three or four times he 
can have no other object than to many her. His object may be 
to marry, but not necessarily ker. What he wants is to become 
acquainted, and if acquaintance *' by summer's ripening breath " 
blossoms into Love, so much the better ; if not, it is a thousand 
times better he should be allowed to depart in peace than that 
two beings should be mated who do not feel readly sympathetic 
and eompanionable. How is a young man to find his Juliet if he 
is not allowed to see a number of women, without being called 
fickle f And how is Juliet to find her Romeo, if mothers frighten 
yoong men into bachelorhood liy such absurd customs t 

The word Courtship, in fact, should have a wider meaning 
tlian it has now. It should be almost synonymous with Flirta- 
tion, which provides the means of bringing together, from a wide 
circle of acqiuiintanoes, two beings who are rodly suited to each 
other, instead of two whom blind chance, a few '* calls," or the 
advantages of intimacy resulting from cousinship, have fortuitously 
Biatal for a life of probable conjugal miseiy. 

Plato*s advice that opportunity should be given to the sexes to 
become acquainted before marriage is much more followed to-day 
than at any previous time in the world's history; but there is 
•till vast room for improvement. 

MODEEK JKALOUST 

Jealousy may bo defined as a painful emotion on noticing, or 
imagining, that some one dear to us loves another more than us. 
Unlike affection in general, and like sympathy, it therefore neces- 
iarily refers to a sentient being and a possible reciprocation of 
aflbrtioiL It is a form of rivalry, of which there are two kinda : 



128 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

rivalry for the possession of an object or a position ; and rivalry 
for the first pkce in a person's affections. The first is not incom- 
patible with friendship, for two rival candidates for a political 
office or a college fellowship are not necessarily personal enemies. 
But the second kind, which, when allied with doubt is called 
Jealousy, is a deadly enemy of good-will ; and there is probably no 
cause that has broken so many^ friendships as the "green-eyed 
monster," among women no less than among men. 

Modem psychology agrees with St Augustine that "he that 
is not jealous, is not in love." There can be no love without 
Jealousy — potential at any rate, for in the absence of provocation 
it may perhaps never manifest itself. But there can be Jealousy 
without love, i,e. without sexual love ; for that passion is often 
aroused in connection with other kinds of affection — parental, 
filial, etc. Stories are told of dogs practically committing suicide 
by disappearing or pining away if displaced by a younger pet in 
the affection of a family ; and those who have seen specimens of 
canine jealousy find nothing improbable in these stories. Yet as 
a rule all these general form.) of jealousy — as when a husband is 
jealous of his wife if the children show her special favour, or as 
when a mother is jealous of a visitor loved by her children — are 
mere trifles compared with sexual Jealousy, romantic and conjugal 
It is in painting this form of Jealousy that poets have exhausted 
the strength of knguage. *' Of all the passions in the mind thou 
vilest art," says Spenser of this "king of torments," "the injured 
lovers helL" With this, when once the lover's mind is affected— 

*' Tis then dolightful misery do more, 
But agony uumixt, inccasant gall.*' 

*' But, 0, what damn^ minatos tells he o*er 
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves. " 

In the animal kingdom sexual Jealousy and rivalry play so 
important a port that Darwin attributes to their agency the 
superior size and strength (in most classes) of the male over the 
female. Among savages, as bos been pointed out, we see some- 
times a curious absence of Jealousy, both as regards brides and 
wives; whereas in other cases, the passion manifests itself with 
brutal ferocity. Thus among the American Indians infidelity is 
sometimes punished by cutting off the nose, sometimes by the 
shearing of the hair, wliich is considered a great disgrace. On the 
Fiji Islands, Waitz tells us, the wives of a polygamist " lead a life 
of bitter strife and commit ... the most atrocious cruelties 
xigainst one another from hate and Jealousy ; biting or cutting off 




MODERN LOVE 129 

the nose is quite a common oecnrrence." Stanley, in his work on 
the Congo, remarks that the Langa-Langa women scar their faces 
and busts in a hideous manner, probably because compelled to do 
80 by the Jealousy of the men. In Hebrew literature the case of 
Jacob's two wires urging him of their own accord to become still 
further polygamous, presents a strange example of this pos^^ion 
being neutralised by other motives. What prompted the ancient 
Greeks, and what prompts Oriental nations to this day, to keep 
their women under lock and key, was, and is, of course, simply a 
perverse and ignorant feeling of Jealousy. In this feeling also, no 
«lonbt, originated the Chinese custom compelling women to mutilate 
their ifect to prevent them from going about ; as well as the custom 
indulged in until recently by Japanese ladies of shaving off their 
eyebrows and blackening their teeth after marriage — a custom 
which shows bow much stronger Jealousy must be than Admiration 
of Personal Beauty in the affection of these nations. No doubt, 
however, all these excesses and cruelties of Jealousy are counter- 
balanced by the good it has done in enforcing tlie laws of morality. 

Civilisation does not weaken sexuid Jealousy, but only gives it 
a less brutal form of manifesting itself. Conjugal Jealousy still 
produces the greatest number of domestic tragedies, of which 
OUitllo is the immortal type. It is already typified in Hera, for, as 
Zeus says in Homer, " She is always meddling, whatever I may be 
about" But then she had good cause to meddle in the affairs of 
this Olympian Don Juan. 

Lowrs* Jealousy, — As for Lovers' Jealousy proper, there is 
reason to believe that it will grow stronger and more common as 
general cidtiu^ advances. For the men who are most ahead of our 
century emotionally, the men of genius, are usually very jealous. 
Heine's Jealousy went so far that he even poisoned a poor parrot 
of whom his Mathilde was extravagantly fond ; and it is probable 
that Byron's savnge attack on the Waltz was dictatcl by a sort of 
wholesale Jealousy in regard to all pretty girls. For in Love 
Byron was omnivorous. 

The lover's and the husband's Jealousy are alike in their 
extreme sensitiveness — 

"Trifles light M air 
Are to the jealons confirmations strong 
As proofs of holy writ ; " 

uor is there probably any difference in the intenscness of their agony. 

To the lover Jealousy is not only his greatest torture, but also 

his deadliest enemy. With this fever in his blood even the man 

of the world who knows his " Ars Amoris " by heart, ia apt to ruin 



130 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEESONAL BEAUTY 

bis cause by excess of blind rivalry and diimsy possioa : which 
perhaps explains why so many great men have been refused by 
their best loves. To endure and ignore a rival is, as Ovid already 
declared, the highest and most difficult achievement in the Art of 
Love ; as for himself^ he frankly admits, he was unequal to it. 

There are several ways in which lovers ruin their chances by 
awkward excess of passion. It makes them appear selfish and 
uoamiable; and the pallor which Jealousy inspires is not that 
which makes a girl consider a man " interesting," and le;ids her 
through pity to Love. If the lover is not yet accepted, his 
Jealousy arouses her opposition, because be seems to take it for 
granted that he has a right to be jealous, and that she will neces- 
sarily accept him. Again, his attitude repels her by suggesting 
that he woidd iudulge in impertinent supervision and tyrannical 
dictation after marriage. Even if he has successfully proposed, 
she does not like to have him make lua victory and prospective 
ownership so conspicuous by his jealous glnnces and manoeuvres. 
Besides, a fascinating girl likes to preserve her apparent freedom 
as long as possible, and let others admire her beauty while it ksts. 

Most fatal is it for a man to assume a jealous attitude towards 
a woman before he has been able to inspire her with interest in 
him. Her indifference will thus bo inevitably changed into posi- 
tive dislike. For, as Madame de CouUinges says, *^ L'on ne veut 
de la jalousie que de ceux dont on pourrait Stre jalouse " — We do 
not desire any jealousy except from those for whom we could our- 
selves feel jealousy. Stendhal, who quotes this aphorism, adds a 
reason why women may be gratified by a display of Jealousy: 
*' Jealousy may please proud women, as a new way of showing 
them their power." And to a woman in love and in doubt, the 
man's Jealousy, which is so easily detected, \a of course a most 
welcome symptom of conquest. 

For Jealousy is the first sign of Love, as it is also the last. If 
a man is iu doubt whether he is really in Love with a girl or only 
admires her beauty, let him ol)serve her when talking or dancm^ 
with another man : if he then feels " queer " — from a mere uneasi- 
ness to a desire to pulverise the other fellow — he may be assmed 
that his emotion has passed the borderline which separates disin- 
terested a»thetic admiration from the desire for exclusive possession 
which is popidarly known as Love. 

Conversely, if a man who has been repeatedly refused, or who 
for some other reason endeavours to suppress his passion, feels in 
doubt whether the cure is complete, he neeil only imagine his 
former love in the arms of another man, or before the altar with 




MODEBN LOVE 131 

him : if tliat docs not make him turn pale and frown and bite his 
lips, he is cured. This test, however, is not so certain as the 
other, for sometimes Jealousy outlives Love ; and Longfellow 
believed that every true passion leaves an eternal scar. 

Like Coyness, Jealousy is a discord in the harmony of Love. 
A little of it is piquant and rouses desire. ''Jealousy," says 
Hume, '' is a painful passion, yet without some share of it the 
agreeable affection of love has difficulty to subsist in all its force 
and violence. . . . Jealousy and absence in love compose the dolce 
piccanU of the Italians, which they suppose so essential to all 
pleasure. ** 

Unfortunately, Jealousy is rarely content to remain " agreeably 
piquant," but is apt to grow into a tornado of passion whicli 
devastates body and soul, and makes it the keenest agony known 
to mankind. It is often said that the agony inspired by a refusal 
18 the only thing that excuses tears in a man. This agony is a 
mixed emotion, including wounded Pride and the sen^e of having 
lost all that makes life worth living. But its keenest sting comes 
from the green-eyed monster, who hisses into the lover's ears tiiat 
now a rival vnll enjoy her sweetness and beauty. Dante did not 
correctly describe the lowest depth of hell : it is this thought in 
the lover's mind that '^ now another will marry her." It is tJtat 
thought which drives lovers to lunatic asylums and suicide. 

''Some lines I read the otijer day," Keats wrote to Fanny 
Brawne, " are continually ringing a peal in my ears — 

''To nee those eyes I prize above mine own 
Dart Favours on another — 
And those sweet lips (}ielding immortal nectar) 
]\e gently press'J by any but myself — 
Tliiiik, think, FranceHca, what a cursed thing 
It were beyond expression." 

" Get thee to a nunnery," would be every lover's advice to the 
girl who rejected him. If she obeyed, his agony would be 
diminished one-half. 

But why, if he cannot have her, should she not make some one 
else happy 1 Because Jealousy is the one absolutely selfish trait 
of Love. The lover who in other respects is the very model of 
altruism and Self-Sncrifice is in point of jealous rivalry for posses- 
sion an absolute egotist to whom even her happiness is torture if 
he cannot share it. Is this an al>erration of Lovers' Sympathy, or 
does it mark its climax ? The answer will be found in the chapter 
on Sympathy. 

Setrospective and Frotpective Jealousy, — There are three kinds 



132 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEKSONAL DEAUTT 

of modern Jealousy — RetroBpective, Present, and Prospectiya 
The rejected lover's Jealousy is of the third kind ; it refers not to 
what is, but to what will or may be. Another variety of Pro- 
spective Jealousy is illustrated by a story told in a Moscow journal 
of an old peasant who married a young girl of whom he was very 
jealous. On his deathbed he expressed a desire to give her a last 
kiss. But hardly had she touched him, when he seized her under 
Up and fastened his teeth so tightly in it that a knife had to be 
used to pry them open. With his dying breath he confessed that 
his object had been to mutilate her, so that no one else might 
marry her. 

Is it not possible that the custom of bumiDg widows in India 
was at first an outcome of the Jealousy of some influential ruler 
who set the fashion 7 

Present Jealousy does not call for any special remarks, but 
Retrospective Jealousy has some curious features. It is entirely 
non-existent not only among those savage tril)es who scorn virgin 
brides, but among some semi-civilised peoples in Africa and Asia 
where the men prefer to marry women with a dowry, no matter 
how they may have earned it 

In modem love Retrospective Jealousy is often very strong, 
especially in men who, though they do not hesitate to marry a girl 
who has been engaged before, would not care to dwell on the 
details of the previous engagement. Women, too, have been 
known to indulge in this futile form of Jealousy. Thus Heine 
relates in one of his letters that at the special request of his 
Mathilde, he got her a copy of the French edition of lus Pictures 
of Travel, *'But hardly had she read a few pages, when she 
tiumed deadly pale, trembled in all her limbs, and begged me for 
heaven's sake to close the book. She had come upon a love-scene 
in it, and jealous as she is, she docs not even want mc to have 
ailored another before her regime; indeed, I had to promise her 
tlmt in future I would not address any laujuuage of love even to 
the imaginary ideal personages in my books." 

The trouble with Heine is that one never knows exactly when 
he is relating facts and when indulging in fun and fiction. As a 
rule, certainly women are not much troubled by Jealousy regarding 
the i)ast. If the lover promises to be a good boy in future and 
give them a monopoly of his adoration, they are rarely (lisquiete<l 
by the question, " Has he been in love before t '* Indeed, there is 
a current notion that women admire a man all the more for being 
a Don Juan or professional lady-killer. Perhaps, however, this is 
putting the cart before the horse : for, instead of admiring him 




MODERN LOVE 138 

becanse be is a lady-killer, is it not possible tbat he is a lady- 
killer because they dl admire bim ? 

Yet some truth there seems to be in that old notion regarding 
gay Lotharios ; for the average woman's ideal man still wears a 
certain mediieval military cast: he is conceived as a muscular 
dare-devil, recklef^, irresistible, a universal conqueror of female 
hearts as well as of other fortresses. 

Jealousy and Beauty, — As Love becomes more and more 
idealised, i,e. transferred to the imagination, its overtones com- 
bine and produce various new emotional clang-tints — sometimes 
agreeable, sometimes harsh and dissonant. Among the Japanese 
and Chinese, as just stated. Jealousy neutralises the Admiration 
of Personal Beauty to such an extent as to breed indifference to 
shaved eyebrows, black teeth, deformed feet, and a consequent 
utter absence of grace in gait But there is a more subtle way in 
which Jealousy may cast a cloud on Personal Admiration, even in 
a refined Western imagination. Once in a while it happens to a 
sensitive man, a worj>hipper of Beauty, that he beholds a vision of 
grace and loveliness — perhaps in a ballroom, perhaps in a theatre 
or the street But this sight instead of delighting him, gives him 
A painful sting in the heart Partly, this i)aradoxical sadness of a 
discoverer may be due to the sudilen fancy that this fair}'liko 
being perhaps will never again cross hb field of vision. Yet it 
seems more likely that the tinge of pain which o'ercasts the rosy 
feelings of Admiration is due to Jealousy, especially if she is seen 
in company witli a man. For a moment the Beauty-worshipper 
fancies himself in that man's place ; the next moment the con- 
sciousness of isolation flashes on his mind, and the reaction brings 
out the painful contrast between what is and what might be. 
For man, as Mr. Howells has remarked, is still imperfectly mono- 
gamous. He has occasional visions of a Mahometan heaven 
peopled with bkck-eyed Houris ; or envies the knight in Heine's 
poem, who lies on the beach and enjoys the caresses of the mer- 
maids, who come and kiss him because they know not that he only 
pretends to be asleep. 

That the Beauty- worshipper's sadness is due to a vague Jealousy 
seems the more probable from the fact that the same feeling never 
tinges his admiration of a living Apollo of masculine perfection. 
Whether women ever have the same emotions remains for them 
totelL 

MONOPOLY OR EXCLUSTVENESS 

In the case of this trait of Love, Prior-ity of discovery obrionsly 



134 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUT7 

belongs to the author of these lines — 

" Love, well tlion knowest, no partnenhip olloir% 
Cupid averse rejects dindcd vows." 

Monopoly, the imperiouB desire for exclosive devotion and 
possession, is the mother of Jealousy. Though less grim and 
melancholy than her son, she is equally presumptuous and 
meddlesome, and woe to the man who will so much as breathe or 
smile upon what she claims as liers. Monopoly, like Jealousy, is 
one of the selfish elements of Love All lovers join hands and 
declaim in unison the words of Jean Paul : ** What pleases us is 
to see her shrink fix>m everybody else, growing hard and frozen to 
them on our account, handing th^m nothing but ices and cold 
pudding, but serving nt with the glowing goblet of love." 

Historically, Monopoly is of the utmost significance, since in it 
ia rooted monogamy, which, as previously explained, probably 
originated in exogamous Capture giving a man the right to ex- 
clusive possession of one woman in ct immunities where, as one 
writer puts it, every man might claim '*a thousand miles of 
wives.** 

The desire for cxclusiveness, for undivided worship, sometimes 
enters into non-sexual aflfections ; and an anonymous writer has 
suggested that the main reason why Byron was so devoted to his 
dog was because the dog was *' a creature exclusively devoted to 
himself, ami hostile to every one else." 

Yet all this is child's play compared with the imperious form 
Monopoly assumes in Modem Romantic Love. In the fever-heat 
of his passion the lover's chief desire is to be cast on a desert 
island, and remain there all alone with her. ** On ne se sowie 
plus de ce que dit le monde," says Pascal ; public opinion is 
scorned ; all social feelings annihilated Relatives and friends 
exist no longer — what are they to him ? his pet occupations bore 
him ; and there is only one thought which fascinates — the picture 
of a small and cosy house, all his own, a small parlour with one 
sofa, barely large enough for two, a book of ix)ems in very fine 
print, compelling two heads to touch in reading from it, and a 
breakfast-table with only two chairs ; all visitors excluded from 
the unsocial atmosphere, because ** three are a crowd." 'Tis a 
" double selfishness," doubly as strong as single selfishness. 

Surely Emerson — as the German professor did with the camel 
— evolved his idea of a lover from his inner consciousness. " All 
mankind love a lover," he exclaims. Obviously he had never 
seen a lover. The fact is that all the world thinks a lover a 




MODERN LOVE 135 

trcmendons and ridiculous bore— a man whose whole mind is 
monopolised by one unvarying topic — her perfections and his 
chances of winning her ; and who stubbornly insists on monopo- 
lising your attention, too, with that everlasting exchisivc topic. 
Like every other lunatic he has one fixed idea ; and it's no wonder 
the poets always paint him blind, like Cupid ; for on the wide, 
wide ocean of humanity, he sees nothing with his two big eyes 
but one little solitary tninsient bubble. 

In this matter, it must be admitted, woman's Love is superior 
to man's. " Oh, Arthur," says Ella, in the Fliegende Blatter, 
^* how happy I would be alone with you on a quiet island in the 
distant ocean ! " '* Have you any other desire, dearest Ella 1 " 
'* Oh yes, do get me a season ticket for the opera." 

True Love m trannent. — Boswell tells us that Johnson "laughed 
at the notion that a man can never be really in love but once, 
and considere<l it a mere romantic fancy." And though this 
romantic fancy is as current as ever in society and literature, 
Johnson was right in his verdict, as usuaL 

True Love, indeed, is absolutely exclusive of every other Love 
wJiUe it lasts ; but it rarely lasts more than two or three years ; 
and then the heart, freed from one monopoly, is ready for another, 
perhaps even more tyrannical, while it lasts. 

That Love is transient is most fortunate, for it is, in its truest 
and most ardent form, such a consuming fever, that the strongest 
man would not be able to endure its mingled ecstasies and anguish 
more than a few years. The lover's fancies are his only food; 
coarser noiuishroent he scorns ; he loses his appetite, and becomes 
'^pnle and interesting" — to women, who like to see a powerful 
man thus wincing under their supciior might, and melting away 
before their radiant beauty. 

Yet its trausitoriness detracts not in the least from the magic 
and tlie charm of Love. It is in the life of man what the flower- 
ing period is in the life of a plant. As, for the sake of its fragrant 
blossoms, a plant is tenderly nursed and watered weeks and 
months though it flowers but a week ; so, even if brief Love were 
the only flower of life, yet would life be worth living for its sake alone. 

How long Love may last depends on individuals and circum- 
stances. Sointe-Beuve, I believe, has said that it never can out- 
live five years. Favouring ciraimstances are slight obstacles, 
rivalries and jealousies, short absences, etc. ; while long absences, 
the distractions of travel, professional occupations, etc., tend to 
shorten it In uninterrupted absence, without epistolary en- 
ODuragement, the most ardent Love would hardly survive a year, 



136 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEKSONAL BEAUTY 

unless the lover lived on a desert island, urith no other woman to 
engross his attention. Return, however, is apt to bring on a 
relapse, as with Henry Esmond, who '' went away from his mis- 
trehs, and was cured a half-dozen times ; he came back to her side, 
and instantly fell ill again of the fever." 

Thus it is the fate of all unrequited Love to die for want of 
food ; or, if success^, to leave the stormy ocean of passion and 
sail into the more tranquil haven of coigugal affection. 

Woman's Love is less transient than man's, because there are 
fewer ambitions to neutralise it. 

Is First Love but f — If Love's Monopoly lasted for life, if 
passion were not transient, it would follow that most men would 
marry, or endeavour to marry, the schoolgirls who were the first 
object of their amorous attentions. But is there one man in a 
hundred, is there oue in three hundreil, who marriea his first 
Love 1 Cases are known of men of genius who fell in love at an 
age varying from six to nine years ; and there are few lads, in 
America at any rate, and if they have an artistic temperament, 
who do not have their cases of " calf-love," beginning with their 
tenth or twelfth year. 

A boy's first Love is a girl of about his own age, towards 
whom he shyly makes hia way by oft'ering her an apple, a bimch 
of wild strawberriei', or a large liailstone picked up during a storm 
l>efore her eyes, to impress her with his reckless Gallantry aud 
courage. The second and third loves — for schoolboys are fickle, 
and schoolgirls m<»re so — are probably not different in character 
from the first. At fifteen and sixteen, boys scorn j-irls of their own 
age, and fall in love with young married women, Troiiliadour-like. 
Perhaps the Dulcinea is a Spanish lieauty, with large thrilling 
black eyes, who, seeing the poor cub's infatuation, teases and tor- 
tures him to distraction with her unfathomable wealth of fiiscination. 

And let no one imagine that these cases of early passion are 
anything short of true Romantic Love. For follow that poor boy 
enamoiured of the Spanish brunette ; see him hiding himself in a 
lonely forest, gazing with rapture on her photograph — perhaps only 
with his mind's eye — throwing himself on the ground in an anguish 
of tears, wishing that either he was dead ... or her husband 
. . . and behaving altogether like a premature Werther. 

Such is calf — beg pardon — first Love. And is this first Love 
best of all 1 Perhap««, in one respect, and in one only : it believes 
in its own unchangeableness. Goethe remarks in bis autobiography 
that nothing is so calculated to make us disgusted with life ** as 
a retiun of Love, . . . The notion of the eternal and infinite, 




MOD£RK LOVE 187 

which forms its basis and support, is destroyed ; it appears to us 
transitory, like everything that recurs." 

Heine an First Love, — Heinrich Heine, whose poetry is next to 
Shakspere's the most valuable depository of Modem Love, enlarges 
on this question in his fragmentary but admirable Analysis of 
Shakspere's Female Characters : '* Love is a flickering flame be- 
tween two darknesses ... [the dots are in the original]. Whence 
comes it ? . . . From sparks incredibly small. . • . How does it 
end ? . . . Li nothingness equally incredible. • . . The more 
raging the flame, the sooner it is burnt out. . . . Yet that does 
not prevent it from abandoning itself entirely to its fiery impulses, 
as if this flame were to burn eternally. . • • 

'' Alas, when we are seized a second time in life by the grand 
passion, we lack this faith in its immortality, and painful memories 
tell us that in the end it will consume itself. Hence the melan- 
choly by which second difiers from first love. ... In first love 
we fancy our passion can only end with death ; and indeed, if the 
threatening difficulties in our way cannot be i-emoved in any other 
manner, we readily make up our mind to accompany our beloved 
to the grave. . . . But in second love the thought occurs to us 
that time will change our wildest and most ecstatic feelings to a 
tame, apathetic state ; that these eyes, these lips, these contours, 
which now throw us into transports of rapture, will some day be 
regarded with indiflerence. This thought, alas 1 is more melan- 
choly than a presentiment of death. . . . It is a disconsolate 
feeling, in the midst of intoxication, to think of the sober, frigid 
moments that will follow, and to know from experience that these 
ultra-poetic, heroic passions will have such a lamentably prosaic 
ending. ...[...] 

" I do not, in the least, presume to find fault with Shakspere, 
yet cannot but express my surprise that he makes Romeo enamouretl 
of Rosaline before he brings him face to face with Juliet. Though 
absolutely devoted to his second love, there yet dwells in his soul 
a certain scepticism, which finds utterance in ironic expressions, 
and not rarely reminds one of Hamlet. Or is second love the 
stronger in a man for the very reason that it is paired with lucid 
self-consciousness ? A woman cannot love twice, her nature is too 
tender to endure a second time the terrific emotional earthquake. 
Look at Juliet ! Would she be able a second time to endure those 
ecstatic delights and horrors, a second time suppress her fear and 
empty the dreadful cup ! In my opinion once is enough for this 
poor, blessed creature, this pure martyr to a great passion." 

First Love is net lest — Thus even Heine, while lamenting the 



188 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

transitoriness of Love, cannot help 8U$;;ge8tmg that in man, at any 
rate, second Love may be stronger than first On this point it is 
curious to note the difference of opinion among thoughtful writers. 
La Bruy^re declares that '* we can love well once only — the first 
time; the loves which follow are less involuntary." Another 
French author, Lctoumeau, on the contrary, thinks that one love- 
affair only whets the ap[)etite for more : " on a besoin de vivre 
fort ; " and hence "an expiring passion ordinarily leaves the ground 
admirably prepared for the germination of another passion." 
Stendhal held that a young girl of eighteen, ** owing to her inade- 
quate experience of life, is not comprehensive eqough in her desires 
to be able to love with as much passion as a woman of twenty- 
eight; and a lady-friend having objected to this on the ground 
that in her firat love a girl must love more ardently because her 
feelings are not distracted by doubt and distrust, as they are sub- 
sequently, he replied that this very mejianee^ in its struggle with 
lore, will make it come out a thousand times more brilliant and 
substantial than the gny and thoughtless first love. Mr. P. G. 
Hnmerton seems to cast his vote in the same urn, for he thinks, 
*' it is, indeed, one of the signs of a healthy nature to retain for 
many years the freshness of the heart which makes one liable to 
fall in love, as a healthy palate retains the natural early taste for 
delicious fruits." And, finally, George Eliot asks : " How is it 
that the poets have said so many fine things about our first love, 
so few about our later love.l Are their first poems their best t or 
are not those the best which come from their fuller thought, their 
larger experience, their deeper-rooted affections 1 The boy's flute- 
like voice has its own spring charm ; but the man should yield a 
richer, deeper music." 

So doctors evidently disagree. But the facts that Heine is in 
doubt, that the greatest authority makes Romeo's imparalleled 
passion his second love, and that even Werther's famous love, not- 
withstanding Goethe's theory, is not his first, certainly make the 
scale incline in favour of a second or later passion. 

*' Now old desire doth in his deathbed lie, 
And young atrection gapes to be his heir ; 
• That fair for which Iova groane<l for, and wonld die. 

With tender Juliet matched, is now not fair." 

These lust two lines suggest the whole psycholosy of First Love. 
Romeo's first Loee was not his best Love. When his soul had 
reached manly maturity, and looked about for a proper object of 
affection, he did not at once have the good luck to encounter his 
Juliet. Rosaline was the nearest approacJi to his ideal; so ho 




MODERN LOVE 1?9 

worked himBelf into a Bemi-fictitions passion and groaned for ber, 
and would die, until suddenly he saw his real ideal, and found that 
his first passion was a fragile soap-bubble in companson to his true 
Love for Juliet, which no rival could have altered one speck. 

In his first Love, in a word, he had fallen in love with tJie 
species, rather than with an individual Sexual Selection, or 
Individual Preference, had come in more as a matter of chance 
than of decisive, final choice. And so it is with most cases of first 
love. Man falls in Love with woman, woman with man, not with a 
particular man or woman. Thus it \b that at an early age thousands 
of impatient youths marry their Rosalines before they have had 
time or opportunity to meet their Juliets. Doubtless there is a 
Juliet for every m«'U) in the world ; but it generally happens that 
she does not attend the same school, work in the same manufactory, 
or live in the same village, or belong to the same city-clique' as he 
does ; so, being less adventurous than Romeo, who went outside of 
his clique for a sort of esogamous marriage by Capture, he weds 
his first Love, ue. his Rosaline ; and this is one of the reasons why 
BO few cases of true Romantic Love are encountered even to-diiy, 
outside of novels. 

Most marriages, in truth, are brought about through accidental 
acquaintance or companionship, not through Love. Suppose that 
a score of young men who have never loved were cast on a desert 
island with one pretty girl Tliough she were as unamiable as 
Juno, cold and coy as Diana, in less than a month nineteen of the 
twenty youths would be in love with her and bitter personal 
enemies. Here the man would fall in love with the woman ; the 
fundamental tone of passion would prevail ; whereas if there had 
been a choice, eighteen of those men perhaps would never have 
dreamed of proposing to that girl Now second Love is much 
more apt to be thus influenced by Individual Preference than first ; 
and the more Love is individualised the deeper it is. Failure to 
find lasting satisfaction in the first choice makes a man more slow 
and cautious in his second clioice. 

At the same time the mind expands and grows, and age 
strengthens not only the intellect but the emotions as well For 
his size, a hoy may love as anlently as a man ; but the man is bigger. 

Tlie hiotorr of the race agrees with that of the individual in 
showing th.it Love at first is a general passion, only slightly dis- 
criminative, but becomes more and more so as time goes on. 

Even the objection urged against scc<md Love by Goethe and 
Heine appears of no special significance when brought face to face 
with (acts. Ver}' few men, if any, who are in Love a second or 



« • 



140 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

third time, sit in a corner to muse over the transitoriticss of inubioii- 
till they become ** disgusted with life." On the contrary, they 
feel convinced that the preceding infatuation was, after all, not real 
indomitable Love, such as they now experience towards Daisy 
No. 2 ; which second infatuation they absolutely know is the 
genuine article ; just as they know that no one ever before loved so 
deeply and devotedly. Tl^ naive self-confidence of the lover in 
the unprecedented ardour and uniqueness of his passion is one of 
the most sublime and ridiculous aspects of Love. 

And here it may be said, for the benefit of timid souls who 
may possibly fear tluit harm may result to the cause of Love from 
exposing its perishableness, that the only persons who could be 
ii^iired by the destruction of this illusion — those who happen to 
be in Love — ^^will positively and absolutely refuse to believe that 
their particular passion is fugitive. They will simply laugh in the 
face of any one who questions the immortality of their Love ; and 
a year or two later, perhaps, they will laugh again — for a different 
reason. 

Indeed, the notion that true Love never dies and will for ever 
monopolise the soul, may actually do harm, and sometimes does 
so. The disappointed lover commits suicide not because his 
torments seem intolerable for the moment, but because he is con- 
vinced they will kst for ever, and thus make life not worth living. 

A review of the situation brings out the truth that the only 
apparent advantage which First Love has over later passions ia 
Novelty. Yet even this advantage proves to be illusory; for 
though the Second Love nuiy not bo a novelty, the Girl is ; and 
does not Moore, the modern Anakreon, sing — 

" Enough for me that she's a new one"f 

One more consideration. There is an adage, not entirely un- 
known, that practice makes perfect ; and psychology teaches that 
feelings tend to become deeper by repetition. Wliy should Love 
be an exception! The channels worn in the brain by the first 
emotions will be reopened and widened by the new flood of passion ; 
and thus remembered emotion will add its force to that of the 
present moment 

Has the reader ever heard Wagner's Xihelung Tetralogy f If 
so, he will remember with what a thrill of delight he recognised 
in the later dramas some of the motives and melodies he had 
heard in the preceding ones. In the later dramas these melodies 
are appreciated not only for their own intrinsic beauty, but be- 




MOD£nN LOVE 141 

cause they come laden with the sad and joyous associations and 
memories of the preceding scenes which they illustrated. 

Wagner was not only a great musician and dramatist, he was 
also i most subtle psychologist He doubled the power of music 
by lidding to the enjoyment of the moment the strong current of 
remembered emotion. And this is precisely what a later passion 
of manhood adds to the naive delights of First Love. 

It is remarkable how many analogies there are between Music 
and Love— the youngest art and the youngest sentiment ; and how 
the love of the divine art enables one to understand and feel more 
deeply the music of the divine passion. 

FniDE AND VANITT 

Jealousy and Monopoly are the two selfish features of Love 
which urge an enamoured couple to flee society and friends, and 
take refuge on a desert island. Fortunately there is in the 
chemistry of Love a third selfish element — the Pride of succeiisful 
wooing, ^vhich com ni only is strong enough to neutralise the anti- 
socLd tendcucies of the other twa If a lover's passion has not 
yet risen to fever-heat, nothing (except Jealousy) will so suddenly 
raise it as the Pride and conceit inspired by noticing that people 
in general admire his chosen girl ; the more of the admirers, the 
greater his Pride. And M, in addition, sympathising friends 
directly approve his choice and laud her merits in detail, then his 
transports of ecstasy become celestial 

Inasmuch as in moments of elation over success of any kind a 
man feels as if nothing were beyond his power, an accepted lover 
is as proud (I suppose) as if he had conquered not only one girl, 
but the whole feminine kingdom— or queendom : for surely the 
one chosen by him is the cleverest and most beautiful of all; 
whence it follows that all the inferior ones would of course have 
been only too proud if he had condescended to pay his addresses 
to them. 

Why do great men so often marry women who are not especially 
attractive as to personal appearance, when often they might have 
had their choice among a group of beauties ? Because the spoiled 
beauties did not understand the art of flattery, sincere or otherwise. 
Every man wishes to be considered either a creative genius or a 
h;ro. The woman who knows how to touch the sympathetic 
chord, to make each one's particular kind of Pride vibrate, has him 
at her feet in an instant. 

In conjugal life the most ludicrous of all sights is the royal self- 
complacency with which a man accepts the eager worship of his wife. 



142 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

Conversely, a r^'ected lover's heart bleeds from so many wounds 
that it is difficult to count them ; but of all these wounds the one 
inflicted by the jealous thought that she will now marry another 
is alone deep as that of his otfended Pride. The sense of superi- 
ority which every man feels over every other man is crushed, and 
cannot be laid as a flattering unction to the soul. Hence a girl 
who refuses a proposal and does not at least keep it a secret, is not 
only quite as mean, but a thousand times moro cruel than a man 
who will " kiss and telL" 

Coquetry, — Yet of all secrets the compliment of an offer is tho 
hardest for a wonutn to keep ; so, in strictest confidence, she tells 
it to only one solitary person, who ditto, who ditto, who ditto, etc. 
etc. etc. etc. and so oo. 

There is a class of women whose sole pleasure in life appears to 
be derived from vanity gratified by offers of Love and Marriage. 
Of all the elements of Love — and there are at least eleven — her 
soul is affected by one alone — the overtone of Pride. The Coquette 
has already been superficially examined, and distinguished from 
the Fliit. But this is the phu^e where she must be placed under 
the microscope and more closely examined. A great many dis- 
tinguished observers have dissected her, and here arc a few of 
their discoveries. 

Congreve lets her off easily— 

" 'Ti!* not to woand a wanton boy, 
Or amorous youth, that gives tlie joy ; 
But 'tis the glory to linve pierced tlio siraln 
For whom inferior. beauties sighed in vain.** 

Fielding is less lenient : " The life of a coquette is one constant 
lie." "The coquette," says Mr. T. B. Ahl rich— "all's one to her; 
above lier fan she'd make sweet eyes at Caliban." According to 
Victor Hugo, ** God created the coquette as soon as He had made 
the fool;" and Byron asks, "What careth she for hearts when 
once possessed ] " When Moore wrote — 

" More joy it gives to woman's bi*pnst 
To make ten frigid coxconil>fl vain, 
Than one true manly lover blest ; " 

he ha<l eviilently just left the chill atmosplicre of a coquette. "A 
coquette," says A. Duprey, " is more occupied with the homage 
we withhold than with that which we bestow upon her." 
"Coquettes are the quacks of love," says Rochefoucaulil. *'Heart- 
lessness and fascination, in about equal proportions, constitute," 
according to Mme. Deluzy, " the receipt for ft»nning the character 
of a coquette." And Poincclot cnps the climax : " An asp would 



MODERN LOVE UZ 

render its sting more venoioouB by dipping it into the heart of a 
coquette." 

There are mascnline as well as feminine Coquettes ; but there 
is one striking difference between them. To the female Coquette 
all is game that gets into her net ; she will turn awny from a man 
of genius, an Apollo, already at her feet, to fascinate a rough and 
freckled countiy lad at first sight ; whereas a male Coquette rarely 
wastes his powder on a girl who isn't pretty. And even herein is 
seen the superiority of man's Love to wonian'a The male Coquette 
is actuated by Admiration of Beauty as well as by Phde; the 
female Coquette by Pride alone. 

Cannilials have a quaint old custom of eating certain parts of 
a formidable enemy's body, in the belief that they will thus inherit 
his qualities, — as by eating his tongue, his eloquence ; his heart, 
his courage. What a delicious gastronomic morsel a Coquette's heart 
would be to these savages, whose principal amusement is cruelty ! 

Perhaps the best description ever given of a Coquette is Thack- 
eray's portraitnie of Beatrix — "A woman who has listened to" 
her admirers, '* and ployed with them and laughed with them, — 
who, beckoning them with lures and caresses, and with Yes smiling 
from her eyes, has tricked them on to their knees, and turned her 
back and left them." 

Love and Bank, — Not so many years ago the newspapers of a 
certain European country made a great deal of ado about a forth- 
coming marriage between a blue-blooded youth and a ditto maiden, 
for the reason that it was " a real Love-match." Poor princes ! 
so rarely arc they allowed to choose their own Juliet, they who 
are supposed to be the rulers of the land. Until quite recently, it 
is true, public opinion on the Continent sanctioned a Love-marriage 
between an aristocrat and a non-aristocrat provided it toas unlauh 
fuly ue. morganatic, a special royal euphemy for bigamy ; but now 
even this privilege is abolished, and princes can marry one of equal 
rank only, in pursuance of a custom more tyrannical, more restric- 
tive than the parental command on which marriage-unions de- 
pended in ancient and medioeval times. 

Grerman novelists have made considerable progress in their art 
in recent years, but in one respect it seems to be very difficult for 
them to sulwtitnte realism for romance. In every love story, 
almost, one of the leading characters must be either a prince or a 
princess. As if it were not the very essence of & prince and a 
princess that they shall not be allowed to love and marry for Love 
— unless they are clever enough to faU in Love with the partner 
tingled out for them, which happens once in a hundred times, perhaps. 



144 BOMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

But it is not only in the highest circles that aristocratic Pride 
is opposed to free Sexual Selection. It extends through a hundred 
scales of the social ladder. Germany presents a remarkable 
example. The metaphysician Eduard von Hartmann credits the 
government of that country with great astuteness. Not having 
much money to pay its officials, it has established a legion of dis- 
tinctions of rank and titles, for the sake of which the officials are 
quite willing to forego a larger salary. Of the ludicrous conceit 
inspired by this distinction of having even the slightest kind of a 
" handle " to their name, I can give an amusing instance from my 
own experience. Some years ago, desiring to see the Intendant, 
or Manager, of the Munich Opera-house, I entered a little room, 
marked Portier, aiid found that gentleman comfortably seated, with 
his cap on. He took my card, on which there was no " handle " 
of any sort, and replied sternly, "The Intendant is in; I will send 
up your card ; " adding, more severely still, " And, young man, let 
roe tell you, that when you come into the presence of a royal official^ 
it behoves you to remove your hat ! '* 

Harmless as such childish vanity may seem, it is 3ret one of the 
reasons why there are fewer good-looking women in Germany than 
in most European countries — France always excepted. For a girl, 
whose father wears on his coat the order of the black eagle, to 
marry a young man whose father only has the order of the green 
eagle, would be cousidereil an unpardonable mesalliance^ and would 
scandalise the whole neighbourhood. Of course it does not make 
much difference in a woman's own looks whether she marries a 
man she loves or one whom she can barely tolerate, and who is 
forced on her by parental desire and public opinion, but it does 
make a diiference with her children ; and even in her own case, is 
it not self-evident that the smile of pleasure at being happily nuuried 
is a better preservative of youthful beauty than the constant &own 
of disappointment, perhaps of disgust ? 

The highest treason against Cupid, however, is committcKl by 
those American women, who, without the excuse of inherited custom, 
come to Europe with their money to marry a baron. Fortimately 
such marriages have almost always ended so wretchedly that the 
fiishion has somewhat lost its popularity. What is a baron ? Per- 
haps a man whose great-great-great-grandfather " lent " some duke 
or king a few thousand gold pieces, in return for which he was allowed 
to place " von " or " de " before his name. And on the strength 
of this little word the family Pride has gone on steadily increasing 
through various generations — or rather, degenerations. 

Physiology is not usually considered an ironic science, but it 




WODERN LOVE 145 

cannot help writiui^ a satire when it teaches that *' blue " blood is 
venous blood, charged with the waste products of the bodily tissues. 
How much better than this irony would iron be, ue. some fresh, 
rtd^ arterial bLxxl iufused in the bodies of the Continental aris- 
tocracy. The English aristocracy, on the other hand, presents one 
of the finest types of manhood and womanhood ; and the reason is 
rmggested by Darwin : " Many persons are convinced, as appears 
to me with justice, that our aristocracy, including under this term 
all wealthy families in which primogeniture has long prevailed, from 
liavinjr chosen during many generations from all classes the more 
beautiiid women as their wives, have become handsomer, according 
to the European standard, than the middle classes." 

Vivid as the feeling of pride must be in a man of humble origin 
who has succeeded in winning the Love of a woman of a higher 
social grade ; and greatly as a Coquette must be tickled in counting 
off the number of hearts offered to her, on her fingers if she has 
enough to go round : yet the climax of Lover's Pride, it seems tu 
me, must bo reached by a man of noble birth who, scorning 
mediaeval puerilities, marries the girl who has won his heart, and 
were she but a plump, rosy-cheeked peasant girl. This vivid feeling 
was doubtless realised by the Grand Duke of Austria when he 
married Philippine Welser, by the Duke of Bavaria when he 
married Maria Pettenbeck. 

SPEaAL SYMPATHY 

Thanks to the social instinct, our pains are halved, our pleasures 
doubled, if we can share them with others. The proverb that 
misery loves company expresses only half the truth ; happiness, 
too, loves company. The late King of Bavaria used to enjoy an 
opera most if he was the sole spectator in the house ; but most 
)jer8ons would lose half their pleasure in this way. ^ot is this a 
purely imaginary feeling ; for in a successful performance there are 
moments when the intensely-silent and universal absorption seems 
to raise a magnetic wave, which crosses the house and makes all 
nerves vibrate and thrill in unison. Again, if a man whom constant 
attendance at places of amusement has rendered bUue, happens to 
sit next to a young girl who visits the theatre for the first time, 
the emotional play of her features, by revivini; the memor}' of his 
first experience^ enables him to share her feelings sympathetically, 
and thus to enjoy the performance doubly. And is it not a uni- 
versal experience that if we witness sublime or beautiful scenes — 
if we approach the Niagara Falls in a small boat from below, or if, 

L 



HO ROMANTIC LOVE AlH) PERSONAL BEAUTY 

standing on the top of the Breithorn near Zennatt, we see almost 
the whole of Switzerland and the Tyrol, parts of France and Italy, 
down to Lago Magg:iore, at the same moment — almost oar first 
tliought is, ** Oh, if So-and-so could only see me now and share 
this wondrous sight with me ! " 

Nor is this instinctive craying for Sympathy absent in the mind 
of the poet who prefers to be alone with Nature; on the oontiury, 
it is even deeper in his case. For to him Nature is personal ; he 

" Finds tonnes in troea, books in the ninning brooks^ 
Sermona in stones ; *' 

nor does Nature refuse her sympathy ; for does she not harmonise 
with all his moods, looking gloomy if he js sad, bright if he is 
cheerful ? 

From these general manifestations of emotional partnership 
Lover's Sympathy differs in being omnipresent and more exclusively 
concentrated on one person. There is an association of emotions 
as well as of ideas : and as every idea of excellence recalls /ter 
Perfection, so every emotion inspired by a beautiful oly'ect calb up 
the image of tfte Beauty par excellence. Thus Love gets the bene- 
fit of all these associated emotions — waggon-loads of kindling wood. 

How Love intensifies Emotions, — But is it literally true that 
in Love, as Mr. Spencer puts it, '' purely personal pleasures are 
doubled by being shared with another V It is true ; though the 
way in which this is done is difficult to explain. No psychologist, 
so far as I am aware, has cracked the nut I have given con- 
siderable thought to the subject, and venture to offer the followiug 
three suggestions as to the method by which Love doubles our 
pleasures : — 

(1) The lover's pleasures are increased by the simple process of 
emotional addition. That is, supposing him to be reading a poem 
or story to his beloved, he will experience at one and the some 
moment not only the emotions inspired by the poem or novel he is 
reading, but those due to the sense of her presence. As the mind 
does not stop to analyse its feelings at such moments, all these 
various pleasurable emotions will coalesce into one seemingly 
homogeneous feeling of happiness; just as two complementary 
colours, or all the colours of the rainlx)w, if mixed, will produce 
the simple sensation called white. 

(2) The second way in which sympathetic companionship inten- 
sifies a lover's feelings is through what may be called emotional 
resonance. If you take a violin-string in yoiu: hands, stretch it 
tightly, and then get some one to pluck it, a very faint sound only 




MODERN LOVE 147 

will be heard. But put it in its proper place, over the n^sonant 
surface of the instnimeot, and it will produce a full, loud, mellow 
tone. A human countenance is such an instmmeut — a sort of 
emotional souuding-board. Every man feek more or less pleased 
with himself if he gets off at table what he considers a wise or 
witty remark. If the sounding-boards of his neighbours vibrate 
resi)onsive]y to his jokes, he feels proud and is doubly pleased; but 
if they only grin politely, the tone of his self-satisfaction is imme- 
diately lowered an octave and dies away pianissimo. Now between 
lovers such a fiasco is absolutely impossible. TJiey never grin at 
one another's sayings for the sake of politeness merely. His 
most platitudinous remarks are sure to start a sympliony of smiles 
on her countenance, where another man's wittiest epigrams wouhl 
be barely rewarded with a slight curl of the lips ; and as for him, 
she may say anything she pleases, he never knows what she says 
but hears only the music of her voice^ — as if her words were the 
text, the rising and falling of her voice the melody, of an Italian 
opera. No wonder lovers are so exclusively interesting to each 
other, and such unmitigated bores to other people. 

Unfortunately lovers* sympathy \& rarely complete or durable. 
Sooner or later some difference of taste or opinion \a discovered 
which has the same effect as a crack in the sounding-board — the 
resonance is destroyed. Yet it can be restored by using glue ; and 
violin-builders will tell you that a glued instrument \a often better 
than one which has never had a crack. 

(3) Thirdly, Love intensifies hunum feelings by producing a 
state of emotional hyperaathaia^ or supersensitiveness, which has 
the effect of a microphone in multiplying the loudness of every 
impression. Music teachers whose acoiistic nerves are rendered 
excessively irritable by overwork ; students whose eyes, from 
reading late at night, are in the same condition, are annoyed by 
sights and sounds which ordinary mortals barely notice. But 
Love with its sleepless night daily fevers, and prolonged fastings 
is more potent than any other cause in producing such a state of 
extreme sensitiveness to every impression. Lovers' souk may 
therefore be aptly compared to ^olian harps. If you leave the 
strings of such an instrument in a state of very loose tension, they 
resemble the souls of ordinary mortals not in Love : for it takes 
a very strong breeze to elicit any sound from them. But raise 
them to a higher state of tension, like the souls of lovers, and the 
faintest breath of air will cause them to soimd in sympathetic 
unison all their harmonics — which is another name for overtonet. 

Development of Sympatliy, — Not only does Love thus owe 



148 ROMANTIC LOVE AISTD PERSONAL BEAUTY 

much of its unique intcnseness to Sympathy, but there are weighty 
reasons for believing that Love has alreaily pkyed an importaat 
rdUy and is destined to play a still more important one, in 
modifying the meaning of Sympathy and in extending its influence 
to society in general. 

When the absence of true Romantic Love among savages was 
being pointed out more emphasis should have been placed on the 
fact that they seem to be utter strangers to sympathy. Far from 
sharing another's delights and sorrows, a savage takes an intense 
delight in witnessing a man enduring the agonies of deliberate 
torture. Cruelty seems to give him the same thrill of joy that 
sympathetic assistance gives to a refined person. 

How are we to account for this strange delight in another's 
sufferings 1 By noting the extreme coarseness and callousuess of 
the primitive man's nerves. Just as some savages are known to 
have such hardened hides and lungs that they can sleep naked in 
a snowstorm with impunity, where a white man would be sure to 
peiish of cold or subsequent pneumonia ; so the savage requires 
the coarsest of stimulants to make any impression on his sluggish 
emotions. The sight of an enemy tied to a tree and being flayed 
alive tickles his uen*es by suggesting his ot^ti comfoitable freedom 
in comparison, and by showing him an enemy absolutely in his 
power; while his imagination is not sufficiently vivid to enable 
him to put himself in the other's place to feel his contoi-tious and 
suppressed moans re-echoing in his own souL 

And have we not in oiu* very midst thousands of so-calletl 
civilised beings who require stimulants almost as coarse as the 
savage to amuse their dull imaginations 1 — people who would 
hebitatc to pay silver for a book, a concert, or an art exhibition, 
but gladly give gol<l to witness the execution of a criminal or an 
exhibition of animals torturing one another to death. To suppc^se 
that such people can ever fall in Love — Romantic Love — is more 
than absurd. 

Children represent this savage stage of the evolution of 
sympathy ; as their imagination, like all their mental powers, is 
still in embryo. Nothing delights the average boy so much as a 
chance to torture a beetle, a cat, or a dog. And Mr. Galton 
somewhere refers to the sense of blo(xl-curdling produced on him 
and other sensitive persons in the London Zoulo<;ieal Gardens at 
the sight of snakes devouring living animals. " Yet," he adds, 
" I have often seen people — nurses, for instance, and children cf . 
all ages — looking unconcemetlly and amusedly at the scene." 

To substitute Sympatliy for this delight in torture — to arouse 




MODERN LOV£ 149 

the sluggish imagination from its thousand years' sleep, and 
quicken its sense of suifering in man and animals — ^is one of the 
greatest problems of moral culture, and — so fur as man is 
concerned — forms one of the keynotes of Christianity. St. Paul 
bids us both to bear one another's burdens and to rejoice with 
one another. The second part of his injunction, however, has 
been comparatively neglect^l, as is best shown by the circum- 
stance that we have several terms to ezpre^'S the sharing of sorrow 
(compassion, pity, sympathy), whereas for the sharing of joy there 
is no special noun in the English languaga The Germans have a 
word for it — Mitfretide — yet it rarely occurs out of philosophical 
treatises. The word Sympathy, which literally means " suffering 
with," has also been most commonly used in that sense. But it 
is now frequently being used in the sense of sharing joy too, and 
perhaps, despite its etjrmology, it will, for lack of another word, 
be chietiy used in this sense in future. Even at present, when 
persons are spoken of as sympathetic or antipathetic, much less 
regard is paid to their willingness to bear our burdens or share 
our sorrows than to the chances of their sharing in our pleasures 
by having similar tastes and opinions. 

For this change in the meaning of Sympathy, Romantic Love 
must, I believe, be held chiefly responsible. To some extent, no 
doubt, friends and relatives shared one another's joys before the 
advent of Love. Yet even the mother — taking the most favour- 
able case — ^cannot enter into all her child's feelings, while to the 
child most of her mature emotions are utterly incomprehensible ; 
80 that we miss here that reciprocation which is the very essence 
of Sympathy ; whereas a lover cannot even conceive a pleasure 
unless the other shares it — another point in the psychology of 
Modem Love to which Shakspere has given the most poetic 
expression — 

** Except I be by Sylvia in the night. 
There is no music in the nij^htingale.** 

Thus we see that there are three stages in the evolution of 
Sympathy : the first, in which cruelty neutralires it ; the second, 
in which this universal enjoyment of cruelty, with its attendant 
lack of imagination and altruistic feeling, compelled moralists to 
lay more stress on the virtue of compassion than on the refining 
pleasures of mutual enjoyment ; the third, the epoch of Romantic 
Love, in which the positive side of the emotional partnership is 
specially emphasised, so tiiat a lover cannot pour forth a song of 
happiness except in the form of a dua 



150 BOMANTIC LOVE AND PEKSONAL BEAUTY 

And this brings ns back again to a question left unanswered 
in the section on Jealousy. A rejected lover's deepest anguish is 
the thought that *' She will now be happy in another's arms.'' 
To hear that she has entered a convent and will never eigoy the 
pleasures of Love denied liim would be his only consolation. Is 
this an aberration of Sympathy, or does it mark its climax — its 
remorseless logical consistency) The answer lies in the second 
suggestion. Were Love an altruistic passion, it would be other- 
wise. He would delight in her happiness under all circumstances. 
But Love is selfish — a double selfishness; and its sense of justice 
demands that each side be considered. *' If I cannot be happy 
without her, how can she without me?" The lover does not 
consider that the passion is one-sided — he cannot fathom that 
mystery-— cannot understand why his flame, which reduces him to 
ashes, is not strong enough to set her on fire, and were she a 
stone image. 

Pity and Lave, — According to Darwin, one of the chief mental 
differences between man and woman is woman's greater tender- 
ness. Of this feminine tenderness the world has been able to 
judge on a vast scale during the last two or three years. 

According to a statement in Nature^ 30,000 ruby and topas 
humming-birds were sold in London some years ago in the course 
of one afternoon, *' and the number of West Indian and Brazilian 
binls sold by one auction-room iu London during the four months 
ending April 1885, was 404,464, besides 356,389 Indian birds, 
without counting thousands of Impeyan pheasants, birds of 
paradise," etc. A writer in Forest and Stream mentioned a 
dealer in South Carolina who handled 30,000 bird-skins per 
annum. "During four months 70,000 birds were supplied to 
New York dealers from a single village on Long Island, and an 
enterprising woman from New York contracted with a Paris 
millinery firm to deliver during this siunmer 40,000 or more skins 
of birds at 40 cents a piece. From Cape Cod, one of the haunts 
of terns and gidls, 40,000 of the former birds were killed in a 
single season, so that at points where a few years since these 
beautiful birds filled the air with their graceful forms and snowy 
plumage, only a few pairs now remain." " It is estimated that 
not less than 5,000,000 birds of all sorts were killed last year for 
purposes of ornamentation," wrote Mr. E. P. Powell in the New 
York Independent, A correspondent of the New York Evening 
Pott saw at an art exhibition a young lady, with " nothing in her 
face to denote excessive cruelty," who wore a hat trimmed with 
" the heads of over twenty little hirds " ; and the same paper 




MODERN LOVE 151 

remiirked editorially : " No one can tell how large a bird can be 
worn on a woman's head, by walking in Fifth Avenue. It is 
necessary to take a ride in a Second Avenue car to get the full 
effect of the prevailing fashion. There one may see on the bead- 
gear of poorer classes, and especially of coloured women, every 
(species of the feathered kingdom smaller than a prairie chicken or 
a canvas-back duck and every colour of the rainbow." 

'' Think of women ! " exclaims Diderot ; *' they are miles 
beyond us in sensibility." 

It was Science, edited by men, that started the agitation 
against woman's cruel and tasteless fashion — a fashion which not 
one woman in a hundred apparently refused to conform to. It 
was Messrs. J. A. Allen, W. Dutcher, G. B. Bennett, and other 
omitholo^sts, who raised their voices in behalf of the murdered 
birds, for whom no woman seemed to have a thought except Mrs. 
Celia Thaxter — all honour to her — and a small circle of ladies in 
England. It was Oliver Wendell Holmes who wrote how he felt 
" the sliame of the wanton destruction of our singing-birds to feed 
the demands of a barbaric vanity ; " another man, Charles Dudley 
Warner, who pertinently suggested that ''a dead bird docs not 
help the appearance of an ugly woman, and a pretty woman needs 
no such adornment." 

That the average woman's imagination is not suflBciently refined 
and quick to feel for these winged poems of the air is historically 
proven by this fashion, which, characteristically enough, was first 
introduced by a member of the Paris demi-monde. 

It has disappeared for the moment, but is almost absolutely 
certain to reappear within five years. 

But who, after all, is responsible for this sluggish condition of 
the feminine imagination, this lack of sympathy for the fate of 
harmless happy birds, who in their domestic affections and love- 
tffairs so closely resemble man? Is it not the men who, till 
within a few years, have refused to give their daughters a rational 
education % It must be so, for in that sphere where woman has 
been able to educate herself, and where she is queen — in the 
domestic circle, she does possess that tender sympathy which she 
withholds from lower beinjrs. 

Within the range of human afiections woman manifests more 
pity, is stirred to nobler needs of self-sacrifice, than man. Is 
Love included in this category? Dryden tells us that ''pity 
melts the heart to love," and novelists delight to make their 
heroines first refuse their suitors and subsequently accept them 
from real Love bom of pity. For my part, I doubt this assumed 



15S BOMANTIC LOYE AND P£BSOKAL BEAUTY 

relationship between Pity and Love ; and I do not belieye that a 
girl who has refused a lover ordinarily feeb any more pity for him 
than a cat does for a mouse, or a person who is all right on a 
steamer does for another who is seasick — though he be his best 
friend. There is an instinctive belief in the human mind that 
love-sickness and sea-sickness are never flitaL 

It does, indeed, very often happen — ^perhaps in half the cases ; 
it would be intereitting to have approximate statistics on the 
subject — that a girl first refuses the man whose second or third 
offer she accepts ; for, as an anonymous writer remarks, " women 
are so made (happily for men) that gratitude, pity, the exquisite 
pleasure of pleasing, the sweet surpiise at finding themselves 
necessary to another's happiness . . . altogether obscure and con- 
fuse the judgment" But in such cases there are other factors 
which probably influence the girl much more than Pity does. 
She is, in the first place, largely influenced by this ''exquisite 
pleasure of pleasing " — another name for Pride. Then there is a 
certain advantage to a man in having proposed, even unsuccess- 
fully ; for whenever subsequently the girl reads about Love she 
will involuntarily think of him ; and thus his image will become 
associated with all the pleasure she derives from Love stories — 
which may prove the first step for her — and a long one — into the 
romantic passion. Besides, to propose to a girl is the greatest 
compliment a man can pay a girl ; and this cannot be without 
influence. 

Thus it is possible that Pity, allied with Pride, association, and 
flattery, may work a chan^ of feeling in a feminine mind ; bat 
Pity done will rarely lead her into the realms of Cupid. A man 
certainly would never dream of marrying from Pity, on seeing that 
she loves him deeply, a woman for whom he does not otherwise 
care. Nor should either man or woman ever marry from Pity, 
any more than for money or rank. Love should ever be the sole 
guide to matrimony. 

Love at First Sight, — La Bruy^re gives his opinion that " the 
love which arises suddenly takes longest to cure;" and that 
" love which ^Q;rows slowly and by degrees resembles friendship too 
much to be an ardent passion." Schopenhauer, too, asserts that 
'* great passions, as a rule, arise at first sight" He refers to 
Shakspere's 

** Who ever lov'd that lov'd not at first sight ? " 

and then cites Mateo Aleman*s old Spanish romance, Guzman de 
Alfarach^ in which, three centnries ago, the following observation 




MODERN LOYE li»3 

was made : " To fall in love one does not require much time or 
reflection and choice ; all that is needed is that in thnt first and 
only sight there should be a mutual suitability and harmony, or 
what in common life we call a sympathy of the blood, and which 
is due to a s^ieciol influence of the stars." 

As it is not permissible, in these degenerate days of positive 
science, to explain a thing by a vague reference to poetic astrology, 
an attempt must be made to account for the possibility of Love at 
first sight on more prosaic grounds. 

Physiognomy furnishes a simple solution of the problem. In 
every man's face is painted his personal history, as well as his 
favourite and customary sphere of thoughts and feelings. As Sir 
Charles Bell remarks, '* Exjn^ssion is to passion what language is 
to thought" The gift of reading correctly this facial language of 
passion is given to different persons in different degrees, though 
all have some share of it : and on their more or less acciutite 
and subtle interpretation of the " lines and frowns and wrinkles 
strange '* in another's features depends the art of reading character 
and being S3rmpatheticaUy attracted or repulsed, as the case may 
be. A young man who has unconsciously associated certain peculi- 
arities of facial expression in his sisters or female friends with 
habitual cheerfulness, amiability, and brightness will, on recog- 
nising similar features in a new acquaintance, take for granted 
similar charms of character : this, which is the work of a secontl, 
may result in sympathy at first sight, which very often is the 
beginning of Romantic Love. 

Love at First Sight may be inspired by this instinctive per- 
ception of beauty of character, i,€. amiability ; or by the sight of 
mere physical beauty; or, thirdly, by Pereonal Beauty in the 
highest sense of the word, uniting intellectual fascination with 
bodily charms. 

Inasmuch as there are not a 'few men whose sesthetic taste is 
80 weak that they would rather marry a useful, companionable 
girl and imagine her beautiful, than take a beauty and imagine 
her useful ; and inasmuch as there are a great many more amiable 
and vivacious girls in the world than pretty ones, it happens that 
in a large number of coses Love is inspired by the physiognomic 
interpretation of sympathetic traits of character just referred to. 
Hence plain girls need never despair of finding husbands. There 
is even a current notion that the deepest passions are commonly 
inspired by plain women who are otherwise attractive. But what 
inspires the Love in these cases is not so much the woman a 
amiability — and certainly not her plainness— as the fact that the 



154 BOMANTIC LOVE AND PEKSONAL BEAUTY 

style of her homeliness is of an opposite kind from the faults ot 
the lover, and promises to neutralise them in the offspring. 

Plain and homely, moreover, are terms often applied to women 
whose faces only are so, while their figures are sometimes superb. 
But a fine figure is quite as essential a part of Personal Beauty as 
a fine fisu^ and is, in the opinion of Schopenhauer, even more 
potent as a love-inspirer. If the figure is disregarded in favour of 
the face, Romantic Love is apt to become hyper-romantic, as in 
the days of Dante. 

Perhaps the largest number of cases of Love at First Sight, so 
called, are inspired by mere beauiS du diahle — a female *' bud '' 
whose sole charm apparent is sparkling health atid fragrant, 
dew-bejewelled freshness. That this kind of Love at sight, 
which consists in being dazzled for the moment by a set of 
regular features and a pair of bright eye:^, is often of brief dura- 
tion, does not militate against the statement that the deepest 
Love is also bom of such a fiash of aesthetic adnuration. An 
incipient passion may be crushed by the discovery of some dis- 
agreeable trait in the person who inspired it; but when, owing 
to want of early opportunity to discover unsympathetic traits. 
Love has been allowed to make some progress, the subsequent 
discovery of a flaw is not nearly so serious a matter, for then 
Master Cupid simply puts a daub of whitewash on it and calls it 
a beauty-spot. 

InUlUct and Love. — But, after all, the deepest Love at Sight, 
and that which gives promise of greatest permanence, is that 
inspired by a handsome woman in whose face Intellect has written 
its autograph. Goethe, indeed, has remarked that 'Sutellect 
cannot warm us, or insfiire us with passion ; " but the view he 
takes here of the relations between intellect and paspion is obvi- 
ously very crude and superficial No man, of course, would ever 
iidl in Love with a woman wlio showed her intellectimlity — as not 
a few do — by a parrotlike repetition of encyclopaedic reading or 
luagazine epitomes of knowledge. This gives evidence of only 
one form of intellect, the lowest, namely, Memory. It is the 
higher forms — imagination, wit, clever reasoning, that constitute 
the essence of intellectual ciUture ; and though woman may never 
quite equal man in this sphere, such cases as Mme. de Stael, 
George Sand, and George Eliot show how much she can accom- 
plish by means of application. 

Now this higher kind of intellectual culture is able to influence 
the amorous feelings in two ways : first, by refining and vivifying 
the features; secondly, by enabling a woman to appreciate her 




MODERN LOVE 1C5 

lover's ambitions and afford him sympathetic assistance, thereby 
awakening a responsive echo in his grateful mind. 

Look at Miss Marbleface in yonder comer, surrounded by a 
group of admirers. Everybody ivonders why she, whose features 
might inspire a sculptor, remains unmariied at twenty-six. Her 
friends, indeed, whisper that she never even got an offer. Yet all 
the men to whom she is introduced admire her immensely — the 
first evening ; but strange to say, after they liave seen her a few 
times, they are not a bit jealous to leave her to a new group of 
admirers ; who, in turn, cede her to another. Her beauty, in 
truth, is but skin-deep, literally ; the muscles under the skin are 
never vivified by an electric flash of wit from the brain ; there is 
nothing but marble features and a stereotyped smile ; no anima- 
tion, no change of expression, nu Intellect Were her inteUect as 
carefully cultivated as her features are chiseUed, she would inspire 
Love, not mere momentary admiration ; and she would have been 
married six years ago to a man chosen at will from the whole 
circle of her acquaintances. 

It is easy to explain how the absurd and fatal notion that intel- 
lectual application mars women's peculiar beauty and lessens the 
feminine graces in general must have arisen. The inference seems 
to follow logically from the two undeniable premises that pretty 
girls very often are insipid, and intellectual women commonly are 
plain. But this is only another case of putting the cart before the 
horse. Pretty girls, on the one hand, are so rare that they are 
almost sure to be spoiled by flattery. They receive so much atten- 
tion that they have no time for study; and ambitious mothers 
take them into society prematurely, where tliey get married before 
their intellectual capacities — which sometimes are excellent — have 
had time to unfold Ugly girls, on the other hand, being 
neglected by the men, have to while away their time with books, 
music, art, etc., and thus they become bright and entertaining. 
Therefore it is not the intellect that makes them ugly, but the 
ugliness that makes them intellectual. 

The culture that can be compressed into a single lifetime un- 
fortunately does not suffice to modify the bony and cartilaginous 
parts of the human face sufficiently to change homeliness into 
beauty ; but the muscles can be mobilised, the expression quickened 
and beautified by an individual's efforts at culture ; hence sonje of 
these reputed plain intellectual women, in moments when they are 
excited, become more truly fascinating, with all their badly-chiseUed 
features, than any number of cold marble faces. If men only knew 
it I — but they are afraid of them — the average men are — because 



166 B031ANTIC LOVE AKD PEDSONAL BEAUTY 

they do not constantlj wish to'bi» reminded of their own mental 
shortcomings in a tournament of wit,^ pleasantry, or erudition. 

Even Schopenuaner, who was conyinced that women are too 
stupid to appreciate a man's intellect, if abnormal, held that 
women, on the contrary, gain an advantage in Love by cultivating 
their minds; adding that it. is owing to the appreciation of this 
fact that mothers teach their daughters music, languages, etc ; 
thus artificially padding out their minds, as on occasion they do 
parts of the body. 

No doubt, as a rule, women ate more influenced in love-affairs 
by a man who excels in athletic qualities of manly energy than by 
one of intellectual supereminenee. But the adoration of women 
for a Liszt, a Rubinstein, and other men of genius, whose eminence 
lies in a department that has been made accessible to women for 
centuries, shows what might be if women were trained in other 
spheres of human activity and knowledge. 

Regarding the mental padding, however, we might continue in 
the old pessimist'^ vein by saying that it is a trick which has had 
its day. Men do not marry girls quite so blindly as in the days 
when Romantic Love was a novelty. They keep their eyes open ; 
and when they find that their girl's musical " culture " consists in 
the mechaniod drumming of three pieces, and that her other 
*' accomplishments " are similar shams, they are apt to take their 
throbbing hearts and put them into a refrigerator until the young 
lady has become a faded, harmless old maid, still drumming her 
three pieces on the piano. The fact that so many mothers persist 
in thus "padding" their daughters' minds, instead of educating 
them properly, is largely responsible for the ever-increasing number 
of self-conscious and disgiisted bachelors in the world. 

The example of Aspasia illustrates both the physical advantages 
l)eauty derives from intellectual culture — through the refinement 
of expression — and the emotional advantages a woman secures by 
V)eing able to sympathise intelligently with her lover's or husband's 
enterprises. Nothing more irresistibly fascinates a man than 
genuine questioning interest shown by a woman in his life-work. 
Or, as Mr. Hamerton puts it, " the most exquisite pleasure the 
mascidine mind can ever know, is that of being looked upon by a 
feminine intelligence with clear sight and affection at the same 
time." But on this topic Mr. Mill has discoiu-sed so enthusiasti- 
cally in his Subjection of Women that anything that might be 
added here could be little more than a faint echo of his persuasive 
eloquence, tinged though it be with true lovers' exaggeration. 

Qoethe illustrated his maxim that " intellect cannot warm ub 




MODERN LOVE 167 

or inspire ub with passion " 1^ manyihg a pretty, brainless doll of 
whom he soon got heartily tired Heine followed his example by 
marrying a Parisian labouring girl who, like Madame Racine, prob- 
ably never read her husband's writings. And in his UrUenveU he 
laments his ''vcrfehlte Liebe, verfddtes Leben" — his mistaken 
love and w.isted life. 

'Why did the ancient Greeks neglect their women! Why did 
they remain strangers to Love and seek refuge in Friendship) 
Theii women were modest, domestic, good mothers and wives; but 
they lacked one thing, and that was Intellect 

OALLANTKT AND SELF-SACBIFICE 

Primitive tribes have a delightfully simple way of arranging 
their division of labour. The men do the hunting and carry on 
wars, the women do everything else. If a waiTior on *' moving 
day " should say to his wife and daughters : *' See here, this will 
never do for me to have nothing but my weapons and my pi|je, 
while you carry the babies, the cooking utensils, the remnants of 
the game, and the tent : let me help you ! " — if he should siiy this, 
his comnules would consider hiui crazy, or rather, possessed of a 
demon, and would bum two or three persons at the stake for 
having bewitched him. 

Gallantry, in other words, is unknown to savages either between 
lovers, or, in a general sense, towards all women. Nor is it known 
to semi-dvilised peoples. Among the nomadic Arab tribes of the 
Sahara the wife has to do all the work unless her hnsbaud is rich 
enough to own a shive ; and among the i)oorer Bedouins the hus- 
band traverses the desert comfortably seated on his camel, while 
bis wife plods along behind on foot, loaded with her bed, her 
kitchen utensils, and her child on top. 

The ancient Greeks were not so nngallant as these peoples 
towards their women, as they had slaves to do their hard work ; 
but the constant devoted attention and desire to please which con- 
stitute modem Gallantry did not, as we have seen, exist among 
thcra. Among the Romans we find traces — but traces only — of 
this virtue. Mediaeval Gallantry Veached its extremes in the 
witches' fires on the one side, and the grotesque performances of 
the knight-errants on the other. The intermediate ground appar- 
ently remained uncultivated, except during tlie brief period of 
chivalrous poetry, and then only in the highest dasses. Wher- 
ever, in short, Romantic Love was absent, Gallantry, as one of its 
ingredients, was unknown. 



168 BOMANTIC LOVE AND PEKSONAL BEAUTY 

Coming to mo<lem times, we see the same pftralleLism between 
general Gallantry and the fjreedom granted to the young to form 
Love-matches. 

In France, (Germany, Italy, the women still hare to do the 
hardest field work, though the men assist. The French, indeed, 
who systematically suppress Romantic Love, are apparently the 
most gallant nation in the world. But there is a general agree- 
ment among tourists that in recti Gallantry, which calls for self- 
sacrificing actions and not mere polite words and bows, the French 
are inferior to all other European nations. It is in England and 
America that true general Gallantry, like true Romantic Love^ 
flourishes most In America, indeed, owing to the former scarcity 
of women, Gallantry was for a time carried to a ludicrous excess, 
almost reminding one of the days of Don Quixote ; as in that story 
of the Western miners who surrounded an emigrant's waggon and 
insisted on his *' trotting out " his wife ; which being done by the 
trembling man, who feared the worst, the '' roughs" passed round 
the hat and collected a large sum of gold for the woman. Perhaps 
American women still are, as we read in Daisy Miller^ " the most 
exacting in the world and the least endowed with a sense of 
indebtedness/' But the constant sight in New York and else- 
where of street-cars in which every man has a seat while every 
woman is standing, seems to indicate that there is a reaction 
which may go to the opposite extreme. But after a while the 
{)eudulum will doubtless swing back to the middle and remain 
stationary ; and this will be in the new golden age when men 
will always give up their seats to old and infirm wonien, to pretty 
girls, and to all the others who display truly refined instincts 
and good taste by abjuring crinolines, bustles, high heels, stuffed 
birds on their hats, and other "ornaments" fatal to Perssonal 
Beauty. 

From the facts thus hastily sketched we may safely infer that, 
as we saw in the case of Sympathy with another's joys, so again 
with Gallantry, what was bom as a trait of Romantic Love was 
subsequently transferred to the social and domestic relations 
of men and women in general. Had Romantic Love done nothing 
more than this, it would deserve to rank among tiie most refining 
influences in m(Hlem civilisation. 

Perhaps the most remarkable existing illustration of the way in 
which Lovers' Gallantry may assume a general form, is to be found 
in IVIr. Ruskiu's recent confession regnnling girls : " My primary 
thought is how to serve tlim and make them happy ; or if they 
could use me for a plauk-bridge over a stream, or set me up for a 




MODERN LOV£ U9 

post to tie a swing to, or anything of the sort not requiring me to 
talk, I should be always quite happy in such a prouiotion." 

This reads precisely like Heine's poem in which the lover wishes 
he were his mistress's f(X)tstool, or again her needle-cushion, that 
he might experience the delights of pain inflicted by her foot or 
hand. 

Such excess of amorous Gallantry is a favourite theme for 
poetic hjrperbole, and it hardly can be exaggerated ; for the lover 
really does entertain such wishes. With him, romance is realism. 

No slave could be so meek and humble, no well-trained dog so 
obedient as the amorous swain« Again and again will he, without 
a moment's hesitation, plunge into a wintry stream and triumphantly 
snap up and bring back to her the chip she has thrown in to amuse 
herself 

Active and Passive Desire to Please. — " Love, studious how to 
please" (Dryden), has two wa3rs of accomplishing its purpose — one 
passive, one active. Women, owing to their prescribed Coyness, 
are not allowed to indulge in actions that would imply a desire to 
please a suitor, except in the later stages of Courtship, when all is 
settled or understood. Hence tiieir desire to please can only show 
itself passively in their efforts to make their personal appearance 
attractive to the lover. Nor are men indifferent to this passive 
phase of Gallantry. As nothing so flUs a man with Pride as the 
thought that She, a paragon of beauty, adorns herself so carefully 
all for his delight ; so in turn lie feels it incumbent on him to 
follow her exiimple. Even the habitually slovenly become dandies 
for the moment, brush their hair, buy a new hat and clothes ; the 
lazy become industrious, the cowards assume heroic airs and strut 
about like tragedians — 

" I ivas the laziest creature. 
The most nnprotitable sign of nothing, 
The veriest drone, and slept away my life 
lieyond the domiousp, till I was in love I 
And now I can outwakc the nightingale, 
Outwatch an usurer, and out-walk him too, 
Stalk like a ^ho<t that haunted 'bout a treamre, 
And all that fancied treasure, it is love." — Ben JoKSOir. 

Active Gallantry has been sufficiently characterised in the fore- 
going pages. It is that form of the Desire to Please which readily 
merges into Self-Sacrifice. A man who would never dream of 
exposing himself to the slightest danger in his own behalf will, if 
his sweetheart expresses admiration of a flower growing near a 
dangerous precipice, rush to pluck it with an audacity which may 



160 BOMANTIC LOVE A^D PERSONAL BEAUT? 

coBt him his life. A fatal case of this sort occurred not long ago on 
the Hudson River near New York. A man's' life thrown away for 
the slight aesthetic gratification to be derived by his love from the 
sight and fragrance of a flower ! 

How frequeutly, again, do lovers sacrifice their family bondn, 
the love of parents and relatives, as well as rank and fortune, for 
the sake of the romantic passion ! 

A mother willingly dies in defence of her ofi&pring's life. But 
will she, like Romeo, drink the apothecary's poisonous draught over 
the corpse of her dead dariing f No, herein again Romantic Love 
is the deepest of the passions. 

Feminine Devotion, — Self -Sacrifice is one of the traits of 
Romantic Love which may remain unaltered and unweakened in 
conjugal affection. "Thone who have traced the course of the 
wives of the poor," says Mr. Lecky, *' and of many who, though in 
narrowed circumstances, can hardly be called poor, will probably 
athuit that in no other class do we so often fiud entire lives spent 
in daily persistent self-denial, in the patient endurance of countless 
tTiaU, in the ceaseless and deliberate sacrifice of their own enjoy- 
ments to the wellbeiug or the prospects of others." 

It is in Wagner's music-dramas that the modem ideal of feminine 
devotion unto death has found its most stirring embodiment. 
Elizabeth, having lost her Tannhauser, thanks to the allurements 
of Venus, dies of a broken heart ; Senta, realising that only by her 
self-sacrifice can the unhappy Dutcliman be releixsed from his ter- 
rible doom of eternally sailing the stormy seas until lie should fiud 
a woman faithful to him unto death, tears herself away from her 
family and plunges into the ocean. Isolde sings her death-song 
over the body of Tristan ; and Briinnhilde immolates herself on 
Siegfried's funeral pyre. Wagner's theory of the music-drama was 
:i theory of Love in which each lover sacrifiites selfish idiosyncrasies 
iu order to produce a happy union in marriage. 

Mr. Mill, forgetting the diflerence between masculine maltreat- 
ment of women, and voluntary female self-denLd, thought it 
expedient to sneer at the exaggerated self-abnegation which is the 
present artificial ideal of feminine character ; and those unsexed 
viragoes who wish to " reform " women by robbing them of all 
womanly attributes and converting them into caricatures of mas- 
culinity, re-echo Mill's sneer in shrill chorus. Women, they siiout, 
must no longer waste their best years in staying at home, educating 
their children and taking care of their husbands. These brutes 
have been caressed and fondled long enough ; the time liius come 
for women to be manly and indei)eudent. Let them take away 




MODERN LOVE 161 

from men the employments, of which even now there are not 
enough for three-fourths of the men ; let them thus drive another 
20 per cent of men and women into celibacy becatise the men 
cannot afford any longer to marry. Let the women strip off their 
artificial air of domestic refinement by mingling with the foul- 
mouthed, tobacco-reeking crowds and making political stump 
•f leeches; or by visiting the loathsome criminals in prisons, treating 
thcuA CO cakes and flowers and other methods of feminine reform, 
so that when set free they may be eager to do something which 
will bring them back to their cakes and flowers I The children 
meanwhile being left at home in charge of coarse, ignorant, careless 
servants, copying their manners, and the husband compelled to 
seek companionship at the club, or much worse. 

How the selfish husband will wince under this cold neglect and 
retaliation — he who never does anything but amuse himself while 
liiB wife toils at home; who never risks his life in war for his wife 
and children ; who never toils at his desk from mom to night, to 
earn the daily bread of all by the sweat of his brow ; who never 
goes to lunatic asylums from overwork and worry ! How sly iu 
man to set up his ''artificial ideal of woman's self-abnegation,'' 
while he is having such a good time ! But why try to paint in 
weak prose the hideousness of man's selfish conduct^ when 
Shaksperc has done it in immortal verse t 

•• Thy hnshand is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, 
Thy bead, thy sovereign ; one that cares for thee^ 
And for thy maiutenaiice commits his body 
To painful labour both by sea and land, 
To \vatch the night in storms, the day in cold, 
Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe; 
Aud craves no other tribute at thy hands 
But love, fair looks and true obedience ; 
Too little payment for so great a debt." 

There is another very curious aspect of Self-Sacrifice which will 
be fully discussed in the chapter on Schopenhauer's Theory of Love, 
but which may be stated here, without comment, that the reader 
may reflect on the pessimist's pnradox. Schopenhauer held that 
Love is based on the possession by the lovers of traits which 
mutually complement each other. In the children these incon- 
gruous traits will so neutralise each other as to produce a har- 
monious result ; but in the life of the parents they will produce 
only discords. Tnie love, therefore, as he claims, rarely results in 
a happy conjugal life : Love causes the parents to sacrifice their 
mutual happiness to the welfare of their offspring. 

M 



162 ROMANTIC LOTS AND FEBSONAL BEAUTT 

Meanwhile it may be stated that France offers a cnrious 
confirmation of Schopenhauer's theory, not noted by himself. 
Bomautic Love, it Lb well Icnown, hardly exists in France <u a 
motive to marriage^ being systematically suppressed and craftily 
annihilated. Neverthelesd, as many observers attest, the French 
commouly lead a happy family life. But look at the ofiDspring, 
at the birth-rate, the lowest in Europe ; look at the puny men, 
at the women, among whom there Lb hanlly a single beauty 
in all the land. In a word, whereas Lore sacrifices, according to 
Schopenhauer, the parents to the children, the French sacrifice the 
offspring, and Love itself, to the happiness of the indiyidualsi 
manied according to motives of personal expediency. 

EMOTIONAL HTPBSBOLB 

" I loved Ophelia : fnrty thonsand brothers 
Coald not, with all their quantity of lo?e^ 
Make ap my sum." 

'^ It is a strange thing," says Bacon, 'Ho note the excess of this 
passion, and how it braves the nature and value of things by this, 
that the speaking t» a perpetucU hyperbole is comely in nothing 
but in love." 

It is the nature of all passions to exaggerate : and Love, being 
of all passions the most violent, exaggerates the most — more even 
than Hate, which alone competes with Love in the power to tinge 
every object with the colour of its own spectacles. The lover's 
constant sigh ia fur something stronger than a superlative ; and to 
the limit between the sublime and the ridiculous he is absolutely 
blind. Like Schumann, every lover calls his Okra *' Clarissima," 
and of two superlative facts he is quite certain : That s/u ia the 
most wonderful being ever created ; and that his passion is the 
deepest ever felt by mortal 

** Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars t 
One fairer than my love ! The all-seeing sun 
Ne'er saw her match since fiiat the world begun." 

SUAKSPRRE. 

If you try to convince him that others have loved as ardently — 
and ceased to love, he will smile a cynical smile and then close hia 
eyes and declaim melodramatically — 

•* And I will luve thee still, my dear, 
Till a' the seas gang dry — 
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear, 
And the rocks melt wi' the sun." — BuaKSL 




MODEBN LOVE 1^3 

Id such hyperbolic effusions a lover sees no exagpreration, fur 
they describe bis feelings and convictions precisely as tbey are. 

*' What we mortals call romantic, 
And always envy though we deem it frantic " (Btbon) 

is to him bare reality, nothing more. Komeo expresses his real 
wish fur the moment when he says — 



that I were a glove upon that hand 
That I might touch that cheek ; " 



Biron really feels that 



<f 



0, if the streets were paved with thine eyes 
Uer feet were much too dainty for such tread.* 



And evexy lover would agree with Coleridge that 

•' Her very frowns are fairer far 
Than smiles ot other maidens are." 

''The air I breathe in a room empty of you is unhealthy," 
wrote Keats to his sweetheart : and Bums, in the sketch of his 
first love, thus describes the emotional hyperaesthesia produced by 
Love : *' I didn't know myself why the tones of her voice made 
my heart-strings thrill like an .£olian harp, and particularly why 
my pulse beat such a furious rattan when I looked and fingered 
over her little hand to pick out the cruel nettle-stings and 
thistles." 

This is the true ecstasy of Love — the most delicious and 
thrilling emotion of which the human soul is capable. Nor is it 
necessary to be a poet to feel it. While in Love even a coarser- 
grained man ** feels the blood of the violet, the clover, and the 
lily in his veins " (Emerson). But if Jealousy rouses him, it is 
flower-blood no longer that courses in his veins, nor human blood, 
bnt vengeful Spanish wine. It is then that Love's intoxication 
reaches its climax : delirious ecstasy followed by angry waves of 
dire despair, rocking and tossing the unhappy victim till he is pale 
and sick as death. 

Like other drunkards, the Love-intoxicated youth sees and 
feels everything double. His darling seems doubly beautiful, and 
all his joys and sorrows are doubled in intensity. And, like other 
drunkards, he imagines that all the world is drunk and reeling ; 
whereas the rapid oscillation of surrounding objects between the 
rosy hue of hope and the gray cloud of doubt, is all in his own 
mind. 

How this erotic intoxication multiplies the lover's courage and 



164 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTT 

confidence in his snccess ! Tlie roost insignificant smile raiaei 
him 07er all ob:$tacle8 to the summit of his hopes, as easily as a 
clcmd-shadow climbs a mountain side o'er treetopsi rockSy and 
snowy walls. 

How, on her part, it magniOes bis heroism, his genius, 
converting the most insipid commonplace into an immortal 
epigram, full of wit and wisilom I 

That Lovers' Hyperbole is nothing but Lore-intoxicatioa 
shows itself also in the ludicrous tasks they undertake when under 
the spelL Who but a lover would ever attempt to gild refined 
gold, to point the lily white, the sky blue 1 Who mix up physi- 
ology, astronomy, gastronomy, in such an absurd way as in 
" sweet-lieart," " honey-moon," eta t 

And when, during the '* honey-moon," the lover recovers from 
his intoxication, how surprised he looks, how he rubs his eyes and 
wonders where the deuce he has been I He remembers Ovid's 
caution that after wine every woman seems beautiful; he 
remembers something about seeing " Helen's beauty in a brow of 
Egypt" And the girl by his side — he thought she was Helen ; 
but now, '' really — this is most extraordinary : just look at that 
large mouth, and that snub-nose — ^weil, I knew she had it, and 
thought I loved her all the more for this imperfection, which 
proved her human and not a goddess : yet, by Jove, I almost 
wish ... in fact, I quite wish, her mouth was smaller and her 
nose larger." 

Poor deluded youth f He was taken in by Cupid's fitvourita 
trick of dazzling a lover with a pair of brown or blue orbs, till he 
can see nothing else. For this girl, beyond question, has a pair 
of eyes which Venus might envy — mid-ocean-blue, with a dewdrop 
sparkle, and a mischievous expression that is more commonly 
found in brown eyes ; and these deep-blue eyes are framed in 
with black brows and long black lashes, without which no eyes 
are ever perfect, whatever their colour. It was these expressive 
orbs, this visible music of the spheres, that ravished all his seoses 
and mode him blind to every other feature of her countenance. 

Thus we see how Love comes to be blind. One feattu'e — most 
commonly the eyes — dazes the victim so comftletely that all the 
other features are seen but vaguely as in a dream ; while the 
imagination is ever busy in chiselling them into harmony with the 
fine eyes. And it is only after marriage, or assured possession, 
that the other features emerge from their blurred vagueness, and 
are found less perfect than the fond imogiuatinu had piunted them. 

In this eagerness of Love to see only superlative excellence, and 




MODERN JJOYE 165 

its dispoeition to imagine a thing perfect if it is not, we get a 
deep insight into the mission and raison cTelre of this passion. 
If women and men woidd only try to live up to Love's exalted 
ideal of personal perfection — and most persons could be 50 per 
cent more beautiful, if they attended to the laws of hygiene and 
cultivated their minds — what a lovely planet this woidd be ! 

Why have so many of the greatest men of genius been unhappy 
in their Love and Marriage f Because they had in their minds 
the loveliest visions of possible feminine perfection, but did not 
find them realised in life For a while their pre-eminently strong 
imaginations helped them to keep up the illusion ; but the truth 
would nut at last ; and in the pangs of disappointment they threw 
themselves upon the poetic device of Hyperbole, and tried to 
console themselves by painting the images of perfection which did 
not exist in life. 

Love, it is true, is not the only theme which they have 
embellished with tlie ornaments of Hyperbole. A wonderful 
example of non-erotic Hyperbole occurs in Macbeth — 

** Will all f^reat Neptune's ocean wash this blood 
Clenu from my hand? No, this my haud will rather 
The multitodiuoas seas incaruadine, 
Hakiag the green one red." 

But as a rule tlie finest specimens of poetic imagery are to be 
found in erotic Hyperbole ; and it seems most strange that Gold- 
smith, who had so deep an insight into Love, docs not mention 
this variety at all in his essay on Hyperbole. 

Love, says Emerson, is '* the deification of persons " ; andb 
though the poet, like every other lover, *' beholding his maiden, 
half-knows that she is not verily that which he worships," this 
does not prevent him from idealising her portrait, and sketching 
her as he would like to have her. A few additional specimens ci 
BMvh poetic Hypeibolc may fitly close this chapter— 

SUAZSI'EIIE — 

" She is mine own, 
And I as rich in having such a jewel 
^s twenty sens, if all their sand were p<*ar1. 
The water nectar, and the rocks puit gold."* 

Southwell— 

" A honey shower rains from her lipa." 

HxaLOwx — 

*' 0, thou art fairer than the evening air 
Clad in the beauty of a thoatfand start.** 




IM ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

Aui again — 

** Many would jtniM the iweet smell as the past. 
When 'twas the odonr which her breath forth cast; 
And there for honey bees have sought in vain, 
And, beat from thence, hare lighted there again." 

Oti as Lamb puts it, lorers sometimes 

" borrow language of dislike ; 
And instead of ' dearest Miss/ 
Jewel, honey, sweetheart, bliss, 
And those forms of old admiring 
Call her cockatrice and siren. 
Basilisk and all tlmt's evil, 
Witch, hyena, mermaid, devil, 
Ethiop, wench, and blackamoor, 
Monkey, ape, and twenty more ; 
Friendly traitress, loving foe,— 
Not that she is truly so, 
But no other way they know 
A contentment to express, 
Borders so upon excess. 
That they do not rightly wot^ 
Whether it be pain or noL" 



MIXED MOODS Ain> PARADOXES 

" That they do not rightly wot, whether it be pain or not" 
That is the keynote of Modern Love. 

To a superficial Anakreon, wlio knows but its rapturous phase, 
Love is all honey aud moonshine. The celibate Spinoza, too, 
ignorant of the agonies of Love, defined it Us icetUia coneomttarUe 
idea cauaoB extemce — a pleasure accompanied by the idea of its 
external cause. Burton, on the other hand, cbiims Love as ^*a 
species of melancholy " ; and Cowley sings — 



tt 



A mighty pain to lovo it is, 
And 'tis a pain that pain to miss ; • 
But of all pains the greatest pain 
It is to love, but love in vain. " 

The poets generally have taken a less one-sided view of the 
matter by depicting Love under a thousand images, as a mysterious 
mixture, of joy and sadness, of agony and delight 

So Bailey — 

**The sweetest joy, the wildest woe is love." 
DaTDRN — 

** Pains of love be sweeter far 
Than all other pleasures are." 




MODERN LOVE 167 

FlETCBER" 

*'Tboii bitter sweet, easing disease 
How dost tbou by displeasing please ?* 

MiDDLETOK — 

* Love is ever sick, and yet is never dying ; 
Love is ever true, and yet is ever lying ; 
Love does doat in liiciug, and is mad m loathings 
Love, indeed, is anything, yet indeed is notliing." 

D&ATTON— 

"Amidst an ocean of delight 
For pleasure to be starved." 



Constable— 



SOTTTHWELL — 



"Tis nothing to be plagued in hell. 
But thus in heaven tormented." 

"To live in hell, and heaven to behold, 
To welcome life, and die a living death, 
To sweat with heat, and yet be freezing cold. 
To grasi* at stars, and lie the earth beneath* ** 



"She oflTereth joy, but bringeth grief; 
A kijis where she doth kilL" 



" Tears kindle sparks." 

"Her loving looks are murdering darta.** 

*' Like winter rose and summer ice." 

** May never was the month of love^ 
For Msv is full of flowers ; 
But ratiicr April, wet by kind, 
For love is full of showers." 

fllfA¥SPEllE— 

•* Good-night, good-niglit, narting is such sweet sorroWf 
That I shall say good-nigut till it be morrow." 

** Love is a smoke mised with the fume of sighs i 
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes ; 
Iking vex'd, a sea nourished with lovers' tears f 
'What is it else ? a madness most discreet, 
A choking gall and a preserving sweet." 

Petrarclfs poems, says Shelley, *' are as spells which tmseal the 
inmost enchanted fountains of the delight which is the grief of 
love." In that part of the Romance of the Ro$e which was 
written by Jean de Meung, and translated by Chaucer, occur many 
similar phrases depicting Love as an emotional paradox : " Also a 
sweet hell it is, and a sorrowful paradise ;" ''delight right fidl of 
heaviness, and dreariliood full of gladness ;*' "a heavy bunlen light 
to bear ;" '* wise madness/' '* despairing hope," etc. Mr. Buskin, 



Id8 ROMANTIC LOVE AI9T) PERSONAL BEAUTT 

who quotes the whole passage in his Forn Clamgertt, dedaies: 
" I know of no such lovely love-poem as his siiiee Dante." 

As for Dante, he fully realised the '* sweet pain '' of Love, as he 
called it. As fiir back as Plato's Txvmbub we find that love, as 
then understood, was regarded as "a mixture of jdeasure and 
pain." 

*^ Tis the pest of love," sings Keats, " that fairest joys bring 
most unrest" Thackeray speaks of " the delights and tortures, 
the jealousy and wakefulness, the longing and raptures, the frantic 
despair and ektion, attendant upon Uie passion of love." But it 
is superfluous to cite modem authors, for volumes might be filled 
with quotations attesting that Love is neither a simple *' Isetitia," 
OS Spinoza defined it, nor " a species of melancholy," but a mixture 
of joy and sodue.'is, of rapture and woe. 

Shakspere's *' violent iorrow seems a modem ecstasy " might be 
adopted as a general motto for a book on the psychology and 
history of Love. 

Love, it is true, is not the only passion characterised by such a 
paradoxical mixture of moods. Thus in Macbeth the sentence, ^ on 
the torture of the mind to lie in restless ecstasy," does not refer to 
Love ; and John Fletcher, too, sings in a general way— 

" There's naught in this life sweet 
If man were wise to see't, 
But only melancholy, 
sweetest Melancholy 1** 

A German author, Oswald Zimmermann, has even written a 
volume of almost two himdred pages, wherein he endeavours to 
analyse various emotions and historic phenomena, in which pleasure 
and pain are intimately associated. He has chapters on the 
Beautiful in Art and in Nature, on Death, on Mysticism, on the 
ancient festivals of Dionysus and Aphrodite, on the mediaeval 
flagellants, on lust and cruelty, on various epochs of modem 
literature, etc. His honk bears the curious title Die Wonne des 
Leids, because he holds that there is in these phenomena an 
*^ Ecstasy of Woe," distinct from pleasure and pain, pure and 
simple, and superior to them. 

Hartmann, the pessimist philosopher, goes a step farther, and 
claims that ** there is no pleasiu^ which does not contain an ele- 
ment of grief; and no pain without a tinge of pleasure." This is 
obviously an exaggeration ; for what is the element of anguish that 
enters into the feelings of a successful lover when he imprints the 
first kiss on the lips of the girl who has just promised to be iiis 




MODERN LOVE 1C9 

wife t or wbat the element of pleasnre in the feelings of a jealous 
lover the moment he hears tliat his rival has won the prize f 

Yet, if we except a pleasurable or painful climax, like these, 
Hartmann's maxim may be accepted as approximating the truth, 
especially in the case of Love, which, more than any other passion, 
constantly changes its moods, so that, from their close proximity, 
each one cannot fail to nib off some of its colour on the others. 
Who but a lover can experience in one brief second both the thrill 
of heavenly delight and the sting of deadly anguish — " Himmel- 
hoch jauchzend zum Tode betrtibt,'' as Schiller puts it ? A whole 
lifetime of emotion is crowded into the one night preceding a 
lover's proposal : hope and fear chasing one another across his weary 
brain like a Witches* Sabbath on the Brocken. 

One would imagine that the moment when an admirer calls on 
his girl, to be fascinated by her smiles and graceful manners, and 
to be thrilled by her melodious voice, roust be one of unmixed 
delight and ecstasy. But if the slightest doubt as to her feelings 
liu-ks in his mind, he is much more apt to be harassed by a 
peculiar bitter-sweet feeling. Will he make a good impression on 
her this time 1 he will ask himself ; has she perhaps changed, or 
found another more acceptable admirer, and is she going to hint as 
much by her altered manner 1 These and a hundred other appre- 
hensions will tortiu-e and depress him ; so that he will more than 
probably lose that *' easy manner and gay address " whicii are such 
mighty weapons in winning a woman's heart. 

Nor is the girl, on her part, free from the anguish of doubt 
Though her admirer seems to be truly devoted to her, she has 
read in the song that "all men are not gay deceivers," which 
somehow seems to imply logically that most men are gay deceivers. 
Perhaps, she will muse, he will only worship me as long as I leave 
him in absolute doubt as to my feelings ; and subsequently, having 
gratified his vanity and secured my photograph, he will place it in 
his album to show to all his friends as his latest conquest, and 
then flit to another flower. 

After all, Schopenhaiier was right in saying that when we have 
no great sorrows the imagination invents small ones which torment 
us quite as much as the others. When one sees the peculiair 
delight lovers take in teasing and torturing each other, one feeli 
tempted to believe with Zimmermann that there is " eine Lust am 
Schmerze " — that pain in itself contains a gratification, an " ecstasy 
of woe," distinct from positive pleasui-e itself 

Yet it is hardly necessary to take refuge in such an emotional 
paradox in order to account for the value and luxury of Lovers' 



170 ROMANTIC LOYE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

Quarrels and all the yarious mixed mooda of Love. A sofficient 
explanation is afforded by the principles of Contrast and emotional 
Fersutenee, 

Owing to the fact that feeling seems to have a regolar pulsation 
or rhythm, our hours of anguish are always interrupted hy inteirals 
of hope and happy retrospection — as in Chopin's funeral march, 
where the gloomy dirge ib interrupted for a time by a delicious 
melody of happy reminiscence, like a heavenly voice of consolation. 
When the nervous tension has become too great the string breaks 
and the bow resumes its straightness and elasticity. Hence it is 
that an uncertain lover actually gloats over the anguish of doubt 
and jealousy : for he has an instinctive fore-feeling that when the 
reaction of hope and confidence will come, he will eiyoy an ecstasy 
of the imagination of which an always confident love has no con- 
ception. 

Uninterrupted enjoyment of lovers' bliss would soon dull the 
edge of pleasure, as an unbroken succession of sweet concords in 
music would cloy the aesthetic sense. The introduction of discords 
raises a longing for their resolution which, if gratified, restores to 
the concords their original charm and freshness, and thus prolongs 
the pleasures of music A tourist after sjiending a month on the 
top of a Swiss mountain becomes comparatively indifferent to the 
scene of which he knows every detail by heart ; but let his peak 
be hidden in dense clouds for a few days, and he cannot fail, on 
emerging ngain into sunlight, to greet the view with the same 
thrill of delight as on the day of his arrival 

It is their constant and unexpected changes from joy to sadness, 
from tears to smiles, that constitute the greatest charm of Heine 
and Chopin and make them the lyric poet and musician par 
excellence for lovers. Either a gladsome rainbow suddenly appears 
to illumine their lurid landscape ; or, again, ** their plenteous joys, 
wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselves in drops of sorrow." 

Even the famous 

•* For ought that I conid ever read, 
Could ever hear by tale or historv, 
The coiirse of true love never did run smooth **— 

what is it but another way of stating that that Love which has 
met with no impediments, in which anguish and delight have not 
warmed one another by mutual friction, has never broken out into 
a conflagration sufficiently brilliant to be recorded "by tale or 
history" as a remarkable specimen of "true love." It is the 
plot-interest that fascinates the reader aS' well as the lover him- 




MODEBN LOVE IH 

self; it IS the impediments and emotional conflicts, the coyness of 
faUy that constitute the priucipal chann in a tale of love ; and it 
would take a very clever novelist to attract readers hy an accoimt 
of a coiulship of which the happy result was a foregone conclusion 
at every stage. 

Thus the magic effect of contrasted emotions suggests why 
pleasure alternating with woe in Love is more intense than 
pleasure unintemipted. A mountaineer who has been wading 
through snowfields all day up to his knees enjoys the comforts of 
his slippers, a bright Are, and a cup of tea in the evening, twice as 
much as a man- who has been all day at home. 

On reflection, however, it seems as if Contrast, far from re- 
ducing things to their first principles, itself needed an explanation. 
Why is it that by contrasting two emotions we heighten their 
colour f A partial explanation was, indeed, suggested in speaking 
of discords : anguish begets desire, and the more intense desire 
has been, the more lively is its gratification. A more profound 
solution of the problem, however, is found in the fact that feelings 
have their echoes^ which continue sometimes long after the original 
tone has ceased ; and if meantime a new tone is sounded, it blends 
with the echo and produces a mixed feeling. 

The sense of Temperature affords a simple illustration of this 
"erha" Place two basins before you, one filled with tepid, the 
other with ice-cold, water. Put your right hand in the ice-water 
one minute, leaving the left in your pocket Then put both 
hands into the tepid water. It ndll seem still tepid to the left, 
but quite warm to the right hand. 

Some psychologists, however, deny that pleasures and pains 
ever coalesce into one feeling — that there is such a thing as a 
mixed feeling. They contend that the attention can be fixed on 
only one feeling at a time, that the stronger crowds out the 
weaker, and that it is only their rapid succession that makes two 
feelings appear simultaneous, just as a firebrand swung around 
rapidly seems to form a fiery circle. 

Now it is quite true that the atUntion can be fixed on only 
one feeling at any given moment, and that the stronger crowds 
out the weaker so far as the attention is cx>ncemed : yet this does 
not prevent the prevailing feeling from being affected by the echo 
of the one which preceded it If a roan, buried in the labyrinths 
of a big hotel, is waked up in the night by cries of fire ; though it 
may prove a false alarm, yet the effect of the fright will remain 
with him and cast a gloom over his whole day's doings, however 
pleasant in themselves. And a doubtful lover's eigoyment of hit 



172 ROMANTIC LOYE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

sweetheart's sweetest smiles is often galled by the remembraDee 
that on the preceding day she smiled just as sweetly on his odious 
rival Tor sorrow ends not when it seemeth donei" says 
Shakspere. 

In his admirable Dissertation an the PcusionSj Home deverly 
makes use of a musical analogy to explain how different emotions 
may be mixed: '*If we consider the human mind, we shall 
obeenre that, with regard to the passions, it is not like a wind- 
instrumeut of music, which, in running over all the notes, immedi- 
ately loses the sound when the breath ceases; but rather resembles 
a string-instrument, where, after each stroke, the vibraticms still 
retain some sound which gradually and insensibly decays. The 
imagination is extremely quick and agile, but the passions in 
comparison are slow and restive; for which reason, when any 
object is presented which affords a variety of views to the one and 
emotions to the other, though the fancy may change its views 
with great celerity, each stroke will not produce a clear and distinct 
note of position, but the ono passion will always be mixt and 
confounded with the other." 

LunatiCf Lover ^ and Poet. — A still better analogy of the manner 
in which one feeling may be modified by another is furnished by 
the optical piienomenon of after-images. If we gaze very steadily 
for half a minute at a green wafer and then at a sheet of white 
paper, we see on it a purple imnge of the wafer ; purple being the 
complementary colour of green, i,e, the colour which, if mixed 
with green, produces white. The reason of this phenomenon is 
that, after looking at the green wafer, the nervous fibres in the 
eye which perceive that colour have become so fatigued that the 
fainter green waves in the white paper fail to make any percep- 
tible impression on tiiem ; so that purple alone prevails for the 
moment So to the infatuated swain who has been tortured by 
the green-eyed monster, Jealousy, the moment of remission, which 
would else be one of neutral indifference, assumes the hue of rosy 
hope and positive delight. Hours which to sober mortals would 
seem perfect blanks are thus to him full of intense feeling, simply 
because they are rebounds from a state of extreme tension in the 
opposite direction. He might be likened to a schoolboy whose 
sleigh is carried across the frozen river by its downward impetus 
and even ascends the hill on the other side some distance before it 
stops. Hence, like the madman and the man of genius, the 
amorous swain is always either down in a fit of melanclioly, or in 
an exalted ecstasy of joy, rapidly alternating and weiidly iuter- 
mingled— 



MODERN LOVE 173 

" The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, 
Are of imagination all comjiact. 

Now poets are proverbially melancholy; and madmen, as 
Professor Kratft-Ebing tells us, are also more commonly tortured 
by depressing delusions than elated by pleasant ones. Hence, if 
the poet's maxim, just quoted, be true, we shoiild expect the 
lovei'^s prevailing cast of mind to be melancholy too ; and so it is. 
Though he enjoys moments of delirious rapture, to which sober 
mortals are utter strangers, yet his misgivings are incessant, even 
when he is almost certain of success : and it takes but little to 
poison his cup ; for, as Professor Yolkmaim remarks, *' one drop 
of anguish suffices to gall a whole ocean wf joy." So the lover 
becomes '^pale and interesting," loses weight and appetite, and 
sighs away his soul. Were this emotional fermenting process 
allowed to last too long, his health would suffer seriously: but 
fortwiately it ordinarily ceases in a year or so, yielding a wine 
which, though less sparkling and ebullient, is more mellow and 
less intoxicating. Plomantic Love, in other words, is metamor- 
phosed into conjugal affection which, among other attributes of 
Love, strips off its characteristic trait of melancholy, whereby it 
is easily distinguished from all other forms of affection. Before, 
however, we can pass on to consider in detail the differences 
between Romantic and Conjugal Love, the two remaining in- 
gredients of Romantic Love — Individual Preference and Personal 
Beauty — must be briefly considered. 

INDIVIDUAL PREFEBEKCB 

It happens occasionally, in the Western regions of the United 
States, that an Indian brave casts his eyes on a buxom pale-face 
girl and desires her in marriage. * He offers her parents two 
ponies for her ; he offers three, five, and even seven ponies ; and 
when still refused he is the most mystified man in the world : 
cannot understand how any man can be so egregiously stupid or 
avaricious as to refuse his daughter for seven ponies ! Ugh ! ! 

It is needless to recapitulate the numerous instances cited in 
preceding pages, showing that throughout the world, until within 
a few centuries, Romantic Love could not exist because the girl's 
choice, on the one hand, was utterly ignored, while the man, on 
the other, was equally prevented, by the lack of opportunities for 
eoQTtship, from basing his choice on a real knowledge of the 
8ele';ted bride. The parents who did the selecting, always for the 



174 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

bride, and sometimes even for the bridegroom, were guided in their 
choice bj money and rank and not by Health and Beauty, which 
iuspire Love and follow as its traits. The history of Ixy^e, tUl 
witiiin three or four centuries ago, might, in short, be summed up 
in six words : No Choice, no Love, no Beauty — except in those 
rare cases where special hygienic adyantages prevailed, or where 
lucky chance brought together a youth and a maiden who in the 
ordinary course of events would have fallen in Love with (me 
another. 

There is reason to believe, however, that even if in the eaiij 
ages of the world the young had been allowed greater freedom in 
choosing a lover, Romantic Love, in its more aident phases, would 
not have flourished to any gi*eat extent among primitive, ancient, 
and mediaeval natious: for the reason that Love depends on 
Individualisation, and our remote ancestors were not so diversely 
individualized as we are. 

Sexual Divei'gence, — Comparative ethnology, psychology^ and 
biology show that specialisation is a product of higher evolution, 
i.e, that individual traits are developed in proportion as we pro- 
ceed higher in the scale of life, physical and intellectual It is 
tnie there are no two flowens in the fields, no two leaves in a 
forest, exactly alike in every detail : but the differences are 
infinitesimal, an<l almost require a microscope to see them. It is 
also true that the sheep in a flock, which appear almost alike to a 
casual observer, are individiuUly known to the shepherd. Powibly 
a sharp-sighted and patient naturalist might live to distinguish 
himself by distinguishing the individuals in a swarm of bees, or a 
caravan of ants : but this would be counted little short of a 
miracle. 

Furthermore, ordinary observers find it almost as difiicult to 
distinguish individuab in a crowd of Chinese, Negroes, or Indians, 
as in a bee-hive. Closer acquaintance does reveal differences: 
but they are rarely so great as those between individuab in civil- 
i<Ked communities. And in these civilised communities themselves 
we find greater differences, sexual differences pre-eminently, the 
higher we ascend. Between a peasant and his wife the difference, 
both physical and mental, is surely not half so great as that 
between a lawyer and hb wife, a physician or professor and hb 
wife. " The lower the state of culture," says Professor Carl Vogt, 
** the more similar are the occupations of the two sexes ; " and 
similarity of occupation entaib similarity of attitude, expression, 
and mental habits. Mr. Higginstm's notion that civilisation tends 
to make the sexes more and more alike b true only as regards 




MODERN LOVE 176 

legal rights and social priyileges; regarding their mental traits 
and physical appearance exactly the reverse is true. The peasant's 
"wife may have a tender heart for him and her children, but her 
domestic drudgery and hard labour in the fields make her features, 
her voice, and manners harsh and masculine. Aud who has not 
read a hundred times that the Indian squaws look quite as stem, 
stolid, unemotional, and masculine as their husbands 7 

That the ancient Greeks, though they may have possessed it, 
had but little regard for Individuality is shown especially in their 
sculpture, and in the fact that with them even marriage was con- 
sidered less a private than a social matter. Lycurgns, Solon, and 
Plato agreed in viewing marriage as '^ a matter in which the state 
had a right to interfere ; " and for the piirpose of providing the 
state with legitimate citizens, it was therefore regarded as obliga- 
tory. The absence of emotional expression in Greek statues equally 
shows their indifference to Individualisation and their ignorance of 
Love : ibr Love is inspired not so much by regularity of features 
as by fascinating variety of emotional expression. 

Thus the absence or disregard of individual traits among ancient 
nations helps, like the absence of individual Choice, to account for 
the absence of Romantic Love, the very essence of which — as dis- 
tinguished from mere sexual passion — is the insistance on individual 
traits and the mutual adaptation of the lovers. 

What sublime — or ridiculous — extremes, this absorption in 
individual traits reaches in Modem Love, no one need be told. 
Not only does the lover consider his maiden's frowns more beauti- 
fid than other maidens' smiles, but he longs to kiss the floor on 
which she has walked ; and every ribbon that has clasped her 
waist, every jewel that has touched her ear or neck, becomes 
charged with a subtle and mysterious electric current that woiUd 
shock him with a thrill of recognition shoiUd his fingers come in 
contact with then) on a table, even in a dark room. 

Making Women Masculine, — Nothing proves so irrefutably the 
hopelessness of the task undertaken by a few '* strong-minded " 
women — namely, to equalise the sexes by making women more 
masculine — than the fact thus revealed by anthropology and his- 
tory : that the tendency of civilisation has been to make men and 
women more and more unlike, physically and emotionally. Wliut- 
ever approximation there may have been has been entirely on the 
part of the men, who have become less coarse or ** manly," in the 
old acceptation of that term, and more femininely refined ; while 
women have endeavoured to maintain tlie old distance by a corre- 
sponding increase of refinement on their part Should the Woman's 



17« ROMANTIC LOVE AlH) PERSONAL BEAUTY 

Rights viragoes erer succeed in establishing their social ideal, when 
women will share all the men's privileges, make stump speeches, 
and— of course — go back to the harvest fields and to war with 
them — then good-bye, Romantic Love ! But there is no danger 
that these Amazons will ever carry their point. They might aa 
well try to convince women to wear beards ; or men, crinolines. 

Were any further proof needed that the sexes have been con- 
tinually diverging instead of converging, it would be found in the 
fact that the young of both sexes are more alike than adults : in 
accordance with the law that the individual goes through the same 
stages of development as the race. And there are embryological 
facts which indicate even that there is some truth in the Platonic 
myth that the sexes at first were not separated ; but that such 
separation took place probably for three reasons: to secure a 
division of labour ; to prevent the full hereditary transmission of 
injurious qualities ; and, thirdly, to secure the benefits of cross- 
fertilisation, — a result which ui the higher spheres of human life 
is attained through Love, which is based on opposite or comple- 
mentary qualities, and scorns near relationship. 

Love and Culture, — The dependence of Love on Individnalisa- 
tion,. and the dependence of ludividualisation, in turn, on Culture, 
help us also to explain an apparent ditiiculty regarding the non- 
existence of Love among tlie lower classes in ancient Greece and 
elsewhere. For these classes were not subjected to the same 
chaperonage as the higher circles : and it might be inferred there- 
fore that the possibility of free Choice must have led to real love- 
matches. Perhaps it did in those rare cases where culture had 
sent a rootlet down into a lower social sti'atum. But as a rule one 
would have looked in vain among the lower classes — as one does 
to-day, despite poetic fiction — for minds sutticiently refined to 
comprehend and feel the highly-complex and idealised group of 
emotions which constitute Romantic Love. Of course it would be 
absurd to include in this statement people of refinement who 
through misfortune have been plunged into abject poverty. They 
do not belong to the " Great Unwashed "— ot ttoXAoi. 

When Stendhal asserts that in Fmnce Love exists only in the 
lower chisses, while Max Nordau states that in Germany it is to 
be found in the higher classes only, they are probably both right 
— allowance beijig made for rare exceptions. What Love does 
exist in France — and it is preciously scarce^-cannot possibly pre- 
vail except among the working people ; and in Grernmny among the 
corresponding class it mast be eqimily scarce, whereas in the middlo 
and higher classes, where chaperonage is not nearly so strict and 




MODERN LOVE 177 

idiotic as in France, Cupid does contrive to find an oocaBional 
target for hia arrows. 

PSBSOKAL BXAX7TT 

Fanny Brawne having complained to Keats that he seemed to 
ignore all her other qualities and have eyes for her beauty alone, 
Keats thus justified himself: ''Why may I not speak of your 
beauty, since without that I could never have loved you f I can- 
not conceive any beginning of such love as I have for yon but 
beauty. There may be a sort of love for which, without the least 
sneer at it, I have the highest respect, and can admire it in 
others : but it has not the richness, the bloom, the full form, the 
encliantment of love after my own heart." 

Fanny Brawne is not the only girl who has thus complained to 
her lover about his exclusive empliasising of her Personal Beauty. 
But all such complaints are useless. In Modem Love the Admira- 
tion of Personal Beauty is by far the strongest of all ingredients, 
aiid is becoming more so every year: fortunately, for thereby 
Roiuantic Love is becoming more and more idealised and converted 
into a pure aesthetic sentiment Goldsmith, indeed, laid stress on 
the virtue of choosing a wife on the same principle that guided her 
in dioosing a wedding-ring — for qualities that will wear. But 
PerM>nal Beauty doe$ wear, with proper hygienic care. 

Feminine Beaviy in Masculine Eyes. — In mascidine Love, 
regard for youthful feminine Beauty has always played a rUe more 
or leas important. But the efiects of this kind of sexual selection 
in the lower races in increasing the amount of physical beauty in 
the world, have been commonly neutralised by the crude aesthetic 
notions prevailing among men as to what constituted feminine 
beauty. The weakness of the aesthetic overtone in Love, more- 
over, has iiitherto prevented it from competing successful )y with 
other murriage-motives. On the continent of Europe, to this dny, 
the ugliest girl with a dowry of a few thousands is sure to find a 
bnsbond and transmit her bo<li)y and bis mental ugliness to her 
offiiiriitg ; while girls who could transmit a considerable amount of 
beauty, physical and mental, to their children, are left to fadeaway 
as old maids, because they have no money. 

In this rrapect America sets a noble example to most parts of 
Europe. Thousands of young Americans marry penniless beauties 
every year, although they might have rich ugly girls for the asking. 
This is one of the things Frenchmen and Germans cannot under- 
•tand, and class as " Americanisms." And then they wonder why 

K 



178 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTT 

it is that there are so many pretty girU in Canada and the ITnited 
States. Another ** Americanism," gentlemen. These pretty giris 
are the issne of Love-matches. Their mothers were selected for 
their Beauty^ not for money or rank. 

Not but that there are numerous exceptions to this golden mle 
of Lore. Were there not, ugly women would be scarcer than they 
are, even in America. 

Afcuculine Beauty in Ffmintne Eyen, — Li woman's Love the 
admiration of Personal Beauty has played a much less significant 
rdU than in man's Love. If, nevertheless, the average man in 
most countries is perhaps a better specimen of masculine Beauty 
than the average woman of feminine Beauty, this is owing to the 
facts that sons as well as daughters may inherit their mother's 
beauty, and that men, leading a more active and athletic life, are 
more beautiful than women in proportion as they are more 
healthy. 

In the past barbarous times the constant wars and the unsettled 
state of social afifairs made it important for women to select men 
not for their beauty, but for their energy courage, and manly 
prowess. Desdemona falls in Love with the Moor despite his 
colour and ugliness ; and why 1 Othello himself tells us— • 

" She loTcd me for the dangers I had passed^ 
And I loved her that she did pity tbenu" 

And it is on beholding Orlando vanquishing the Duke's wrestler 
that Rosalind falls in Love with him. As Celia remarks: *' Young 
Orlando, that tripped up the wrestler's heels and your heart, both 
in an instant" 

Women are conservative ; and in the ludicrous feminine eager- 
ness to make immortal heroes of the ephemeral victors in a boat- 
race or basel)all match, we sec an echo, in these peaceful days, of a 
feminine trait imprinted on them in warlike times. 

Intellectual supererainence, in the meantime, was ignored by 
women. Petrarch^s verses made no impression on Laura, and 
Dante could not even win Beatrice with such poetic beauties as 
these lines — 

** Whatever her sweet eyes nre turned upon. 
Spirits of Love do issue thonce iu tl:ime, 
Svhich through their eyes who then may look on them 
Pierce to the heart's deep chamber every one. 
And in her smile Lore*s ima«;e you may see 
Whence none can gaze upon her stead rai>tly.'' 

There is, however, already a large class of superior women who 




MODERN LOVE 179 

hare discovered that brains have displaced muscle in the successful 
struggle for existence, and that strong nerves are the true storage- 
batteries of courage and vigour in modem life. Hence the homage 
paid to men of genius. 

In regard to masculine Beauty a change likewise has come over 
the feminine mind. Fashionable young ladies appear, indeed, to 
be as exacting in the matter of what they consider Personal Beauty 
as tlieir beaux are. A barber's pet is their pet, even as the fashion- 
able man's ideal of femininity is a milliner's model. There can be 
hardly any doubt that tiiis is an improvement on the taste of those 
savages who prefer their women black, with thick lips, fiat noses, 
and tattooed, or smeared with a half-inch coat of paint 

Says a writer in the London Magazine (1823) : " The pale 
poet, whose works enchant us all, is nobody in the park : with his 
shrunk cheeks and spindle legs, he sneaks along as little noticed 
as a fly; while a thousand fond eyes are fixed on the gay and 
handsome apprentice there, with just enough intellect to make the 
dothes which make him." 

Serves the pale poet quite right His genius does not give 
him any right to neglect his health, or to allow the tailor's appren- 
tice to surpass him in attention to his personal appearance. Genie 
oblige. And whether geniuses or not, men should pay just as 
mudi attention to their dress and personal attractiveness as women. 

A convincing illustration of my thesis that Personal Beauty is 
to-day a more important factor in woman's Love than formerly, is 
afforded by the circumstance that formerly Love hxul the effect of 
making a man neglect his beard, and hands, and clothes, and in- 
dulge in general slovenliness, as we see in Rosalind's summary of 
the symptoms of mascnline Love, as well as in various passages in 
Cervantes and other authors; whereas to-day it is just the reverse, 
as noted under the head of Gallantry. It is most amusing to 
watch a man smitten with sudden passion : how carefully he adjusts 
his cravat curls his moustiche, brushes his hat and boots, polishes 
his finger-nails, removes spots from his coat, regaixls himself in the 
mirror, and — wishes he were a millionaire. 

So much for the general relations between Love and Beauty. 
It now remains to consider in detail what peculiarities of personal 
appearance are and have been specially favoured by Love. This 
involves an sesthetico-anatomioal analysis of eveiy part of the human 
body from toe to top. To this analysis almost one half of this 
work will be devoted — showing the preponderating importance of 
Personal Beauty over the other factors in Moilcm Love. But 
before proceeding to this pleasant task it will bo well, for the sake 



180 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

of continuity, to discuss the remaining aspects of Modem Lore : 
how it differs from conjugal affection ; how men of genius behaye 
when in Love ; what are the peculiarities of the physical expression 
of Love in features and actions; how Love maybe won and cured; 
and how the leading modem nations differ in their amorous pecu- 
liarities. A consideration of Schopenhauer's theory of Love will 
then naturally lead us to the second part of this treatise, in which 
Personal Beauty alone will form our theme. 



CONJUGAL AFFECTION AND ROMANTIC LOVB 

Perhaps tlie main reason why no one has anticipated me in 
writing a book showing that Love is an exclusively modem senti- 
ment, and tracing its gradual development, is because no distinction 
has been commonly made between Romantic Love and Conjugal 
Affection, though they differ as widely as maternal love and friend- 
ship. The occurrence of noble examples of conjugal attachment 
aa far back as Homer has obscured the fact that pre-nuptial or 
Romantic Love is almost as modem as the telegraph, the railway, 
and the electric light. 

Two thousand and four hundred years ago the Greek philosopher 
Empedokles taught that there are four elements — fire, air, water, 
earth — which remain unchanged amid all combiiiations. Chemistry 
has long since shown that these supposed elements are compounds, 
and that the number of real elements is much larger. 

In a similar way the tender or family emotions have been gra- 
dually distinguished from one another. Among the ancient Greeks 
<l>i\6rq<: meant both friendship and sexual love, which, as we have 
seen^they strangely confounded, both in theory and in practice. 
To-day we distinguish not only between friendship and sexual love, 
but between the two phases of sexual love — Romantic and Con- 
i»i2ral Affection — the fonuer of which was unknown to the Greeks. 
We do this not only because, as in the case of'iithe chemitral 
elements, our knowledge has become more precise and subtle, but 
because these emotions have been gradually developed, and have 
assumed different characteristics, so that it would be difficult at 
present to mistake one for the other. 

As regards the difference between Conjugal and Romantic Love, 
however, the current conceptions are not yet so clear and definite; 
many good folks being, in fact, inclined to frown upon the sugges- 
tiou that there is any such difference. Yet it is useless for them 
to endeavour, with well-meant hypociisy, to impress upon the 




CONJUGAL AFFECTION AND ROMANTIC LOVE 181 

young the notion that Love is unchangeable, since no one who 
keeps his eyes open can help noticing how differently married 
couples behave from lovers. In marriage the dazzling blue flame 
of Romantic Love gradually grows smaller and dies away. But 
the coals may retain their glow and perchance keep the heart 
warmer than tiie former flickering flames of Love. 

There is, indeed, a great moral advantage to be gained by 
frankly acknowledging that Love undergoes a metamorphosis in 
wedlock. It breaks live tiing of cynicism. For if we are told that 
" marriage is the sunset of love," or that " the only sure cure for 
love is marriage," we may calmly retort, " What of it t " When 
the romantic passion subsides, its place is taken by another group 
of emotions, equally noble and conducive to the welfare of society. 
It is not an annihilation of anything, but simply a cliange : losing 
some pleasures, but gaining others in their place ; getting rid of 
some pains to be burdened with others. Love's metamorphosis 
into conjugal affection is like that of a wild rose into its red berry. 
Though less fragrant and lovely than the rose, the berry is almost 
as warm in colour, endures longer, and brings forth fresh plants to 
adorn future seasons. 

Similes, however, are not arguments ; and it behoves us therefore, 
for the benefit of bachelors and old maids, and of married folks 
who never were in love, to point out definitely wherein conjugal 
differs from Romantic Love ; which nt the same time will explain 
why conju^nd aflection was able to exist so many centuries before 
Romantic Love. 

In preceding pages a fragmentary attempt has been made to 
characterise Love, and to show how its growth was impeded through 
the inferior social and intellectual status of women and the absolute 
chaperona:^e of the young. Maidens and youths had no oppor- 
tunity to meet and become acquainted. Barter, and considerations 
of rank and expediency, took the place of affection, and parental 
authority that of individual choice. There was no prolonged 
courtship, hence no jealousy of rivals, no female coyness and 
coquetry, no alternating hopes and doubts, no monopoly of mutual 
admiration, no ecstatic adoration, sympathetic sharing of lovers' 
joys and giiefs, or pride of conquest and possession. 

Conjugal affection, on the other hand, was much less retiuxled 
in its growth by such artificial arrangemcuts, the outcome of 
strong man's brutal selfishuess. Polygamy was the chief impedi- 
ment ; but as soon as woman became sutticiently " emancipated " 
to daim a husbaud of her own, the soil was ready for the growth 
of conjugal affection. In its early stages this form of affection 



182 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

must have been much more crude and simple than it b in modern 
society. In most instances it was probably little more than a 
mere superficial attachment, growin«? out of the habit of living 
together for some time ; the husband being attached to his wife 
on account of the domestic comforts and ease she provided for 
him, and the wife to the husband very much as a dog is to his 
master, who, though cruel, yet takes care of and feeds him. 

How crudely utilitarian the conjugal bond is among primitive 
men may be inferred from Mr. Wallace's remarks already quotec^ 
as to the motives which guide the maidens of certain Amazon- 
valley tribes in choosing their husbands. There is, he says, *^ a 
trial of skill at shooting with the bow and arrow, and if the 
young man does not show himself a good marksman, the girl 
refuses him, on the ground that he will not be able to shoot fish 
and game enough for the family." 

With the ancient '* classical" nations there were, unless the 
poets have strongly idealised their characters, examples of cnigugal 
afiectiou hardly ditfering from the most refined modem instances. 
Owing to the then prevalent contempt for the female mind, how- 
ever, such cases cannot be accepted as fair samples of the '* general 
article " ; and they only allow us to infer that, as with Love and 
with genius, so with coigugal affection, there were some early 
perfect instances anticipating by many centuries the general course 
of emotional evolution. 

In the dark and warlike mediceval ages Conjugal Love, on the 
woman's side, was apparently little more, as a rule, than a sense 
of devotion to her husband based on her need of protection against 
barbarous enemies ; and what it was on the husband's side may be 
inferred from his stem and cften tyrannic rule in his own house, 
which was calculated to breed in his wife and children fear but 
neither coqjugal nor filial atfection. 

In modem Conjui^l Affection the elements are as diverse nn I 
as variously intermingled as in Love, if not more so ; and it 
would be as difficult to find two coses of conjugal love exactly 
alike as two human faces, or two leaves in a forest One man 
cherishes his wife chiefly on account of tiie home comfort she 
provides — the neat and tasteful domestic interior, the well-cooke<l 
dinners, the economic attention to bouseliold affairs, etc. Another 
man's pride in his spouse is based on her conversational skill, her 
<li|)lomatic art of asserting her place among the upper ten in 
society, and of adorning her drawing-rooms with the presence of 
prominent people of the day. A third husband loves his wife 
for her artistic accomplishments or her personal charms. Still 




CONJUGAL AFrECTION AND ROMANTIC LOVE 383 

another, an author, is devoted to his spouse because she clcTerly 
assists his labours by criticism and suggestion, and still more 
because she takes such a sympathetic interest in his creations, and 
Ttally thinks that no one since Shakspere has written like her 
own dear Adolphus. 

These and a thousand like drcumstanccs, with their attendant 
feelings, enter into the highly complex ^rroup of emotions subsumed 
under the name of Conjugal Love. Yet, since any one of these 
feelings may be absent without extinguisiiing Coi\jugal Affection, 
they cannot be regarded as its essentials or framework, but only 
as colouring material. 

Nor is that which is commonly regarded as the strongest of all 
cements between husband and wife — the common love of their 
children — to be accepted as the essence of coi]Jugal love. For 
childless couples present many of the most remarkable cases of 
devotion, while in many other cases the children not only fail to 
rekindle the torch of love, but even arouse jealousies and ill-feeling 
between their parents by showing a special preference for one or 
the other. Nevertheless, though not absolutely essential to 
conjugal love, the common parental feeling is one of its most 
importimt and constant ingredients ; and there is none of its 
tributaries wiiich adds more to the deep current of coimubial bliss. 
It enables the parents to enjoy once more the simple pleasures of 
life, to which they had gro^nn callous ; it brings back the 
peculiarly delicious memories of their own childh«x)d and youth ; 
enables the father to discover his former sweetheart renewed in 
his daughter, and the mother her former lover in her son ; while 
their conunon pride in the beauty or accomf)lishments of the 
children supplies them with a never-failing topic of conversation 
and source of sympathy. 

And this suggests what must be regarded as the real kernel of 
conjugal attachment — a perennial mutual sympathy regiirding not 
only the affairs of their children but every other domestic affuir — 
in other wurds, a complete and necessary harmony of feelings and 
interests. The accent rests on the word necessary ; for it is this 
feeling of necessary communion of interests that distinguishes 
conjugal affection from Liove and from friendship, in both of 
which there is a mutual sympathy, but not so far-reaching and 
inevitable. A lover's fame or di>'grace may be keenly felt by his 
sweetheart or his friend, yet society does not associate them with 
the other's reputation or disgrace ; and if the infamy is too great, 
they can easily sever their bond, without leaving a spot on their 
oim good name. Not so with husband and wife. Hb promotion 



184 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL DEAUT7 

is her honour, and hiB full her humiliation ; for they are insepor- 
ahly associated in the public mind, and cannot be parted except 
through divorce, which is equivident to social suicide. Therefore 
theirs is *' one glory an' one shame,'' and their destiny to ** share 
each other's gladness and weep each other's tears." 

To make this matrinioniid harmony complete, it is necessary 
that there should be a real sense of companionship, ie. common 
tastes and topics of conversation. '' Unlikeness may attract," 
says Mill, ''but it is likeness which retains ; and in proportion to 
the likeness is the suitability of the individuals to give each other 
a happy life." The opposite qualities by which lovers are often 
attracted are chiefly of a physical nature. Wliere the mental 
diflereuces are great — ^where he, for instance, is fond of books and 
music, while she wishte bis books and his piano in Siberia ; or 
she fond of parties, pictives, and theatres, and he bored to death 
by them : in such cases geiunne Romantic Love cannot survive a 
few weeks of constant companionship, and hopes of nuptial bliss 
must end in disappointment 

ROMANCE nC CONJUGAX LOVl 

Horwicz places the essence of Conjugal Love in the 'feeling of 
being indissolubly united ; and this ai^reca suljstantially with our 
conclusion that it lies in a necessary mutmd Sympathy concerning 
every affair of vital interest Now if this oUifjato Sympathy is 
facilitated by a communion of tastes, as just suggested, there is 
no reason why conjugal life should not retain some of the other 
elements which constitute the charm of Romantic Love. Novelists 
and dramatists will perhaps continue to avoid wedded life as a 
theme because it locks the plot-interest, the uncertainty, and the 
consequent Mixed Moods of pre-nuptial Love. Emotional Hyper- 
bole, too, will rarely survive the honeymoon, for, as Addison 
remarks, " When a man becomes familiar with his goddess, she 
quickly sinks into a woman." Yet a woman, too, is not such a 
bad thing after all, if you know how to manage her. Jealousy is 
a trait of Romantic Love that is only too apt to survive in 
marriage. By a judicious use of its sting a neglected wife cau 
bring her husband back to her feet But it is a doubleeilgcd 
tool, dangerous to toy with. The Pride of Conquest becomes 
changed into Pride of Possession or a vain feeling of Proprietor- 
ship, wliich will continue so long as tiie husbaml or the wife 
retains those self-sacrificing qualities which distinguished them 
during Courtship — which, however, rarely hapi^ens. Where 




CONJUGAL AFFECTION AND ROMANTIC LOVE 186 

possession is assured and sanctioned by law, Coyness is of conrse 
out of the question ; yet a clever woman can by a judicious 
adaptation of the arts of Flirtation do much to keep alive the 
glowing coals of former romantic passion. All she has to do is 
to devise some novel methods of fascinating the husband, and 
then keep him at a distance till he resumes the tricks of devoted 
Gallantry which had once made him such an acceptable lover. 

It is the growing indifference to Gallantry, to the Desire to 
Please, active and passive, that is responsible for the usual 
absence of romance in conjugal life. And there seems to be a 
general ungallant consensus among writers, masculine and 
feminine, that women are more responsible for this state of affairs 
than men. " The reason," says Swift, " why so few marriages 
are happy, is because young ladies spend their time in making 
nets, not in making cages. ** Young ladies have, no doubt, greatly 
improved since the dajrs of Swift ; but in the vast majority of 
cases their device still is to learn a few superficial tricks of 
'' culture," and to practise the art of personal adornment, until 
they have caught a husband, and then to bid good-bye to all 
music, and art, and study, and improvement of the mind, as well 
as to the *' bother " of attending to Personal Beauty while the 
husband ordy is about As if it were not a thousand times more 
important to retain the husband's romantic adoration and 
Gallantry, originally based on that beauty, than to enjoy the 
momentary admiration of a third person ! 

On this topic the German poet Bodenstedt has some remarks 
which show that, after all, the excessive Oriental Jealousy which 
forbids women to appear unveiled in public rests on a basis of 
common sense : — 

'* Just as it is possible to trace most absurdities to an originally 
quite reasonable idea, so not a few things may be said in favour of 
the Oriental custom wliicli allows women to adorn themselves only 
for their husband, and to unveil their face only l^efore him, while 
outside of the house it is their duty to appear veiled and in as un- 
attractive a costume as possible. With us, it is well known, the 
opposite is true: at home the women devote little attention to 
their toilet, and only adorn themselves when they have company 
or go out visiting; in one word, they display their charms and 
their finery more to please others than their own husband/' etc. 

Surely no one wishes our women to reserve their charms exclu- 
sively for their husbands. On the contrary, such a proceeding 
would be considered quite as unreasonable and selfish as to lock up 
a Titian or a Murillo in a room acoevsible to a single person only ; 



185 ROMANTIC LOVE A^'D PERSONAL BEAUTY 

but certainly the husband should not be entirely overlooked in his 
wife's Desire to Please by her Personal Beauty. His Pride on 
seeing others admire her does not alone suffice to prolong bis 
romantic adoration. Don't be too sure, Amanda, that yoiu: 
husband is yours because you are mamed. He is yours in Law, 
but not in Love, unless you preserve your personal charms in his 
presence. 

The fact that, whereas in Romantic Love men are superior to 
women ; in coi\jugal life, on the other hand, woman's love is com- 
monly much deeper and more lasting than man's, indicates in itself 
that marriages are made or nuirred by women. (For the sake of 
the lovely alliteration some writers would have said — against their 
conscience — that *' marriages are made or marred by men ; " but 
alliteration will have to be ignored in this place in favour of 
facts.) Before marriage, women are more beautiful and fascinating 
than men, wherefore men love them more ardently than tliey Inve 
the men. After marriage, it is the men who grow more beautiful, 
more manly, in Ixxly as well as in mind ; hence it is but natural 
that their wives should love them more and more. So would 
wives be loved more and more if they did not so soon after thirty 
lose their physical charms, without trying, by reading books or at 
least the newspapers, to make themselves intellectual companions 
of their husbands, able to converse interestingly on various to[iics. 

The old excuse that motherhood inevitably lessens woman's 
charms is til nonsense. Manied women at thirty are almost 
always handsomer than old maids of tiiirty. Women grow stout 
and clumsy, or thin and faded so soon, not because tliey are 
mothers, but because they are indifferent to the laws of health ; 
because they refuse to go out to get fresh air an<l exercise, which 
would preserve the freshness of their complexion, the gracefid con- 
tours of their bodies, and the elasticity of their gait. The morbid 
fondness for a hot-house atmc^sphere, and the horror of fresh air, 
draughts, and vigorous exercise, have done more to shorten man's 
Love and woman's Beauty than all other causes combined. The 
i'oad to lasting Love is paved with lasting Beauty, 

Inasmuch as Conjugal Affection was not — as might be nntiu-nlly 
supposed — hfstorically developed from Romantic Love, since it 
existed long before Romantic Love, the peculiarities of this later 
passion are not normally present in C«>njug:d Love. To what ex- 
tent, however, they can be smuggled in, has just been shown; 
and it is one of the great social tasks of the futiu'e to moke Con- 
jugal and Romantic Lovd as much alike as possible : not by making 
the poetry of romance more prosaic, but by making the prose of 




CONJUGAL AFFECTION AND ROMANTIC LOVE 187 

eonjagal life more poetic But so lon^ as Romantic Love is 
discouraged, Conjugal Affection, too, will of course be unable to 
borrow its unique charms. Hence an additional reason for facili- 
tating the opportunities for Courtship and prolonging its duration. 

ICAREIAGES OF SEASON OR LOVE-MATCHES t 

The number of parents who believe that their infallible wisdom 
is a better guide matrimonial than their daughters' choice inspired 
by Love, is still so large that it is worth while to add a few words 
ill the hope of removing this obstacle to the universal rule of 
Cupid. Let Mrs. Lynn-Linton be their spokeswoman. ''If it 
seems a horrible thing," she says, in The Girl of tJte Period^ 
"to marry a young girl without her consent, or without any 
more knowledge of the man with whom she is to pass her life 
than can be got by seeing him once or twice in formal family 
conclave, it seems quite as bad to let our women roam about 
the world at the age when their instincts are strongest and their 
reason weakest — open to the flatteries of fools and fops — the 
prey of professed lady-killers — objects of loverlikc attentions by 
men who mean absolutely nothing but the amusement of making 
love — the subjects for erotic anatomists to study at their pleasure. 
Who among our girU after twenty carries an absolutely untouched 
heart to the nmn she marries ? " 

No doubt there is force in these remarks : but they do not 
apply to the Girl of the Period They apply only to the girl 
brought up on the old system of being left in complete ignorance 
regarding man and his wicked ways of heartless and meaningless 
flattery. But modem girls are not such fools as some people 
would think them. Tell tJiem that men are only amusing them- 
selves ; a hint will suffice : and the man who imagines himself a 
"lady-killer" will suddenly find himself a victim of counter- 
flirtation and a butt of feminine sarcasm. 

Tell girls, furthermore, not that every man loves his wife, but 
that many hate and maltreat their unfortunate spouse. This will 
make them cautious. Tell them that Love is not an absolute but 
a tentative passion, and that tliey must not yield to the first ap- 
jiarent symptoms and throw their hearts away frivolously. Tell 
them, above all, that men who arc extremely gallant and compli- 
mentary, widurui Iteing in tJie least embarrassed , are always 
insincere and sometimes dangerous : because a man who is truly 
in Love is always embarrassed. Tell them a few more such 
pessimistic truths about men, instead of allowing them to perish 



188 BOMA^mC LOVE AND PEBSOKAL BEAUTY 

throTigh optimistic ignorance, and the objections against free 
choice urged by Mrs. Lynn-Linton will vanish like vapour in sun- 
light English and American girls are quite able to take care of 
themselves, because they are allowed to read all sorts of books, 
and therefore to know the world as it is. And if any one says 
that such knowledge has rendered English and American girls less 
delicate, less sweet and pure, than French and German hothouse 
buds, he utters an immitigated falsehood. 

Advocates of so-called *' wisdom " marriages are fond of point- 
ing out cases of unhappy married life, based originally on free 
Choice. But free Choice by no means always implies Love. Its 
motives are often pecuniary, or social ; and in these cases the 
marriage actually comes under the head of " wisdom marriages," 
whose champions are thus boxing their own ears. Besides, we must 
remember Byron's wonls, that " many a man tliinks he marries by 
choice who only marries by accident" If a man marries his 
Rosaline before he has met his Juliet, he has only himself or his 
bad luck to blame, not Love. 

The frequency with which runaway "love-matches" end un- 
liappily, is adduced as another argument in favour of wisdom 
marriages. Two things are here forgotten : that in nineteen 
runaway matches out of twenty, the predominant passion is 
frivolity, not Love; and that quite a considerable proportion of 
unions not preceded by an elopement end unhappily ; but being 
less romantic they are not so much talked about. 

" Wisdom " marriages based on parental choice are those which 
have prevailed in the past : and we have seen how beautifully 
they coincided with woman's degradation, ignorance, and social 
debasement 

Wisdom marriages are incompatible with Courtship, which 
becomes a superfluous preliminary to marriage. Modem methods 
of Coiu*tship and engagement ordinarily prolong this period to 
about a year or two. This is the honeymoon, not of marriage, 
but of life itself, the time when earth is a paradise. During 
these two yexu^ the soul makes more progress in refinement, 
maturity, and insight than during any other decade of life. Shall 
all this happiness, all this refining influence, be thrown away with 
Level 

Compatibility of temper is the most important of all pre- 
requisites to a happy marriage. Should Love be allowed to find 
out during Courtship if there is such a compatibility, before it 
is too late, or shall the inadequate judgment of parents unite 
two souls with a* much mutual affinity as oil and water ? 



CONJUGAL AFFECTION AND ROMANTIC LOVE 189 

Self-sacrifice for their children Ib considered the noblest of 
parental traits. Were Schopenhauer right in claiming that in 
Xove- matches the parents sacrifice their individual happiness to 
the wellbemg of their children — would not this be an additional 
motive for abhorring wisdom maniageSi in which the interests of 
the parents alone are consulted ) 

HARRIAGE EINTB 

It would be foolish to deny, on the other hand, that Reason 
should be consulted as much as possible as long as Love allows 
it to have the fioor for a moment Thus men might, before it 
is too late, have an eye to Benjamin Franklin's advice in regard 
to large families and the age of mafhage. 

Mr. F. W. Holland of Boston has collected some statistics con- 
cerning which Mr. Galton says, '' One of his conclusions was that 
morality is more often found among members of large families than 
among those of small ones. It is reasonable to expect this would 
be the case, owing to the internal discipline among members o^ 
large families, and to the wholesome sustaining and restraining 
effects of family pride and family criticism. Members of small 
families are apt to be selfish, and when the smalluess of the family 
is due to the deaths of many of its members at early ages, it is 
some evidence either of weakness of the family constitution, or of 
deficiency of common sense or of affection on the part of the parents 
in not taking better care of them. Mr. Holland quotes in his letter 
to me a piece of advice by Franklin to a young mxm in search of 
a wife, ' to take one out of a bunch of sisters,' and a popular saving 
that kittens brought up with others make the best pets, because 
they have learned to play without scratching. Sir W. Gull has 
remarked that those candidates for the Indian Civil Service who 
are members of large families are on the whole the strongest." 

A second bit of advice given by Franklin is perhaps less un- 
questionable : '' From the marriages that have fallen under my 
observation,'* he says, " I am rather inclined to think that early 
ones stand the best chances of happiness. The temper and habits 
of the young are not become so stiff and uncomplying as when 
more advanced in life : they form more easily to each other, and 
hence many occasions of disgust are removed. . . . * Late 
children,' says the Spanish proverb, * arc early orphans.' With ns 
in America (1768) marriages are generally in the morning of life ; 
our children arc therefore educated and settled in the world by 
noon; and thus, our business being done, we have an aftemo(Mi 



190 ROMANTIC LOVE AlH) PESSOKAL BEAUTY 

and eyening of cheerful leisure to ourselves. . • 67 tbese e&rljr 
marriages we are blessed with more children ; and from the mode 
among us founded by nature, every mother suckling and nursing 
her own child [1768], more of them are raised. Thence the swift 
progress of population among us, unparalleled in Europe." 

*' Marriages," says Theodore Parker, '* are best of dissimilar 
materials ; " and Coleridge remarks, similarly : *' You may depend 
upon it that a slight contrast of character is very material to 
happiness in marriage.'' But would it be possible to find two 
individuals who did not present "a slight contrast of character"! 
Coleridge apparently did not think much of the average conjugal 
union of his day : " To the many of both sexes I am well aware," 
he says, ** this Eden of matrimony is but a kitcheu-garden, a thing 
of profit and convenience, in tin even temperature between indif- 
ference and liking." What a married person wants is *' a soul- 
mate as well as a house or yoke-mnte." 

Young men are often warned not to marry for beauty, because 
it is but skiu-deep. But surely a millimetre of beauty is worth 
more than a yard of ugliness, though whitewashed with raiik, 
money, or general utility. " A thing of beauty is a joy for ever." 



OLD MAIDS 

One way in which Romantic Love fulfils its mission of increasing 
the amount of Personal Beauty in the world, is by eliminating 
ugly and masculine women as Old Maids, and thus preventing 
them from transmitting their characteristics to the next generation. 
Were it not for the fact that the average man is quite devoid of 
(esthetic taste and incnpable of ardent Romantic Love, and that 
therefore considerations of wealth and social advantages guide him 
in his choice of a wife, ugly women would rarely be found outside 
the ranks of Old Maids. As it is, it happens only too often that 
dowcrless beautiful women are condemned to live and die in single 
blessedness, while the ugly people fill the world with photographic 
copies of themselves. 

Why is it that every refined man feels an instinctive aversion 
to masculine women 1 Because a masculine wcmin is an exception 
to the laws of nature, a lusus naturce, a monstrosity. We find even 
among the lower animals that the females difier widely, as a rule, 
in traits and appcxLrancc from the mules — sometimes so much so 
tluit there are instances on record of females and males having been 
for a time supposed to belong to different species ; and the differ- 



OLD MAIDS 191 

enoes grow greater the more tbe sexual functions are developed 
and specialised. Yet Amazons occur even amoDg animals. 
*'Cbaracteri( common to the male/' says Darwin, **are occasionally 
dcvelo[>ed in the female wlitn bIu groioi old or becomes diseased^ 
as, for instance, when the common hen assumes the flowing tail- 
feathers, hackles, combs, spurs, voice, and even pugnacity of the 
cock." 

Among the warlike Greeks, who knew only masculine or mono- 
sexual love, Amazons were naturally esteemed, as they did not 
clash with their feminine ideal. " How popular a subject tbe 
Amazons were for sculptors," says Grote, ''we learn from tbe state- 
ment of Pliny that the most distinguished sculptors executed 
Amazons, and that this subject was the only one upon which a 
direct comparison could be made between tbeuL'' But the progress 
of time, as we have seen, has more and more difi'erentiated men 
and women, in ap])earance and traits of character ; and the modem 
ideal of woman is exclusively feminine, i,e, devoid of hackles, spurs, 
cock-a-doodle-doo, and pugnacity. Hence the political Virago 
movement is an evil which will never make any progress, thanks 
to tlie constant elimination of masciUine women through that 
adorable process of Sexual Selection known as Modem Love. 

Masculine women are alwa3rs condemned to bury their un- 
womanly proclivities with their spinster-selves, unless they are very 
rich, or unless tliey can find a correspondingly efieminate man who 
wishes to neutralise his abnormalities in his children by marrying 
a spouse whose faults are an excess in the opposite direction. In 
such a case a virago may possibly even inspire Komautic Love, 
mirahile dictuf 

An ugly woman, on the otlier hand, need never despair of find- 
ing a husband ; she has at least eight chances of getting married. 
In the first place, she may, like a masciUine woman, inspire true 
Love in a man whose faults are the opposite of hers; secondly, she 
may fall in love with a man of faultless proportions, and while in 
Love her features will be so transfigiued and beautified that he 
cannot help returning her Love; thirdly, she may meet a man who, 
from want of sesthetic taste, prefers a chromo to a Titian ; or a 
fourth, who would rather marry an amiable and useful ugly girl than 
a spoiled beauty. Wealth and social ]x>sition supply two more 
resources. Accident may favour her, through the absence of 
prettier rivals, giving no opportunities for odious comparisons ; 
and, finally, she may meet an elderly bachelor who has wearied of 
his single blessedness and longs fur double strife. 

Ab for those Old Maids who are neither ugly nor masculine^ 



192 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTT 

some of them are quondam coquettes who practised their arts just 
one season too long and '*got left" in consequence; others are 
girls whom silly methods of chaperonage or ill-luck have prevented 
from making the acquaintance of men whom they could have 
respected and loved ; so that it is often the most refined and in- 
telligent women who are thus doomed to remain single because 
they are unwilling to marry beneath their station, socially or intel- 
lectually. They form that class Ot whom De Quincey says, that 
they ''combine more intelligence, cultivation, aud thoughtfblness 
than any other in Europe — the class of unmarried women above 
twenty-five — an increasing class, women who, from mere dignity 
of character, have renounced all prospects of conjugal and parental 
life rather than descend into habits imsuitable to their birth." 

Women who are too ugly to inspire Love may nevertheless feel 
proud of being a class of Vestal Virgins who serve the cause of 
Love by abstaining from aiUling to the number of unattractive 
people in the world by hereditary transmission. On the other 
hand, Old Maids who are blessed with beauty, owe it to the cause 
of Love to make every efibrt, consistent with feminine modesty, to 
get married. Not only because their children will be beautiful, 
but beran«f» a woman who never marries can never experience the 
two emotions \Nhich do more than any othei-s to ennoble and 
mature the feminine mind — conjugal and maternal love. 

Those Old Maids, however, who have not yet passed" their 
thirtieth year, may even claim that they represent tiie m(jst perfect 
and advanced type of maidenhood, and look down on girls who 
marry before twenty-five as little better than savages. For it is 
well known that the age of marriage advances with civilisation. 
Among Australians and other savages girls marry at eleven, ten, or 
even nine years; among semi-civilised Egyptians, Hindoos, etc., 
the age is from twelve to fourteen ; southern European peoples 
marry their girls between the ages of fifteen and eighteen ; while 
with those nations who lead modem civilisation, the average age 
of marriage for a woman is now twenty-one, with a tendency to 
rise. Does it not follow from this, by inexorable logic, that girls 
who remain single at twenty-five or twenty-nine are forerunners of 
a still higher type of civilisation ? and that the only trouble w»tn 
them ia that they are so far in advance of their age and civilisa- 
tion? True, ungrateful man does not look upon them in that 
light ; but herein they share the fate of all true greatness. There 
is one ditference, however, between undervalued men of genius aud 
Old Maids : the men of genius admit they are in advance of their 
age, and are proud of it ; the Old Maids never, at least, hardly ever. 



OLD MAIDS 193 

In one of his most fosdnating essays on The Main Currents of 
Modem Literature^ the Danish critic, Dr. Georg Brandes, discusses 
the proper age of feminine Love in a manner which Old Maids will 
especially appreciate. He poiuts out that Eleonore, the heroine of 
Benjamin Constant's novel Adolphe^ is the first specimen of a 
modem type subsequently made fashionable by Balzac and George 
Sand, namely, tiie woman of Vdriy in Love, Formerly, as Jules 
Janin remarks, the woman between thirty and forty years of age 
was lost for passion, fur romance, and the drama ; now she rules 
alone. The girl of sixteen, as adored by Kacine, Shakspere, 
Moli^re, Voltaire, Ariosto, Byron, Lesage, Scott, is no more to be 
found. And Mme. Emile de Girardin thus attempts to defend 
Balzac: "Is it Balzac's fault that the age of thirty to-day is the 
age of love ? Balzac is compelled to depict passion where he finds 
it, and at this day it is nut to be found in the heart of a girl of 
sixteen." 

So far as these remarks are true they afford a new confirmation 
of my assertions that trne Romantic Love is dependent on a certain 
amount of intellectual power and maturity, and that in conse- 
quence man loves more deeply than woman at the age preceding 
marriage. In England and America novelists still persist in 
making women love at any age from eighteen, and they have a 
right to do so, because in these two countries women are wel* 
enough t^lucated and expeiienced in life at eighteen to be able to 
love. In France girls receive such a superficial education that 
they are ordinarily quite impervious to any deep emotions before 
they are either Old Maids or married. But in most cases they are 
married before twenty without regard to their own wishes. And 
then happens what is indicated in Fuller's aphorism : '* It is to be 
feared that they who marry where they do not love, will love 
where they do not marry." And hence it is that the only love 
depicted by French novelists and playwrights is the adulterous 
love of a faithless wife. Could anything more vividly illustrate 
the criminal absurdities of French education and the French system 
of chaperonagc 1 

In France a girl is not even allowed to cross the street alone 
until she is willing to assiunc the name and with it the compara- 
tive freedom of an Old Maid. In Spain, the author of Co$as de 
Etpafia tells us, Old Maids are rare because a girl generally 
accepts her first offer ; and there are probably not many girls who 
do not receive at least one ofier in their life — mascidine women 
always excepted. In Russia, where women, according to Schwei- 
ger-Lerchenfeld, enjoy almost as much liberty as in America, a 

o 



104 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

curious custom prevails bj which a girl of uncertain age maj 
escape the appellation of Old Maid. She may leave home and 
become lost tor two or three years in ParL«, London, or some other 
howling wilderness of humanity. Then she may return to her 
friends neither as maid nor wife, but as a widow. And it is 
*'good form'' in Russian society to accept this myth without 
asking for dctcils. 

Finally the important question remains: '^What is an Old 
Maidf That depends very much on individuals and the care 
they take of their Health and Beaiity. Some women are Old 
Maids at twenty, the mivjority at thirty, and some not before forty ; 
while those girls who will read the chapters on Personal Beauty in 
the last part of this treatise, and follow all the advice there given, 
will never become Old Maiils at all, but will be jsobbled up before 
twenty- three by eager bachelors previously considered hopeless 
cases of celibacy. 

Even if it were possible to name a definite age as that when a 
girl begins to be an Old Moid, it would be a bit of useless infonna- 
tion, because nobody ever knows how old a woman is. Often it is 
easier to tell a woman's age by her conversation than by her looks : 
some incipient Old Maids constantly hint at their former numerous 
flirtations, which they never did while they really had them. 



BACHELORS 
*' Pirates of Love who know no duty.** 

Of all the brutes enumerated in the human branch of zoology 
the deliberate bachelor is tiie most unreasonable and selfish. Un- 
reasonable, because he voluntarily deprives himself of connubial 
bliss, domestic comforts, and the prospect of being cheered and 
cared for in his old age by a family of loving children. Selfish, 
because at present the bread-winning airangcments are almost 
entirely framed for man's convenience alone, wherefore it is his 
duty to support a wife. 

Masculine selfishness, however, is not exclusively responsible for 
the nvpid increase of bachelordom. The women themselves arc 
largely at iault — in two ways. The modem tendency of concen- 
trating population in large cities makes domestic life a much more 
expensive affair than it is in smaller towns or in rural districts ; 
and at the same time women are gradually invading every sphere 
of masculine employment, thus reducing wages by competition and 
making it more and more difficult for a man to earn an income 




BACHELORS 195 

which allows him to marry. This aspect of the question, once 
before alluded to, is one \i Inch the advocates of Woman's Rights 
are too apt to ignore. For the benefit of poor young girls, and 
widows, and old maids, it is, indeed, but just that various employ- 
ments adapted to female hands should be thrown open to them and 
properly remunerated ; but if the effect of this is sim]>ly and con- 
stantly to innrease the number of single poor women, by making 
marriage impossible, what is gained by the change] A certain 
amount of misery is inevitable in the world ; and it seems better 
that it should be distributed w here it will not imperil tlie popu- 
hirity and possibility of marriage. 

After all, self-supporting women must always be the exception, 
not the nde ; for it is the destiny of the vast majority of women 
to be wives; and reganling these even Mr. Mill aflniits **it is not 
. . . a desirable custom that the wife should contribute by her 
labour to the income of the family.'' Now surely it would be most 
absurd, as some '* strong-mind^ " women are trying to do, to 
arrange the educational scheme of all women so as to benefit the 
exceptional women who are excluded from matrimony. A thousand 
times more important is it to change woman's education so as to 
emible her to look after her household alfaii-s. It is by neglecting 
to do this that women supply the second cause for the increasing 
prevalence of Bachelors. Every man is ex])ected to learn his trade 
properly before marriage ; but woman's proper occupation — the art 
of taking care of home and making it a paradise, is commonly sup- 
posed to be a thing that can be learned easily enough after mar- 
riage. Even when a woman is so wealthy that she is not obliged 
to do any housework at all, she should, like a ship's captain, learn 
all about the duties of subordinates, else she will be imable to 
command them properly. A captain who displayed ignorance on 
any point before his sailors would lose their respect and attitude of 
prompt obedience ; and it has been suggested that one reason why 
American women, especially, have so much trouble with their 
sen^ants, is because they know so little about domestic economy 
that the servants, ignorant as they are, become arrogant because 
of their superior knowledge. 

On the subject of woman's sphere, Herbert Spencer has written 
words which should be hung in golden letters in every schoolroom : 
" When we remember that up from the lowest savagery civilisa- 
tion has, among other results, brought about an increasing exemp- 
tion of women from bread-winning labour, and in the highest 
societies they have become most restricted to domestic duties and the 
rearing of children ; we may be struck by the anomaly that at the 



199 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

present time restriction to indoor occapations bos come to be 
regarded as a grievance, and a claim is made to free competition 
with men in all outdoor occupations. . . . Any extensive change 
in the education of women, made with the view of fitting them 
for business and professions, would be mischievous. If women 
comprehended all t/uU is cowtained in the domestic spfiertj they 
would ask no other. If they could see all that is implied in the 
right education of children, to a full conception of which no man 
has yet risen, much less any woman, they would seek no higher 
function " (Principles of Sociology, voL L § 340). 

When every woman has learned how to cultivate flowers and 
vegetables in her domestic garden at the same time, the millennium 
will have arrived, and the word Bachelor be found only in Diction- 
aries of Antiquities. 

Women are sometimes held responsible in still another way for 
the continuance of Bachelors in single boredom, viz. by refusing 
their Love and breaking their hearts. But surely, as the shep- 
herdess in Don Quixote has so eloquently shown, it does not at all 
follow that if a man falls in Love with a woman, she must neces- 
sarily fall in Love with him ; and if she does not love him, it is 
her duty not to marry him. 

Besides, a bruken heart is a very rare article in this world, and 
every nation has discovered a peculiar local remedy for it : the 
Spaniards by stabbing the girl who broke it ; the Italians by 
annihilating the rival ; the Germans by soaking the fragments in 
Rhine wine ; the Englishmen by a change of air ; and ultimately 
they all follow the example of the Frenchman who, on the day 
following the catastrophe, casts his eye:) about for a now charmer , 
or, if they do not, but like a snail withdraw into their shell for 
the rest of their life, abusing all women as heartless, they are 
bigger fools than they look. What would you say of a fisherman 
who went out for a day's sport and returned nfter an hour because 
the firet trout that nibbled at the bait escaped ] 

It is the happy privilege of every Bai-helor to have loved fully 
and deeply once in his life ; but if his passion is not appreciated, 
it is his duty to try again ; for, even as a stolen kiss is not a real 
kiss because it lacks the thrill of mutuality, so Love is not Love 

*• Till heart with lieart in conconl bents, 
And the lover is beloved." — Woudswouth. 

Tnie, La Rochefoucauld says that " The pleasure of love is 
in loving ; " and Shelley echoes the same sentiment iu his 
PromeUveiLS—' 



GENIUS AND MABRUGE 197 

"All love is sweet, 
Given or rctnrneil. . . . 
Tbey who inspire it most are fortunate 
As I am now ; but those who feci it most, are happier still.*' 

Tet neither the English poet nor the French essayist appears to 
liavc fathomed the full depth of the problem. It is as incorrect 
to say, ** the pleasure of love is in loving/' as to sa}', the pleasure 
of Love is in being loved. To be loved by one I do not love is a 
matter of complete indifference, except so far as my Pride or Pity 
may be involved. To love where I am not loved, or am left in 
uncertainty, is more of anguish than of delight. To attain the 
highest ecstacy of Love I must both be in Love and able to say at 
the same time, '' she loves me." Kedprocity is not only *' that 
which alone gives stability to love,'' as Coleridge remarks, but that 
without which consummate Love is impossible. 

Apparent exceptions occur only when the illusion of being loved 
is so vividly kept up by the imagination as to counterfeit reality ; 
ns in the case of Eleonore, who '* became so intoxicated with her 
Love that she saw it double and mistook her own feeling for that 
of bf.th " (Dr. Brandes). 

Therefore a Bachelor who has been unsuccessful in his first or 
second Love has never enjoyed the highest bliss a human soul can 
attain, and is bound to try again. Nor need he ever despair. 
There are a thousand Juliets in the world for every man, and all 
he needs is the good luck to meet the one adapted to him : for she 
is his as soon as found; though she may at first have the 
"cunning to be strange." 

GENIUS AND MARRIAGE 

Though it is man's duty and destiny to get married, yet the 
conciureut testimony of several famous authors appears to indicate 
that there is one thing which excuses celibacy, and may even make 
it a virtue — and that thing is the possession of Genius. Bacon 
claims that " certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for 
the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men," 
A more moilern philosopher, Schopenhan*»r. expresses himself to 
the same effect: "For men of higher intellectual avocation, for 
poets, philosophers, for all those, in general, who devote themselves 
to science and art, celilmcy is preferable to married life, because 
the conjugal yoke prevents them from creating great works." 

The same counsel is indirectly given in Moore's Lx/e of Byron^ 
where he argues that *' In looking back through the lives of the 



198 BOMAl!rnC LOYE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

most illastrioas poets — the class of intellect in which the chaiae- 
teristic features of genius are, perhaps, most strongly marked — we 
shall find that with scarcely one excteption, from Homer down to 
Lord Byron, they have been, in their several degrees, restless and 
solitary spirits, with minds wrapped up, like silkworms, in their 
own tasks, either strangers or rebels to domestic ties, and bearing 
about with them a deposit for posterity in their souls, to the jealous 
watching and enriching of which almost all other thoughts and 
considerations have been sacrificed." 

''Either strangeni or rebels to domestic ties." Among the 
strangers, Moore names Newton, Gassendi, Galileo, Descartes, 
Bayle, Locke, Leibnitz, and Hume, to whom may be added Kant, 
Schopenhauer, Handel, Beethoven, Schubert, Plato^ and many 
others. 

Quite as large is the list of ** rebels to domestic ties ** among 
men of poetic genius. Says Moore : '* The coincidence is no 
less striking than saddening that, on the list of married poets who 
have been unhappy in their homes, there should already be found 
four such illustrious names as Dante, Milton, Shakspere, and 
Dryden.'' "The poet Dan£e, a wanderer away from wife and 
children, passed the whole of a restless life in nursing his immortal 
dream of Beatrice." " The dates of the birth of his [Shakspere's] 
children, compared with ^tbat of his removal from Stratford, the 
total omission of bis wife's name in the first draft of his will, and 
the bitter sarcasm of the bequest by which he remembers her 
afterwards — all prove beyond a doubt his separation from the lady 
early in life, and his unfriendly feeling towards her at the close." 
** Milton's first wife, it is well known, ran away from him within 
a month after their marriage, * disgusted,* says Phillips, * with his 
spare diet and hard study,' and his later domestic misery is univer- 
sally known." " The poet Young, with all his parade of domestic 
sorrows, was, it appears, a neglectful husband and a harsh father." 

Sir Walter Scott remarks, in his Life of Dryden : " The wife 
of one who is to gain his livelihood by poetry, or by any labour (if 
any there be) equally exiiausting, must either have taste enough to 
relish her hiwband's performances, or good-nature sutficiently to 
pardon his infirmities. It was Dryden's misfortune that Lady 
Elizabeth hod neither the one nor the other ; and I dismiss the 
disagreeable subject by observinfr, that on no one occasion when a 
sarcasm against matrimony could be introduced, has our author 
failed to season it with such bitterness, as spoke of an inward 
consciousness of domestic misery." 

Richard Wagner when a young man married an actress, ''pretty 




GENIUS AKD MAREU6E 199 

as a pictare " ; br.t f:he appears to have had little sympathy with 
his ambitions, so he lived apart from her. Subsequently he was 
veiy happy with Cosima, the daughter of Liszt, who did appreciate 
his genius. Liszt himself, after living some years with the 
Countess D'Agoult in Italy, separated from her. The girl whom 
Haydn married soon turned out a shrew, who had no sympathy 
whatever with his musicid genius. Berlioz was one of the most 
passionate of lovers : ** Oh, that I could find her, the Juliet, the 
Ophelia that my heart calls ta That I could drink in the intoxi- 
cation of that mingled joy and sadness that only true love knows ! 
Could I but rest in her arms one autumn evening, rocked by the 
north wind on some wild heath, and sleeping my last, sad sleep.*' 
A few years after these rapturous efifusions he arranged a separation 
a VaimahU from his wife, his former flame, and left her to die in 
solitude and misery. 

Handel, after all, was the wisest of the composers. He was 
never in Love, and had an aversion to marriage. In 1707 he went 
to Liibeck to compete for the place of successor to the famous 
organist Buxtehude; but when he found that one of the conditions 
of obtaining the place was the compulsory privilege of marrying 
the daughter of his predecessor, he got alarmed aud fled precipi- 
tately. 

Besides the disposition to wrap up their minds, like silkworms, 
in their own tasks. Poverty and the extreme difQculty of finding 
congenial companions appear to be the principal causes that have 
tended to make men of genius strangers or rebels to domestic ties. 

There is an old saying that if Poverty comes in by one window. 
Love goes out by another. But Poverty, unfortunately, seems to 
be an almost necessary companion of Genius, at least in the early 
stages of its career, till the inertia natural to the human brain has 
been overcome. It is so much easier for the richest soils to grow 
a luxuriant crop of weeds than a useful crop which needs constant 
care, that there can be no doubt that wealth is responsible for the 
loss of much Genius to the world. There have been men of genius 
in whom the creative impulse was so strong, and the pleasure of 
creating so sweet — Goethe, Schopenhauer, Byron, etc. — that they 
needed not the goad of hunger ; but as a rule a well-filled pocket- 
book does not encourage the habit of "infinite painstaking/' which 
is essential to Genius. But if a genius marries while he is poor, 
he will have to waste his time on rapid, ephemeral work to support 
his family ; which will leave him neither leisure nor energy for 
work of enduring value. Hence he should either not marry at all 
ir wait till he has an assured income. If money-marriages are 



20a ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

ever justifiable, thej are in such cases; and rich girls should make 
it the one object of life to capture a man of Genius, so as to give 
nim leisure for immortal work. It appears, indeed, as if a sort cf 
Conjugal Pride of tliis description were becoming fashionable ; for 
one hears every month of some author or artist marrying an heiress. 
This is certainly the easiest way for a woman to become immortal ; 
and what is a coquette's gratified ephemeral vanity, compared with 
the proud consciousness of passing down to posterity linked with 
an immortal name, and of having helped to make that name im- 
mortxd by removing the necessity for bread-winning dnidgeiy ! 

Furthermore, there can be no doubt that the number of persons 
able to read a work of genius at $igfu^ as it were, is growing larger 
every year. Great men do not have to wait for recognition so 
long OS formerly, and this enables them to neglect ephemeral 
drudgery in favour of creative work. 

As there has been an unparalleled unfolding and increase in 
feminine charms, both of body and mind, within the last half- 
century, it is not too optimistic to hope that the other source of 
domestic difficulties among men of genius — tiie extreme difficulty 
of finding a congenial companion — will also bo removed, in course 
of time. Men of genius, as Moore remarks, have such rich resources 
of thinking within themselves, that ''the society of tbo:ie less 
gifted than themselves becomes often a restraint and burden to 
which not all the charms of friendship or even love can reconcile 
them.'' To be completely happy a Genius should accordingly have 
a wife as remarkable among women for the womanly qualities of 
receptivity, grace, and sympathy, as he is among men for the manly 
quality of creative energy. Yet if it is so difficult for an ordinary 
man to meet his ordinary Juliet, how much more so will it ever be 
lor an extraonlinary man to find an extraordinary Juliet I 

Thanks to their passion for Benuty, men of Genius are too 
prone to follow the impiUse of the moment and marry a pretty 
doll, in the hope of l>cing able to educate her into an attractive 
companion. Unluckily it rarely hnppens that the minds of these 
beauties are " wax t^y receive aud marble to retain." Pretty girls 
are commonly lazy — spoiletl by the thought that their beauty atones 
for everything, and regardless of the future when this a|K)logy for 
indolence will have lost its persuasiveness. 

Among the objections to the celibacy of Genius, the strongest is 
supplied by the laws of heredity — the desirability of havin^^ their 
superior mental qualities — often associated with corresp«)nding 
physical beauty — trausuiitted to the next generation. Genius, it 
is true, depends on so many fortuitous circumstances that cases of 



GENIUS AND LOVE 201 

direct transmission from father to son are rare enough ; and Mr. 
Galton's researches show that '' the ablest child of one gifted pair 
is not likely to be as gifted as the ablest of all the children of very 
many mediocre pairs;'' and that ''the more exceptional the gift, 
the more exceptional will he the good fortune of a parent who has 
a son who equals, and still more if he has a son who overpasses 
him." Nevertheless, it remains true that " the children of a gifted 
))air are much more likely to be gifted than the children of a 
mediocre pair." Just as a professor's son is bom with a brain 
natimdly more plastic and receptive than that of a young savage or 
peasant, so the children of a Genius who has not shattered his 
hetilth by overwork or dissipation are likely to be of a mental 
calibre superior to that of an ordinary professor's son. So that it 
is the duty of a man of genius to get married even at a sacrifice of 
personal happiness — provided that sacrifice is not so great as to 
interfere with his intellectual duties. 



GENIUS AND LOVE 

If we take the word Genius in the Kantian, imaginative, or 
aesthetic sense, it may be said that all Geniuse* are amorous; and 
that the degree of their greatness may as a rule be measured by 
their susceptibility to feminine charms. The most poetic part of 
the Scriptures is the Song of Solomon with its glowing pictures of 
feminine charms. Homer, though he lived long before the age of 
Romantic Love, spent his life in describing the mischief caused by 
Helen's beauty. Among the Roman poets the most original was 
also the most amorous. As Professor Sellar remarks of Ovid, '* In 
the most creative periods of English literature he seems to have 
been more read than any other ancient poet, not even excepting 
Virgil ; and it was on the most creative minds, such as those of 
Marlowe, Spenser, Shakspere, Milton, and Dryden, that he acted 
most powerfuUy . . . and although the spirit of antiquity is better 
imderstood now than it was in the sixteenth and seventeenth cen- 
turies, yet in the capacity of appreciating works of brilliant fancy 
we can claim no superiority over the centuries which produce* I 
Spenser, Shakspere, and Milton, nor over those which produced 
the great ItaUan, French, and Flemish painters," to whom Oviil 
supplied such abundant material 

Coming to more recent times, we have seen that Dante, the 
first modem poet, was also the first modem lover, rarely if evc-r 
torpassed in rapturous adoration. How the greatest of the Sxtauish 



202 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

bards was influenced by feminine beauty may be inferred from the 
flowing descriptions of it and its influence in Don Quixote ; and 
as for Shaksi)ere, even had he not written Romeo and Juliet^ his 
early poems alone would prove him to have been in his youth every 
inch a lover ; for no one, not even with Shakspere's imagination, 
could have painted such unique feelings with his realistic and 
infallible touch, unless he had felt them more than once and had 
them indelibly branded on his heart's memory. 

In the galaxy of German poets Goethe ranks first, owing to his 
manysidedness. Yet he lacked the very highest of literary gifts — 
wit; and in this respect as well as through his deeper insight into 
Modem Love, Heine must be rated higher than Goethe. Heine's 
personal loves are but thinly covered over by the clear amber of 
his lyrics, iu which they are imbedded. Goethe's loves have become 
proverbial for their number — Katclien, Friederike, Lili, Charlotte, 
Christiane, etc. Schiller, Wielaiid, Burger, Bodenstedt, and the 
lesser lights might all have appended a D.L, or Doctor of Love, 
to their names. 

Shelley, Mr. Hamilton tells us, 'Miad an irresistible natural 
tendency to fall in love" ; and Byron, speaking of one of his loves, 
says, *' I had and have been attached fli'ty times since, yet I recol- 
lect all we said to each other, all our caresses, her features, my 
restlessness, sleeplessness," etc. And in the next chapter on 
" Genius in Love," we shall meet with numerous similar cases of 
English, German, and French men of genius coustaTitly in Love. 

To account for this amorous propensity of Genius is easy enough. 
Genius means creative power allied with a taste for the Beautiful. 
This taste may be gratified by tiie contemplation of the beauties of 
Nature — the creative power by repro<lucing them on canvas or 
manuscript But Nature's masterpiece is lovely woman, who not 
only yields the highest gratification of artistic taste, but inspires 
Love : and what is Love but a creative impulse — a desire to link 
one's name and personality, in future generations, with this embodi- 
ment of consummate human beauty 1 

Shakspere's 

" Lore looks not with the eyes but with the mind. 
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind," 



Hujrorests another reason whv men of Genius are etemnllv involved 
in Love-affairs. The lover becomes infatuated not with the girl he 
sees but with the girl he imai^ines, using her features PS a mere 
sketch to be filled up ad libitum — 



GENIUS AXD LOVE 20« 

* Sncli tricks hath strong imagination, 
That if it would but atipi-eheiid some joy, 
It coniiirehends some oringcr of that joy ; 
Or in tne night, imagining some fcnr, 
How easy is a bush 6upiK>sed a boar t" 

To imagine a feeling is to entertain it; for an imagined im- 
pression revives the same cerebral processes that >x'ere aroused by 
t!ie original sense impression. In ordinary minds the remembered 
image of a girl's lovely features, the echo of her sweet voice, are 
much fainter than the original sight and sound; whereas the 
imagination of genius paints a face and recalls a voice as vividly as 
if they were present : so that here to think of Love is to be in 
Love — pro tempore. 

Besides his refined taste and vivid imagination — which retouches 
every defective negative — it is the natural depth of his emotions 
that urges a Genius to fall in Love with every lovely woman. 
Passions are like dogs : the big ones need more food than the little 
ones. A peasant cannot experience the subtle and multitudinous 
emotions that fill the heart of an artist, a statesman, a scientific 
diBcoverer ; much less the complex group of ethereal emotions that 
make up Romantic Love. The higher we rise in the inteUectual 
scale, the more varied, complex, and deep are the emotional groups 
which delight and torment the souL As Genius represents the 
climax of intellectual power. Love the climax of emotional intensity, 
IB it wonderful that there should be an affinity between the two ? 
The higher a mountain peak the more does it attract every passing 
cloud and clasp it to its breast — hoping — vainly hoping — to warm 
a heart chilled by its isolation above the rest of the world. 

As men of genius are more prone to love than common sluggish 
minds, it is a lucky fact, for the future growth of Romantic Love, 
that Genius grows more and more abundant — pcux the laudatofrs 
temporis acti who ignorantly compare the number of living geniuses 
with all those that have ever been — as if they had all lived at one 
epoch. It may even be granted that there have been epochs that 
had more geniuses than we have at present ; but of genius there is 
more to-day than ever in the world's hiBtory. We see almost daily 
in ephemeral periodicals lines and epigrams worthy of the highest 
genius, written by men whose names perhaps will never be known. 
Shaksperes, indeed, will always tower Mont Blanc-like over aD 
other peaks ; but if summits of the second magnitude seem less 
imposing to-day than formerly, it is because the general level of 
creativeness has been raised a few thousand feet. The mountains 
that enclose the Engadine valley, though 10,000 to 12,000 feet in 



204 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

height, seem onlj half oa high, because the valley from which 
you see them lies at au altitude of 6000 feet 



GENIUS IN LOVE 

Were there not a mitund affinity between Genius and Love, 
authors and artists would cultivate Love as the source of tlieir 
deepest inspiration. For if it makes a temporary poet of every 
peasant, what must be its effect in exalting the poet's inborn 
power 1 

'' When beauty fires the blood, how love exalts the mind ; " 
Love 

" Which awakes the sleepy vigour of the soul ; ** 

and first 

" Softened the fierce, and made the coward bold.'* — Dxtdek. 

" For indeed I knew 
Of no more subtle master under heaven 
Than is the maiden passion for a maid 
Not only to keep down the base in man, 
But teach high thought and amiable words. 
Ami coni-tliness, nnd the desire of fame, 
And love of truth, and all that makes a man." — ^Tenntsoit. 

The Love of men of (jrenius, as distinguished from that of 
ordinary mortals, is characterisecl by five traits — Precocity, Ex- 
travagant Ardour, Fickleness, Multiplicity, and Fictitiousneas — 
which must be briefiy considered in succession. 

I. — PRECOCITY 

Turgenieff makes the narrator of one of his novelettes speak of 
his first Love as having l)een experienced at the age of six. That 
this is not. a poetic license is abundantly proved by liistoric facts. 
** Dante, we know, was but nine years old," says Aloorc, " when, 
at a May-day festival, he saw and fell in love with Beatrice ; and 
Alfieri, who was himself a precocious lover, considers such early 
sensibility to be an unerring sign of a soul formed fur the fine arts. 
, . . Canova used to say that he perfectly well remembered having 
been in love when but five years old." 

Byron's first Love was at the age of eiglit. Concerning tliis he 
wrote at twenty-five : ** How the deuce did all this occiu* so early 1 
Where could it originate] I certainly had no sexual ideas for 
years afterwards ; and yet my misery, my love for that girl [Mary 
Dufi] were so violent that I sometimes wonder if I have ever been 




GENIUS IN LOVE 205 

really attached Bince.' Of his second Love-afiair Byron says : 
"My first dash into poetry was as early as 1800. It was the 
ebullition of a passion for my first cousin, Margaret Parker, one of 
the most beautiful of evanescent beings. I have long forgotten 
the verses, but it would be difficult for me to forget her — her dark 
eyes [Byron had a passion for black eyes] — her long eyelashes — 
her completely Greek cast of face and figure. I was then about 
twelve — she rather older, perhaps a year. She died about a year 
or t>^o afterwards." 

Burns was somewhat older when Love and poetry were bom in 
his soul simultaneiusly : ''You know our country custom/' he 
writes, *' of coupling a man and woman together as partners in 
the labours of the harvest. In my fifteenth summer my partner 
was a bewitching creature, a year younger than myself. My 
scarcity of English denies me tlie power of doing her justice in 
that language, but you know the Scottish idiom. She was a 
bonnie, sweet, sonsie lass. In short, she, altogether unwittingly 
to herself, initiated me in that delicious ])assion, which, in spite of 
acid disap)x)intnient, gin-horse prudence, and bookworm phdosophy, 
I hold to be the first of human joys here below." 

Heine's first boyish love a])pears to have been a girl who died 
as a child, and is alluded to in his PU-turei of Travel as the 
" little Veronica.'' His second love was a most extraordinary case 
of Love at Sight. It was at a school examination, Robert Proelsz 
relates, " and Harry was just declaiming Schiller's Gaucher, when 
the lovely girl entered the room by the side of her father, who 
was one of the inspectors. The boy stuttered, gazed with large 
eyes on the beautiful figure, mechanically rei)euted the verse he 
had just recited — * And the King his lovely daughter beckoned ' — 
and was unable to proceed. In vain the teacher prompted him, 
the poor fellow's senses failed him, and he fell on tlie fioor in u 
•woon." 

Of another early visitation of sudden Love he gives nn account 
in his posthumous memoirs. The girl on this occasion was the 
red-haired Sefchen, the sheriff's daughter, who, when she was only 
eight years old, had witnessed the mysterious burial of her grand- 
fathers sword, which had done its duty a hundred times, and 
which some years later her aunt had dug out and secreted in the 
garret ** One day, when we were alone, I begged Sefchen to 
show me that curiosity. She willingly complied, went into the 
room, and soon came out with an enormous sword, which she 
swung vigorously despite her weak arms, while with a roguish, 
threateuing tone she sang — 



SOtf ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

** ' Will Toa kiss the naked sword 
Wbicli the Lord has given us T' 

I replied in the same tone, ' I will not kiss the naked sword, I wHl 
kiss the red-haired Sefchen ; ' and as she could not defend herself, 
for fear of hurting me with the fatal steel, she had to let me boldly 
put mj arms round her slender waist and kiss her defiant lips." 

Berlioz hod his first passion at twelve, Rousseau at eleven. 
''When I saw MUe. Qoton," writes Rousseau, ''I could see 
nothing else, all my senses were in confusion. • • • In her presence 
I was a^tated, and trembled. ... If MUe. Goton hod ordered 
me to throw myself into the fire, I believe I would have obeyed 
her instantly." 

As old age is in many respects a second childhood, it seems 
natural that men of genius should appear "precocious" in this 
belated sense too. The ca^^ of Berlioz is one of the most extra- 
ordinary on record. The girl who was his first love at twelve he 
saw again at sixty-one : '* I recognised the divine statcliness of her 
step; but, oh heavens! how changed she was! her complexion 
faded, her hair gray. And yet at the sight of her my heart did 
not feel one moment's indecision ; my whole soul went out to its 
idol, as though she were still in her dazzling loveliness. . . • 
Balzac, cay, Shokspere himself, the great painter of the passions, 
never dreamt of such a thing." And in a letter to her he writes, 
'* I have loved you, I still love you, I shall always love you. And 
yet I am sixty-one years of age. ... Oh, madame, "madame, I 
have but one aim left in the world — that of obtaining your 
aflection." 

Another composer who had a passion at sixty was " Papa " 
Haydn — poor Haydn, whose wife led him such a terrible life, and 
used his manuscripts for curl-papers. Concerning her he wrote, 
'* She is always in a bad temper, and does not care whether I am 
a shoemaker or an artist." Indeed, she had never been his true 
Love, but was only taken in lieu of her younger sister, whom 
Haydn adored, but who refused him and became a nun. At sixty, 
however, in London, he had the fortune, or misfortune, to fiiU in 
Love again, with a widow named Schrolter, concerning whom he 
wrote, " She was a very attractive woman, and still handsome, 
though over sixty ; and had I been free I should certainly have 
married her." 

Goethe, in his old days, fell in Love with Minna Herzlieb, a 
bookseller's daughter. " In the sonnets addressed to her," says 
Lewes, " and in the novel of Elective Affinities, may be read the 
fervour of his passion, and the strength with which he resisted." 



GENIUS IN LOVE 207 

Kousseaa's last Loye forms one of the roost romantic episodes 
in his life, concerning which nothing was known until a few years 
ago when the French historian, R. Chautslanze, discovered in a 
bookstall the MS. of a letter by Bousscau to Lady Ceclle Hobart, 
dated 1770, when Rousseau was almost sixty years of age. Uc 
appears to have met tliis lady in England at the time when he was 
writing his Confesdons. She had first won 'his affection by her 
admiration of his works ; and in course of his long and hyper- 
sentimental letter he remarks, " Why is it that I have never felt 
any other true love but that for the products of my own fancy f 
Wherein lies the reason, Gecile ? In these fancied beings them- 
selves ; they made me dissatisfied with everything else. For forty 
years I have carried in my mind the image of her I adore. I love 
her with a constancy, an ecstasy inexpressible. ... I had no 
hope of ever meeting her, had given up the eager search for her, 
when you appeared before me. It was folly, infatuation, if you 
like, that made me surrender myself for a moment to the magic of 
your sight; but I could not but say to myself: Thei*e she is! 
No other woman ever inspired that thought in me. 'And stranger 
still is it that I could hear you speak without changing my opinion. 
What the ideal of my heart thought, you spoke it to my cars." 

n. — ABDOUB 

If Bacon did not write the plays of Shakspere, it was tlie 
biggest mistake of his life. Second among his mbtakes must 
rank the opinion expressed in the following sentence : " You may 
observe that amongst all the great and worthy persons (whcicof 
the memory remaineth, either ancient or modern), there is not one 
that hath been transported to the mad degree of love." 

If the advocates of the Baconian theory had as much sense of 
Immour as they stimulate in other people, they would see tliat 
such a sentence — and there are others like it in Bacon — could not 
by any possibility have been penned by the author of As You Like 
Ity Venus and Adonis^ or Romeo and Juliet 

Dante was by no means the only *' great and worthy person " 
before Bacon's day who had been " transported to the mad degree 
of love " ; and since Bacon's day the word Genius has become 
almost synonymous with the capacity for lovers' madness. 

Yet there is a grain of truth in Bacon's sentence as it stands. 
He evidently had in miud chiefly the ancient '* great and worthy 
persons " ; and of these, as we have seen, but one or two had even 
a vague presentiment of what was to be some day the moral lever 



208 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

of the uniyeree. Bacon probably had a dim perception of the fact 
that the ancients knew nothing of passionate Love, of the imagina- 
tive type ; but ho did not quite succeed in grasping tlie idea. 

As regards Modern Genius, Bacon's assertion is so far from the 
truth, that it is quite safe to reverse it and say that it is doubtful 
whether any one but a man of geuius is capable of that intense 
ardour of feeling which marks the climax of Love; doubtful 
whether even Romeo at his age could have felt a passion such as 
Shakspere's glowing imagination painted. Love is based, not on 
what a man sees with his eyes, but on the mental image retouched 
by the im.ogination ; and a man of genius, being a virtuoso of the 
imagination, can adorn his ideal of love with ornaments unknown 
to ordinary mortiils ; whence it follows that the passion inspired 
by his more vivid and beautiful image must be more intense than 
the passion inspired by less perfect visions in common, sluggish 
braius. And since artistic thought can no more crystallise into 
verse or epigram without the warm glow of emotion than a flower 
can grow into a thing of beauty without its daily bath of warm 
sunshine, it is fortunate that Genius implies a natural suscepti- 
bility to the testhetic passion of Love. 

Fortunate also for tho prospect* of Romantic Love is the fact 
that Genius is king in its realms. End not the sacred mysteries 
of Love been revealed to the world in the glowing language of 
poetry, it would probably have remained a thing unknown to 
ordinary mortals for centuries to cotne ; even as the beauties of 
Natiu^, for which common minds have no eyes, woiUd have 
remained undetected, had not the poets and artists disclosed the 
bonds that connect them with human sympathies. 

As all the quotations from poets given in this chapter (and in 
that on Hyperbole) practically bear witness to the exceptional 
ardour of Love in men of genius, only two cases need' be cited as 
specimens — those of Bums and Heine. Gilbert Bums, the brother 
of the poet, writes that the latter " was constantly the victim of 
some fair enslaver. The symptoms of h'u passion were often such 
as nearly to equal those of the celebrated Sappho. I never, 
indee<l, knew that he * fainted, sunk, and died away ' ; but tlie 
agitations of his mind and boily exceeded anything of the kind I 
ever knew in real life." 

Heine has given evidence in his letters as well as his poems 
that few even of his equals have ever felt the power of love so 
profoundly. It is well to emphasise this fact ; for there are not a 
few who fancy that, like Petrarch, Heine embodied in his songs 
not the real feelings of his heart but fictitious emotions depicted 



/ 

GENIUS IN LOVE S09 

to gratify poetic ambition. He did no such thing. His Love- 
poetry is the echo of real passion, of his first and only true Love, 
which cast a shadow over his whole life, and goadeil him into 
bitter reflections more than a decade after its sad cndin<;:. He 
loved his consin Molly, and writes to a friend, after an absence 
from home : ** Rejoice with me 1 rejoice with me ! in four weeks I 
shall see Molly. With her my muse will also return." The 
mu8d did return, but in a different way from that which he had 
anticipated ; with a sniile in her face of cynicism, mockery, 
melancholy, which never agaiu left her. " She loves me not / " he 
writes, in 1816. "Softly, dear Christian, pronounce that last 
wonl softly. In the first words lies the eternal living heaven, but 
in the last lies eternal living hell. If you could only see your 
friend's countenance, how pale he lookn, how bewildered, how 
insane, your righteous indignation at my long silence would vani^h 
soon ; better still were it if you could have one glance at my soul — 
then would you really learn to love me." ** I have seen her again — 

" * The clevil tike my sou', 
My body l>e the sheritPs, 
Yet I for me alone 
Select the loveliest woman.' 

Hiu! do yon not shudder, Christian '< Well may you shudder 
even as I do. Burn the letter, the Lord have mercy on my soul. 
I did not write these words. There on my chair sits a pale man ; 
be wrote them. And this because it is midnight. Oh heavens ! 
Madness cannot sin ! " 

"There, there, do not breathe so heavily, there I have just 
built a lovely card-house, and on the top of it I stand and hold 
her in my arms I . . . But indeed you can hardly fancy, dear 
Christian, how delightful, how lovely my ruin appeiirs. Far from 
her, to carry burning desires in my heart for years, is torture 
infernal ; but to be near her and yet oft sigh in vain, whole end- 
less weeks, for my only delight, the sight of her and— and — ! 
! ! Christian ! that is enough to make the purest, most pious 
soul flare up in wild, delirious ungodliness ! " 

And the object of this passion, who might have saved a poet's 

soul and changed him from a negative ferment into a positive 

agent of culture? She was the daughter of a millionaire, who, of 

course, in German fashion, had to marry into another rich family. 

To marry a poor poet would have been deemed a terrible m^salU- 

ance. Yet was he not a millionaire too— of ideas, ns she was in 

beauty, her father in money f But that is reasoning il la Millen- 
nium. 



210 BOMANTIC LOVE AND PERSOKAL BEAUTT 

What a comedj it will be to future generations, entirely 
emancipated from mediseyal puerilities, to read that two such 
Kin(f$ in the realm of Genius as Schubert and Beethoven, could 
not marry their true bves on account of differences in social 
position — rank and money ! 

We are accustomed to look down on China and Chinese culture. 
But China anticipated Europe by several centuries in the discovery 
of gunpowder ; and there is another thing in which that country 
is centuries ahead of Europe. '' In China there is no aristocracy 
of birth or money. The aristocracy which here ranks socially 
above the other classes is solely and only that of the InUUecf 

UL — PICKLEinSSS , 

Love is a tissue of paradoxes. The very ardour of their 
passion inclines men of genius to fickleness. ''Love me little love 
me long ** is a short way of saying that whereas a bhizing, roaring 
fire consumes itself in an hour, the quiet, glowing coab covered 
with ashes will outlast the night. 

Lamartine's '* heureuse la beauts que le po^te adore " — happy 
the beauty whom the poet adores — may be endorsed by a maiden 
who is willing to become the secondary wife of a poetic polygamist 
already wedded to a muse, for the sake of having it said in his 
biography that she inspired him with some of his prettiest con- 
ceits — 

"Cynthia, facnndi carmen jnvonile Propcrti, 
Accepit famam sec minus ilia dedit/' 

as Martial says of a Roman beauty. Othere will hesitate on 
reading the following, from London Society : — 

*' Lord Byron has said that nothing can inflict greater torture 
upon a woman than the mere fact of loving a poet ; and though 
Lamartine calls it a glory to be the object of immortal songs, we 
half-suspect that the English bard is right, and that it would be 
impossible to describe the moral sufferings of those frail beings 
who seem to be the mere toys of an houi*. The worid may be 
indebted to them for some grent poem which their love has had 
the power to inspire, but they themselves were probably no more 
thouglit of by the poet than the daisy he might tread on as he 
passed by." 

Here ia a case in point: "Swift," mys Byron, "when neither 
young nor handsome, nor rich nor even amiable, inspired two of 
the most extraordinary passions on record — Vanessa's and Stella's. 
... He requited them bitterly, for he seems to have broken the 




GENIUS IN LOVE 211 

heart of the one and worn out that of the other ; and he had his 
reward, for he died a solitary idiot in the hands of servants.'' 

It would be unjust, however, in all cases to trace poetic fickle- 
ness to heartless or deliberate cruelty. May not the poet and the 
artist be regarded as martyrs to art and science — students of 
beauty, obliged to take a purely Aesthetic, disinterested interest in 
feminine charms — as they do in a picture or a land!^cnpe — without 
any desire of exclusive possession ) They flirt, apparently, not to 
break hearts, but merely to educate their sense of beauty. For is 
not a woman's face the compendium of all beauty in the world ? 
and a woman's eyes, expressing incipient Love, are they not so 
exquisitely beautiful that an epicure of Love could for ever be 
contented with that expression alone, feeling that marriage, which 
might alter it, if ever so little, would be a beiise f Perhaps some 
similar thought was in Heine's mind when he wrote his famous 

" Da bist xnc eine Blame 
So hold and schon und rein ; 
Ich schau* dicli an, and Wehniath 
Schluicht mir ins Herz hinein. 

"Mir ist, als ob ich die hande 
AafR Uaupt dir legen 6oUt\ 
Betend, doss Gott dich erholte 
So rein und schun und hold." 

In quite a different kind of a poem Heine bluntly announces to 
his " Queen Maiy IV." his dechiration of independence, and 
informs her that not a few who ruled before her have been 
unceremoniously deposed — 

" Manche die vor dir regierte 
Wurde schmahlich abgesetzt" 

And in his narrative of the sheriff^'s daughter he says, "I shall not 
describe my love f >r Josepha in detail Tiiis, however, I will con- 
fess, that it was after all only a prelude to the great tragedies of 
my ripex years. Thus does Bomeo become infatuated with Rosa- 
line before he finds his Juliet." 

Byron's confession, in speaking of an early love, that he had 
been "attached fifty times since" has been referred to alrexidy; 
and although B}Ton loved to exaggerate his foibles, his record in 
this case does not belie his words. Of "^ums, Principal Shairp 
writes that " There was not a comely girl in Tarbolton on whom 
he did not compoee a song, and then he made one which included 
them all." Bums himself confetsses, " In my conscience, I believe 
that my heart has been so often on fire that it has been vitrified.** 



212 BOMANTIC LOVE AISTD PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

And Washington Irving remarks on OoldsmitIi*s first lore as ''a 
passion of that transient kind which grows up iu idleness and 
exhales itself in poetry." 

Of this kind were two passions of Lamb, concerning which a 
biographer says, "A youthful passion, which lasted only a few 
months, and which he ailerwards attempted to regard lightly as a 
folly past, inspired a few sonnets of very delicate feeling and 
exqiusite music" And of his second flame, " His stay at Penton- 
ville is remarkable for the fugitive passion conceived by Lamb for 
a young Quakeress named Hester Savory, which he has enshrined 
and immortalised in the little poem of HesUr" 

Goethe has the reputation of having been of all famous lovers 
the most fickle. Like Byron, Goethe appears to have endeavoured 
to make himself appear more frivolous than he was. His amorous 
Roman ElegieSj which have given so much offence, were in reality 
written in Thuringia, after his return from Italy; and their heroine 
was no one but the girl who subsequently became his wif& 

It remained for a Scotchman to write the best apology for 
Goethe's love-affairs. " To Goethe," says Professor Bkckie, " the 
sight of any beautiful object was like delicate music to the ear of 
a cunning musician ; he was carried away by it, and floated in its 
element joyously, as a swallow in the summer air, or a sea-mew on 
the buoyunt wave. Hence the rich story of Goethe's loves, with 
which scandal, of course, and prudery have made their market, 
but which, when looked into carefully, were just as much part of 
his genius as Fan^ or Iphigenia — a part, indeed, without which 
neither Faust nor Iphif/enia could have been written. . . . Let no 
one, therefore, take offence when I say that Goethe was always 
falling in love, and that I consider this a great virtue in his 
character." 

One more case : " Beethoven constantly had his love-affairs," 
says Wegeler. His first love was a Cologne beauty, who coquetted 
with him and another man till both discovered she was engaged 
to a third/ Several times Beethoven made up his mind to marry; 
he made two dotinite proposals, both of which were refused. One 
fatal objection was his habit of falling in love with women above 
him iu "rank." "It is a frii^htful thin^?," he once wrote, ** to 
make the acquaintance of such a sweet creature and to lose her 
immediately; and nothing is more insupportable than thus to have 
to conless one's own foolishness." One of his flames, an opera 
singer, ;;ave as a reason why she refused him that he was " so ugly 
and half cracked I" 



GENIUS IN LOVE 213 



IV.— MULTIPLICITY 



Perhaps the most unique trait in the love of men of genius is 
the apparent occasional ahsence of the element of Monopoly. It 
was Orid who first discussed the question whether a man could 
lore two women at once. His friend Grsecinus denied the possi- 
bility of such a thing ; but in one of his Elegies Ovid refutes him 
by citing his own case of a double simultaneous infatuation. He 
hesitates which of the two to choose, chides Venus for torturing 
him with double love — for adding leaves to the trees, stars to the 
heavens, water to the ocean. 

Of modem authors not a few appear to have followed in 
Ovid's footsteps. We have seen how madly Heine was in love 
for a long time with his cousin Amalie. Yet, as one of his bio- 
graphers, Robert Proelsz, remarks, this ardent though hopeless 
infatuation saved him neither at Hamburg nor at Bonn, nor at 
Hanover or Berlin, from a number of love-afifairs, some of which 
are vaguely commemorated in his writings. Another German 
poet, Wicland, after various romantic adventures, fell in love with 
Julia Bondeli, a pupil of Rousseau's, and asked for her heart and 
hand ; but she mistrusted him, and asked the pertinent question, 
'' Tell me, will you never be able to love another besides me V 
"Never!" he replied, "that is impossible. . . . Yet it migBt be 
possible for a moment, if I should chance to see a more beautiful 
woman than you who is at the same time very unhappy and very 
virtuous." " Poor Wieland," Scherr continues, " who subsequently 
understood the anatomy of the female heart so well, appears not 
to have known then tiiat no woman pardons in her lover the 
thought that he might find another more beautiful tlian her. Julia 
knew what she had to do, and with deeply-wounded heart allowed 
the poet to depart." 

Of Bums his brother Gilbert says, " When he selected any one 
out of the sovereignty of his good pleasure, to whom he should pay 
his particular attention, she was instantly invested with a sufficient 
stodc of charms out of the plentiful stores of his own imagination : 
and there was often a great disparity between his fair captivator 
and her attributes. One generally reigned paramount in his 
affections ; but as Yorick's affections flowed out toward Mailamc 

de L at the remise door, while the eternal vows of Eliza 

were upon him, so Robert was frequently encountering other 
attractions, which formed so many under-plots in tJu drama of 
hii low," 

In Goethe's life these " undcr-plots " played a like prominent 




214 BOHANTIC LOVfi AND PEBSONAL BEAUT7 

part ** He always needed a number of feminine hearts of more or 
less personal interest, in which to mirror himself/' we read ; and 
he himself told his Charlotte (in 1777) that her love was ''the 
thread l^ which all his other little passions, pastimes, and flirta- 
tions hong." 

So that, after all, it seems possible to love two at a time ; but 
it take$ gem%» to do it/ 

Tet even with men of genius it is only possible in ordinary 
love-afl&urs. A supreme love-afiair allows but one goddess under 
any circumstances. 

Schumann was one of the most multitudinous lovers on record. 
Apparently his first love was Naniii, his " guardian angel," who 
saved bim from the perils of the world, and hovered before his 
vision like a saint. ''I feel that I could kneel before her and 
adore her like a Madonna," he says in a letter. But Nanni had a 
dangerous rival in Liddy. Not long, however, for he found Liddy 
silly, cold as marble, and — fatal defect ! she could not sympathise 
with him regarding Jean Paul " The exalted image of my ideal 
disappears when I think of the remarks she made about Jean 
Paul Let the dead rest in peace." Curiously enough, there are 
references to both these girls at various dates, showing that, like 
Ovid, he vacillated between the two. He had a number of other 
flames, and after his engagement to Clara Wieck gave her warning 
that he had the '* very mischievous habit " of being a great ad- 
mirer of lovely women. " They make me positively smirk, and I 
swim in panegyrics on your sex. Consequently, if at some future 
time we walk along the streets of Vienna and meet a beauty, and 
I exclaim, ' Oh Clara ! see this heavenly vision !' or something of 
the sort, you must not be alarmed nor scold me." 

But the most enterprising lover ever known to the world was 
Alfieri \ for his first Love seems to have embraced a wliole female 
seminary/ In his Jlemoires, at any rate, he uses the plural in 
speaking of the object of his first passion. He was indeed only 
nine years old, which may excuse this amorous auomaly. He had 
seen in church a number of young novices, and thus describes his 
feelings (the italics are mine) : " My innocent attraction towards 
these novices became so strong that I thought of them and their 
doings incessantly. At one moment my imagination painted them 
holding their candles in their hands, serving mass with an air of 
angelic submission, and again raising the smoke of incense at the 
foot of the altar ; aud, entirely absorbed in these images, I 
neglected my studies; every occupation and all companionship 
bored me." 




GENIUS IN LOVE 215 

T. — ^FIOTITIOUBinESS 

If Shakspere ooiild identify woman with frailty, one might with 
equal propriety exclaim, Vanity, thy name is man ! Clever men 
have a habit of paying pretty girls neat compliments, less to please 
the girls than to show off their wit. And clever women, though 
they may not accept these remarks literally, still have cause to be 
gmtified with them, in proportion to the excellence of the wit ; for 
ugliness or inferior beauty never inspires a happy thought in a 
clever man. 

Poets represent the climax of masculine vanity. Though their 
first Love-poeuis may be the embodiment of real passion, in subse- 
quent efforts the purely literary origin is too often apparent. Since 
poetic composition is in itself a mingled agony and delight, very 
like Love itself, nothing so facilitates its progress as exciting Love- 
memories. Hence poets are for ever urged on to compose Love 
ditties in which they endeavour to out- Romeo Bomeo, to out- 
hyperbolise one another, as women try to out-<lress one another. 
This is one aspect of their vanity; the other lies in their desire 
for sympathetic ailmiration. So, whenever a poet meets a damsel 
who oouies within half a mile of his ideal, he forthwith unfolds 
before her eyes his gaudy dithyrambs and sonnets, and indulges 
in various Love-antics, very much like an infatuated peacock. 

Even the great Dante is not free from the reproach of having 
used hid true love for mere literary purposes. Beatrice became to 
him gradually an abstraction, an allegory, a name for woman in 
general. But it is in his countryman Petrarch that the tendency 
to use a sweetheart for purely ornamental purposes, as if she were 
a feather to I)e stuck in one's hat, is most vividly illustrated. 
Petrarch is a conspicuous illustration of the fact that u poetif 
reputation once established will live on for ever, for the simpk 
reason that very few people ever take the troulJe to read and 
judge for themselves ; so that an undeserved reputation, like a 
disease, is inherited by generation after generation. 

No one, of course, can question Petrarch's learning and bis 
influence on the progress of modern culture. I speak of him only 
OS a love-|K>et ; and as such be occupies a wofully low rank. I 
have read and reread his sonnets, and have found them one of the 
dreariest deserts the quest for information has ever driven me into. 
To say with Mr. Symonds, in the Fncyclopcedia Britannica, that 
'he was far from approaching the analysis of emotion with the 
directness of a Heine or De Musset," is putting it very mildly in- 
deed. Professor Schcrr points out his lack of poetic imagination 



218 BOMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

in these words : '' Though he took so much trouble to hand down 
the beauty of his Laura to posterity, yet (he) never gets beyond 
a tedious enumeration of her charms. Petrarch never gives us a 
clear portrait of his lady/' " The poems of her lover," says Mr. 
Symonds, ''demonstrate that she was a married womany with 
whom he ei\joyed a respectful and not very intimate friendship." 
Moore refers to Petrarch as one '' who would not suffer his only 
daughter to reside beneath his roof, [but] expended thirty- two 
years of poetry and passion on an idealised love." Schopenhauer 
naively accepted the reality of Petrarch's passion, which the poor 
fellow had to drag through life " like a prisoner's chain," because 
the case suited his argument ; but Mr. Macaulay more justly re- 
marks that '' to readers of our time, the love of Petrarch seems to 
have been of that kind which breaks no hearts." finally Professor 
Schorr's opinion may be cited, which agrees with the view here token. 

In 1327 Petrarch ''made the acquaintance of Laura, the wife 
of Hugo de Sade, who has become famous through him, and whom 
during twenty-one years he continued to love, or at least to cele- 
brate in song; for one feels somewhat uncertain regarding this 
love, and is very much tempted to regard it more as a matter of 
the head than of the heart and the senses — more as a welcome 
theme for his troubadour art and Proven9al amorous subtlety than 
as a genuine, true passion. Peti-arch's qualities in general, both 
as a man and as a poet, are tainted by an appearance of hollowness, 
a want of substance and character. He lacked genuine originality^ 
the power of spontaneous creation." 

Petrarch, it is true, was an extreme case of the poet's inclination 
to give Love a fictitious permanence and depth ; and he lived, more- 
over, at a time when the novelty of the spiritual aspect of Love 
naturally inclined the mind to exaggeration in that direction. In 
the case of modem poets, much less allowance has to be commouly 
made for motives of piu^iy poetic or literary origin. 

Such being the leading characteristics of Love in men of genius, 
and such men being emotionally a few centuries ahead of others, 
the questions arise, " Is it likely that the Love of ordinary mortals 
will gradually assume those traits? and is it desirable that it should ?" 

There seems no immediate danger that the world will be 
peopled largely by geniuses, though there is a rapid and steady 
advance in culture, which in a thousand yeoi-s may greatly lessen 
the difference l>etwcea men of genius and average men of the future 
as compared with those of to-day. When that millennium arrives 
the man of genius may have advanced another step, but not so 
great, perhaps, as that which now raises him above the common 




GENIUS IN LOVE 217 

herd. He vill not then be so great an anomaly, and Trill find 
society less willing than in the past to make allowance for his 
irregolarities, such as his fickleness and multipliiity of Love-afiairs. 

Yet, after all, these great men are only partly to blame for 
their fickleness. Beethoven once boasted of having loveo one 
woman for geven months as something unusual But had Beethoven 
been so fortunate as to meet aiid marry a woman having those 
qualities which Sir Walter Scott says the wife of a genius should 
have — either '* taste enough to relish her husband's performances, 
or good nature enough to pardon his infirmities," — he might have 
been blessed with a love not of seven months, but of seven times 
seven years. Of Shelley, Mr. Symonds tells us that, " In his own 
words, he had loved Antigone before he visited this earth : and no 
one woman could probably have made him happy, because he was 
for ever demanding more from love than it can give in the mixed 
circumstances of mortal life." 

Mr. Galton, who has made such a careful study of the pheno- 
mena of genius and marriage (Hereditary Geniwi), remarks on the 
'* great fact . . . that able men take pleasure in the society of 
intelligent women, and, if they can find such as would in other 
respects be suitable, they will marry them in preference to medio- 
crities.'' Unfortunately, as before dwelt on, great beauty and 
great intellect, or amiability, do not always coincide, owing to the 
&ct that pretty girls do not feel the necessity of cultivating their 
minds. But in men of genius their own store of intellect is so great, 
and their admiration for Beauty so intense, that they are constantly 
liable to marry silly girls ; or before marriage to flirt with one 
beauty after another without finding satisfaction. In a few gen^ 
erations, however, there will doubtless be many more women than 
now or in the past who will be intelligent, amiable, and beautiful 
at the same time ; and such women will be able to fetter even the 
erratic love of geniuses with adamautine chains, impervious to rust 
and altemtion, and thus cure them of tlieir Fijkieness and their 
constant efibrt to love more than one at a time. 

Poetic Fictitiousness, of course, is a trait which does no one any 
harm, and often enriches literature with charming fancies. And 
as for the two remaining characters of genius-Love — Ardour and 
Precocity — it is evident that there cannot be too much of them in 
the world. The dawn of Love is always the dawn of so much 
refinement of the soul, the awakening of so much ambition, that it 
cannot be too precocious; and the more ardent it is the more 
thoroughgoing will be its results. Nor need a big fire go out 
■ooDer than a small one, provided there is a constant supply of 



218 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

fresh fuel — a point which Balzac has discussed with much elo- 
quence in his Phynologie du Mariagt. 

Coleridge says *' It is the business of yirtne to give a feeling 
and a passion to our purer intellect, and to intellectualise our 
feelings and passions." Now this is precisely what is done by 
Romantic Love, which first originated in the minds of men of 
genius. 

** The might of one fair face sublimes my lore, 
For it hath weaued my heart from low desires." 

'' Sublimes my love." These three words of Michael Angelo con- 
tain the whole philosophy of our subject And what is it that 
sublimes Love chiefly ) '' The might of one fair face " — ^the magic 
effect of Personal Beauty. Perhaps, after all, the greatest differ- 
ence between the Love of a genius and an ordinary mortal is that 
in the former the aesthetic element — the Admiration of Beauty — 
is so much stronger, making up two-thirds of the whole passion. 
And as a taste for the beautiful in art and nature becomes more 
common, the Love of common mortals, in approaching that of 
genius, wiU more and more partake of this aesthetic refinement — 
this worship of Personal Beauty for the sake of the higher gratifi- 
cations it yields to the imagination. 

INSANITT AND LOVE 

ANALOOISS 

The poets, who have in all ages insisted on the analogies be- 
tween genius and insanity, have also long since discovered a 
general resemblance between Love and Insanity. Indeed, the 
notion that Love is a sort of madness is as old as Plato. Love, 
as imderstood by him — that is, man's '' worship of youthful mas- 
culine beauty " — is, he says, mad, irrational, superseding reason 
and prudence in the individual mind. And the Stoics, who re- 
garded all affections as maladies, looked upon the severest of the 
passions as a grave mental disease. 

Modem poetry is full of allusions to the fatuous folly of Love. 

Thus Thomson — 

** A lover is the very fool of natore." 
Shakspere — 

''The lunatic, the lover, and the poet 
Are of imagination all compact. 

" ThoQ blind fool, Love, what dost thoa to mine eyes, 
That they behold and see not what they see ? " 

And the mischievous Rosalind informs us that " Love is merely a 




INSANITY AND LOVE 219 

madness, and, I tell ynu, deserves as well a dark house and a whip 
as roadmen do ; and the reason why they are not so punished aud 
(Hired is, that the lunacy is so ordinary that the whippers are in 
love too." 

AH this is mere poetic banter ; but there is a substratum of 
truth which the poets must have dimly felt. Modem alienists do 
not treat their patients to dark rooms aud whips, as their predeoefl- 
sors did. They regard the maladies of their patients as brain 
diseases, which have been studied and classified, and are treated on 
general hygienic and therapeutic principles. A comparison of the 
classifications adopted in psychiatry with the symptoms of Love 
shows that Insanity and Love resemble each other especially in three 
oonunon traits, — the presence of Illusions, a sort of Ddirium of 
Persecution, and the Desire for Solitude. 

There are two ways in which madmen people the outside world 
with phantoms of their own imaginations — by means of iUusions 
and of halludnations. 

Hallucinations are pure figments of the imagination, without 
any object corresponding to them or suggesting them in the outer 
world. A patient sufiering from them will stare into vacancy and 
see a friend, or perhaps the devil with horns, tail, and hoofs ; and 
be sees him as vividly as if he were really there to be touched ; 
the reason being that in that part of the brain where impressions 
of sight are localised a diseased action is set up which suggests a 
picture that is forthwith projected into outward space— as usual 
with all sense-impressions. In a word, the patient paints the devil 
in his mind's eye, and there he is. 

Illusions, on the other hand, have real external objects for their 
cause; but the diseased imagination so falsifies the objects that 
there is little or no resemblance between the mental vision and 
the outside reality. A patient suffering from iUusions sees a candle 
and thinks it is the sun, hears a footstep and thinks it thunder. 

Is not this precisely what Shakspere chides Cupid for — that he 
makes our eyes *' behold and see not what they see Y " or makes 
them "see Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt t" Concerning 
Bums we have just read that " there was often a great disparity 
between his fair captivator and her attributes *' — that is, the attri- 
butes with which she was invested bv her lover. 

The lover, like the lunatic, has had moments when, " beholding 
his maiden, he half-knows she is not that which he worships " ; 
but such intervals are rare. Take a madman who believes his 
body is made of glass, and throw him downstairs : none the less 
will he believe in his vitreous constitution. Show a lover the 



220 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

most beautiful woman in the world, still will he belieye bis own 
Dulcinea a hundred times more charming. 

There is, in the second place, a very common form of insanity, 
called the Deliriiun of Persecution. The sufferer imagines that 
everybody he passes notices him, suspects him of something, or 
even intends him some harm. Dr. Hammond speaks of a patient 
of this class ** who was sure tliat all the clergymen had entered 
into a conspiracy to 'pray him into hell'! He went to the 
churches to hear what they had to say, and discovered adroit 
allusions to himself and hidden invocations to God for his eternal 
damnation, in the most harmless and platitudinous expressions. 
He wrote letters to various pastors of churches, denouncing them 
for their uncharitable conduct toward him, and threatening them 
with bodily damage if they persisted in their efforts to secure the 
destruction of his souL" 

'' Quand nous aimons," says Pascal, " nous nous imaginons qua 
tout le monde s'en aper^it '' — when we are in love we imagine 
that everybody perceives it The lover feels so awkward and 
embarrassed that he thinks every one about him must discover his 
secret ; and this constant apprehension doubles his awkwardness, 
and in most cases does lead to his detection. And the jealous 
lover to whom ** trifles light as air " are confirmations of iufidelity, 
who sees dangerous rivalry in the most superficial attentions, and 
inconstancy in the most harmless smile she bestows on another — 
how does he differ from the man who thought the clergy were 
trying to pray him into hell, except that in the one case the dis- 
ordered imagination is more easily restored to its normal functions 
than in the other f 

Thirdly, the lunatic and the lover, in their melancholy stages, 
have a common fondness for Solitude. For days and weeks 
a patient will sit motionless, indifferent to everybody and every- 
thing in the world except the one idea that has fixed on his brain 
like a leech, and is sucking its life-blo<)d. Nothing, says an 
observer, is so noticeiible on visiting an asylum where the patients 
are allowed some liberty, as the way in which each one seeka 
a solitary place regardless of his fellows. 

Are not, in the same way — 

** Fountain-heads and pathless groves 
Places which pale passion loves f " — Flxtchxb. 

But what madman in his wildest flights ever conceived anything 
quite so sublimely solitary as the flight which Bums projected for 
himself and Ckrinda (in lovers' arithmetic twice one are one) in 




INSANITY AND LOVE 221 

the following epistle : " Imagine . . . that we were set free from 
the laws of gravitation which bind ns to this globe, and ci)uld at 
pleasure fly, without inconvenieiice, through all the yet uncoigec- 
tored bounds of creation, what a life of bliss would we lead, in our 
mutual pursuit of virtue and knowledge, and our mutual eiyoyment 
of love aud friendship I 

"I see you laughing at my fairy fancies, and calling me a 
voluptuous Mahometan; but I am certain I would be a happy 
creature beyond anything we call bliss here below ; nay, it would 
be a paradise congenial to you too. Don't you see us, hand in 
hand, or rather, my arm about your lovely waist, making our 
remarks on Sirius, the nearest of the fixed stars ; or, surveying a 
comet flaming innoxious by us, as we just now would mark 
the passing pomp of a traveUing monarch ; or, in a shady bower of 
Mercury or Venus, dedicating the hour to love, in mutual converse, 
relying honour, and revelling endearment, while the most exalted 
strains of poesy and harmony would be the ready, spontaneous 
language of our souls." 

Thus we have in the madman's Illusions an analogy with Love's 
Hyperbolising tendency ; in the Delirium of Persecution a sugges- 
tion of Jealousy ; in the Desire for Solitude a reminder of Love's 
Exclusivencss, and desire to be cast on a desert island. 

Gallantry, again, has in the past frequently assumed an extra- 
Tagant form bordering on madness. Thus, with reference to 
a Greek girl to whom Byron made love in Athens, Moore says, 
*' It was, if I recollect right, in making love to one of these girls 
that he had recourse to an act of courtship often practised in that 
country — namely, giving himself a wound across the breast with 
his dagger. The young Athenian, by his own account, looked on 
very coolly during the operation, considering it a fit tribute to her 
beauty, but in no wise moved to gratitude." 

In Spain, toward the beginning of the last century. Gallantry 
appears to have assumed a form of mad extravagance. As Mme. 
d' Annoy relates in her Memoirt9 sur CEspagne^ no man who 
accompanied a lady was so rude as to give her his hand or to take 
her arm under his. He only wrapped his doak around his arm, 
and then allowed her to rest her arm on the elbow. Nor was even 
a lover permitted to kiss his love or caress her otherwise than by 
tenderly grasping her arm with his hands. 

Of mediaeval lovers' madness cases have been cited elsewhere, 
showing to what crazy excess the Knight-errants and Troubadours 
■ometimes carried their gallant devotion. One more amusing 
QluBtration may here be added : the ofl-dted cases of Peire Vidol^ 



222 BOHANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTT 

a Troubadour of the twelfth century, who, to please his bdoyed, 
whose name was Loba (wolf), had himself seweil up in a wolfs 
hide and went about the mountains howling until his manoeuvres 
were brought to a sad end by some shepherd dogs, who^ having no 
sense of humour, gave him such a shaking that he was only too 
l^ad to resume liis normal attitude. 

There is, iu iact, hardly a feature of Love which, in its exalted 
manifestations, does not occasionally suggest a madhouse. Tlie 
extravagant Pride shown by a commonplace man in his more com- 
monplace bride, is quite as ludicrous as a lunatic'<« delusion that he 
is a millionaire or emperor of the five continents. The sham 
capture of a bride still practised among many nations when all 
parties are willing, illustrates a form of Coyness which would appear 
as pure lunacy to one unfamiliar with the origin of that custom. 

SROTOMAKIA, OB BSAL LOVX-BICKNX88 

Besides these general analogies there is a form of mental disease 
which is genuine love-sickness, the outcome of brain disease, and 
which often seems, for all the world, like a deliberate caricature of 
Coquetry. 

" It often happens," says Dr. Hammond, " that the subjects of 
emotional monomania of the variety under consideration do not 
restrict their love to any one person. They adore the whole male 
sex, and will make advances to any man with .whom they are 
brought into even the slightest association. If confined in an 
asylum they simper and clasp their hands, and roll their eyes to 
the attendants, especially the physicians, and even the male 
patients are not below their affections. There is very little 
constancy in their love. They change from one man to another 
with the utmost facility and upon the slightest pretext. ' I am 

very much in love with Dr. ,' said a woman to me in an 

asylum that I was visiting, ' but he was late yesterday in coming 
to the ward, and now I love you. You will come often to see me, 
won't you ] ' While she was speaking the superintendent entered 
the ward. ' Oh, here comes my first and only love I ' she ex- 
claiined. *Why have you stayed awav so long from your 
Eliza r " 

Professor von Krafft-Ebing, in his admirable Lehrbuc/i der 
Psychiatric, thus characterises Erotomania in general : " The 
kernel of the whole matter is the delusion of being singled out and 
loved by a person of the other sex, who regularly belongs to a 
higher social sphere. And it deserves to be not^ that the love 




THE LANGUAGE OF LOYE 223 

felt by the patient towards this person is a romantic, ecstatic, but 
entirely ' Platonic ' affection. In this respect these patients remind 
one of the knight-errants and minstrels of bygone times, whom 
Cenrantes has so incisively lashed in his Den Quixote, . . . 

*' From the looks and gestures of the beloved individual they 
draw the inference that they in return are not regarded with indif- 
ference. With astonishing rapidity they lose their self-possession. 
The most hannless incidents are regarded by them as signs of love, 
and an encouragement to draw near. Even newspi^3er advertise- 
ments relating to others are supposed to come from the person in 
question. Finally, hallucinations make their appearance, by the 
aid of which the patients begin to be conversant vrith the object of 
their love. lUusions also supervene ; in the conversations of others 
the patient fjEmdes lie hears references to his love-affairs. He feels 
l^&PPy* exalted ill his estimate of himself. ... 

''At last the patient compromises himself by acting in con- 
sonance with his delusion, thus making himself ridiculous and 
impossible in society, and necessitating his confinement in an 
asylum.'' 

THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE 

The insane freaks of erotomaniacs, and the analogous, ludicrous 
exaggerations in the expression and conduct of lovers, may be 
regarded as the pathologic and the comic sides of Love's Language. 

Normally, Romantic Love has no fewer than three languages : — 
Words, Fadal Expression, and Caresses, including Kisses. It will 
at once be seen that this classification involves a crescendo <, from 
the weakest form of expression to its climax in kissing. Kissing, 
indeed, though it comes under the head of Caresses, is of so much 
Bignificance that it may be regarded, if not as a separate language 
of Love, at least as a special dialect — perhaps the long-sought 
world-language intelligible to alii 

L — WORDS 

Though the greatest poets have striven to become virtuosi in 
the art of expressing Love in written language, yet words are the 
weakest and least trustworthy mode of expressing the amorous 
emotions. Least trustworthy, because the male flatterer, as well 
as the female coquette, constantly use language to conceal their 
thoughts and real emotions. Weakest, because words are less 
eloquent even than silenoe. For — 



224 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

" They that nre rich in words mast iiMds discover 
They are bat poor in that wiiich makes a lover;** 

And 

" Silence in Love bewrays more woe 
Than words though ne'er so witty." — Raxeioh. 

Cordelia's love was deeper than that of her sisters — too deep to 
be expressed in formal words. And King Lear scorned her and 
fJEkvoured her sisters ; even as shallow maidens constantly look down 
on silent, awkward adorers of deep affections, and throw themselves 
away on shallow, fickle, loquacious Lotharios, because they do not 
understand the real Language of Love, which, according to a stupid 
old myth, every woman is supposed to know by intuition or 
instinct 

n. — FACIAL EXPRESSION, 

although more trustworthy than written or spoken words, may 
sometimes prove deceptive too ; for the cimning coquette who daily 
feigns Love to attract poor moths by her brilliant fascinations, 
becomes in time so perfect an actress that the coldest of cynics 
may be deceived by her wiles. 

In his great work on the Expression of the Emoticns^ Darwin 
remarks that although, " when lovers meet, we know that their 
hearts beat quickly, their breathing is hurried, and their faces 
flush ;" yet " love can hardly be said to have any proper or peculiar 
means of expression ; and this is intelligible, as it has not habitually 
led to any special line of action. No doubt, as affection is a plea- 
surable sensation, it generally causes a gentle smile and some 
brightening of the eyes." 

Inasmuch as a flushed face and transient blushes, a gentle smile 
and brightening of the eyes, are characteristic of other emotions 
besides Love, Darwin is right ; yet he ignores two peculiarities of 
expression by which a person in Love may be instantaneously 
recognised. 

"A lover," says Chamfort, "is a man who endeavours to be 
more amiable than it is possible for him to be ; and this is the 
reason that almost all lovers appear ridiculous." Who has not 
seen this unmistakable, ludicrous expression of masculine Love — 
head slightly inclined to the left ; face as near her face as possible, 
echoing every expression of hers ; a saccharine, beseeching smile on 
the kiss-hungry lips, producing on the spectator an uneasy sense of 
unstable equilibrium — as if in one more moment the force of 
amorous gravitation would draw down his face to hers ? 

Add to this his embarrassed gestures, the over-sweet falsetto of 




THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE 225 

his Toloe— an octave higher than when he epeaks to others, — and 
the peculiar lover*s pallor, and the picture is complete^ 

"Why 80 pde and wan, fond loTer f 
Prithee, whj so pale ? 
'WUl, when lookiDg well can't more heri 
Looking ill prevail ?" — Suckling. 

To women Cupid is kinder. Instead of making them appear 
ludicrous, Love has the power of transforming even a homely 
feminine face into a vision of loveliness by throwing a halo of 
tender expression aroimd it. This wondrous transformation effected 
by Love is one of its greatest miracles ; and to one who has seen 
the girl previously it immediately betrays lier infatuation. It is a 
kind of emotional calligraphy in which the mei-est tyro can read, 
" I love hiuL" 

And this temporary transformation of homely into beautiful 
faces, this fusing and moulding of the features into furms of volup- 
tuous expression, is of extreme psychologic interest ; for it shows 
that, after all, the exalted, extravagant image of Her perfections 
in the lover's mind is not purely imaginary. It is not so much 
owing to a difference of *' taste *' that he loves her more than others 
do, as because she actually dot9 look more beautiful when her eyes 
are fastened on him than when looking at any other man. 

in.^-CAIlB8SE8 

** Tenderness," says Professor Bain, " is a pleasurable emotion, 
variously stimulated, whose effort is to draw human beings into 
mutual embrace." Darwin finds the peculiarity of love in the same 
desire for contact ; and, as usual, he seeks for the origin of this 
desire, and endeavours to trace it to analogous peculiarities of the 
animals most closely related to us. 

*' With the lower animals," he says, " we see the same principle 
of pleasure derived from contact in association with love. Dogs 
and cats manifestly take pleasure in rubbing against their masters 
and mistresses, and in being rubbed or patted by theuL Many 
kiuds of monkeys, as I am asMired by the keepers in the Zoological 
Gardens, delight in fondling and being fondled by each other, and 
by persons to whom they are attached. Mr. Bartlett has described 
to me the behaviour of two Chimpanzees, rather older animals than 
those generally imported into this country, when they were first 
brought together. They sat opposite, toueliina each otlier with their 
much-protruded lips, and the one put his hand on tlie shoulder of 

Q 



226 ROMANTIC LOVE AND P£BSONAL BEAUT ^^ 

the other. Then they mutually folded each other in their arms. 
Afterwards they stood up, each with oue arm on the shoulder of 
the other, lifted up their heads, opened their mouths and yelled 
with delighf* 

Concerning human beings Darwin remarks : *' A strong desire 
to touch the belovetl person is commonly felt; and love is ex- 
pressed by this means more plainly than by any other. Hence we 
long to clasp in our arms those we tenderly love. We probably 
owe this desire to inherited habit, in association with the nursing 
and tending of our children, and with the mutual caresses of 
lovers." 

When love first dawns on the mind, the faintest superficial con- 
tact flashes along the nerves as a thrill of delicious emotion. To 
walk along the beach in a stiff breeze, and have her veil acciden- 
tally flutter in his face, is a romantic incident on which a youthful 
lover*s memory feasts for a month. If allowed to carry her shawl 
on his arm, be would not feel the cold of a Siberian winter. And 
later, what a variety of tell-tale caresses are there by which mutual 
Love may be revealed ! It is not the voice alone that can say " I 
love you"; nor the speaking eyes. Gonfesaions of Love, proposals 
and acceptance — complete dramas of Love — have been enacted by 
the lanj^uage of two pairs of feet that have accidentally touched 
under the table. A sli^jiht pressure of tiie hand in the ballroom 
has told thousands of lovers, before a word was spoken, that now 
they may soon put their arms round that lovely wai^t without the 
excuse of a waltz or polka. 

One form of hand-caress, dear alike to mothers and lovers, is 
thus descril>ed by Professor Mantegnzza : ** In a Ciiress we give 
and receive at the same time. The hand which distributes love, 
as by a magnetic effusion, receives it in return from the skin of 
the beloved person. Hence it is that one of the most common 
and most thrilling of the expressions of love consists in passing 
tlio hand through the hair. The hand finds, in this labyrinth of 
supple, living threads, the means of multiplying infinitely the 
points of amorous contact It appears as if each hair were an 
electric wire, putting us into direct connection with the senses, 
with the heart, and even with the thoughts, of those we love. It 
is not without reason that woman's hair has long been given as a 
token of love.'' 

What a clumsy thing is language, what an awkward thing a 
formal pr(»posal stuttered out by a lover more embaiTiu^sed than if 
he were an amuteur actor appearing on the )iti\<:;e for the first time, 
as Romeo before an international audience of actors and critiirs ! 




KISSING— PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE 227 

How much less natural, less poetic, it is to hear the coufession of 
Love than to feel it — 

" When pantiog siffhs the boeom fill, 
And hands, by chance united, thri)l 
At once with one delicious pain." — Clougb. 

What poet, and were he a genius in condensation, could 
compress into a line, a page, a yolume, such an ocean of emotion 
as is contained in a momentary caress of the hand 1 Not even the 
moment when the lovers are " imparadised in one another's arms " 
surpasses this in ecstasy. 

Yet there is a more delicious rapture still in the drama of 
Courtship. "Love's sweetest language is," as Herrick says, *'a 
kiss." All other caresses are valueless without a kiss ; for is not 
a kiss the very autograph of Love ? 

But labial contact is a subject of such supreme importance in 
the philosophy and history of Love that it cannot be disposed of 
briefly as one form of caressing, but demands a chapter by itselfl 



KISSING— PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE 

"The lips," says Sir Charles Bell, "are of all the features the 
most susceptible of action, and the most direct index of the 
feelings." No wonder that Cupid selected them as his private 
seal, without which no passion can be stamped as genuine. 

For the expression of all other emotions, by words or signs, one 
pair of lips suffices. Love alone requires for its expression two 
pairs of lips. Could anything more eloquently demonstrate the 
superiority of the romantic passion over all others t 

Steele said of kissing that " Nature was its author, and it began 
with the first courtship." Steele evidently evolved this theory out 
of his " inner consciousness," for the facts do not agree with it The 
art of Kissing has, like Love itself, been gradually developed in 
connection with the higher stages of culture. Traces of it are 
found among animals and savages ; the ancients ofien misunder- 
stood its purport and object, as did our mediaeval ancestors ; and 
it is only in recent times that Kissing has tended to become 
what it should be — the special and excluisive language of romantic 
and conjugal love. 

AMONG ANIMALS 

Honour to whom honour is due. The Chimpanzee seems to 
have been the first who discovered the charm of mutual labial 



228 BOMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

contact In the description by Mr. Bartlett jost referred to, the 
two Chimpanzees ** sat opposite, touching each other with their 
mach-protruded lips." And in some notes on the Chimpanzee in 
Central Park, New York, by Dr. C. Pitfield Mitchell, pabliflhed in 
the Journal of Comparative Medicine and Svrgery^ January 1885, 
we find the following: "That tender emotions are ezperieuced 
may be inferred from the fact that he pressed the kitten to his 
breast and kissed it, holding it very gently in both hands. In 
kissing, the lips are pouted and the tongue protruded, and both 
are pressed upon the object of affection. The act is not accom- 
panied by any sound, thus differing from ordinary human 
(jticulation." 

Dogs, especially when young, may be seen occasionally exchang- 
ing a sort of tongue-kiss ; and who lias not seen dogs innumerable 
times make a sudden sly dash at the lips of master or mistress and 
try to tieai a kiss 7 The affectionate manner in which a cow and 
calf eagerly lick one another in succession may be regarded as quite 
as genuine a kiss as a human kiss on hand, forehead, or cheek ; and 
it is probable that even in the billing of doves the motive is a 
vague pleasure of contact. 

AMONG SAVAGES 

we meet once more with the anomalous fact that they seem 
ignorant, on the whole, of a clever invention known even to some 
animals. Sir John Lubbock, after referring to Steele's opinion 
that kissing is coeval with courtship, remarks : " It was, on the 
contrary, entirely unknown to the Tahitiann, the New Zeolanders, 
the Papuas, and the aborigines of Australia, nor was it in use 
amonji: the Somala or the Esquimaux." Jemmy Button, the Fuegian, 
told Darwin that kissing was unknown in his land ; aud another 
writer gives an amusing account of an attempt he made to kis^ a 
young negro girl. She was greatly terrified, probably imagining 
him a new species of cannibal who had n)a<ie up his nuud to eat 
her on the spot, raw, and without salt and pe|»per. 

Monteiro, in a pa$.sage previously quotes 1, says that in all the 
long years he iias be*»n in Afiica he has " never seen a negro put 
his arm round a woman's waist, or give or receive any caress 
whatever that would indicate the slightest loving regard or affection 
on either side." 

Considering the general obtuseness of a savage's nerves, it is no 
wonder that the subtle thrill of a kiss should be unknown to him. 
In many cases, moreover. Kissing is rendered physically impossible 




KISSING— PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE 229 

by the habit indulged in of mutilating and enlarging the lips. For 
instance, Schweinfurth, in his Heart of Africa, says that among 
the Bongo women ** the lower lip is extended horizontally till it 
projects far beyond the upper, which is also bored and iitted with 
a copper plate or nail, and now and then by a little ring, and some- 
times by a bit of straw, about as thick as a lucifer match." Many 
other similar cases could be dted. 

Evidently, under these circumstances, kissing would prove a 
snare and a delusion. 

THE OBIGIK OF KISSING 

is a topic on which doctors disagree, the opinions of Darwin and 
Mr. Spencer in particular differing as widely as their views regarding 
the prigin of music Mr. Spencer traces the primitive delight in 
osculation to the gustatory sense, Darwin to contact. 

"Obviously," says Mr. Spencer, "thebillingof doves or pigeons, 
and the like action of love-birds, indicates an affection which is 
gratified by the gustatory sensation. No act of this kind on the 
part of an inferior creature, as of a cow licking a calf, can have any 
other origin than the direct prompting of a desire which gains 'ly^ 
the act satisfaction ; and in such a case the satisfaction is that 
which vivid perception of offspring gives to the maternal yearning. 
In some animals like acts arise from other forms of affection. Lick- 
ing the hand, or, where it is accessible, the face, is a common display 
of attachment on a dog's part ; and when we remember how keen 
must be the olfactory sense by which a dog traces his master, we 
cannot doubt that to his gustatory sense, too, there is yielded some 
impression — an impression associated wiUi those pleasures of 
affection which his master's presence gives. 

'' The inference that kissing, as a mark of fondness in the human 
race, has a kindred origin, is sufficiently probable. Though kissing 
is not universal — though the negro races do not understand it, 
and though, as we have seen, there are cases where sniffing replaces 
it — yet, being common to unlikely and widely-dispersed peoples, 
we may couclude that it originate in ^ the same manner as the 
analogous action among lower creatures. . . . From kissing as a 
natural sign of affection, there is derived the kissing which, as a 
means of simulating affection, gratifies those who are kissed ; and, 
by gratifying them, propitiates them. Heuce an obvious root for 
the kissing of feet, hands, garments, as a part of ceremonial" 

Darwin, on the other hand, holds that kissing '' is so far innate 
or natural that it apparently depends on pleasure from close 




230 BOMANTIC JJOYE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

contact with a beloved person ; and it is replaced in Tarious ports 
of the world, by the rubbing of noses, as with the New Zealandeis 
and Laplanders, by the rubbing or patting of the arms, breasts, or 
stomachs, or by one man striking his own face with the hands or 
feet of another. Perhaps the practice of blowing, as a mark of 
affection, on various parts of the body may depend on the same 
principle." 

Has Mr. Spencer ever kissed a girl t Certainly, to one who has, 
his theory of the gustatory origin of Kissing would seem like a joke 
were it not stated with so much scientific pomp and circumstance. 
The billing of doves and love-birds, in the first place, cannot be 
regarded as a matter of taste, literally, because in birds the sense 
of taste is commonly very rudimentary or quite absent, as their 
habit of swallowing seeds and other food whole and dry would 
make a sense which can only judge of things in a state of solution 
quite useless. The sense of touch, on the other hand, is exceed- 
ingly delicate in the bill of birds, which is, as it were, their feeler 
or hand. 

That the motive which prompts cows and calves to lick one 
another is likewise tactile rather than gustatory, I had occasion 
to observe only a few days ago in a place worthy of so romantic a 
subject as the experimental study of kissing. Scene : a green 
mountain -meadow above Mflrren, Switzerland. Frame of the 
picture, a semicircle of snow-giants, including Wettcrhom, Eiger, 
Miiiich, Jungfrau, Breithom, etc. Cows and calves in the meadow, 
not in the least disturbed by the avalanches thundering down the 
side of the Jungfrau every twenty minutes. Cow licks calfi and 
calf retaliates by licking the cow's neck. Cow enjoys it immensely, 
holding her head up jis high as possible, with an expression of 
intense enjoyment, just like a dog when you rub and pat his neck. 
Ergo, as cow was not licking but being licked, her enjoyment 
must have been tactile, not gustatory. To the cow her tongue 
is what the bill is to a bird — her most mobile organ, her feeler, 
and hand. 

Possibly Mr. Spencer was misled into his gustatory theory by 
a too literal interpretation of a habit poets have alwa}!^ had ot 
calling a kiss sweet. Among the Romans a love-kiss was distin- 
guished from other kisses by being calle<l a suavium or sweet 
thing ; and a modem German poet boldly compares the flavour of 
Idsses to wild strawberries (perhaps she had just been eating sonie\ 
Yet all this belongs to fancy's fair}'land. Kisses are called sweet 
for the same reason that we speak of the sweet (V)ncords of music, 
i.f. because the language of lesthctics is so scantily developed that 




EISSIKG— PAST, PRESENT, AKD FUTURE 231 

we are constantly compelled to borrow terms from one sense and 
apply tbem to another, when their only resemblance is that they 
are both agreeable or otherwise. 

There is a very prevalent impression that the senses of samges 
are more delicate than ours. In one way they are. A savage can 
often see an object at a greater distance, and hear a funter sound, 
than a white man. But in what may be called sesthetic as distin- 
guished from physical refinement, savages are vastly our inferiors. 
A savage can hardly tell the difference between two acJIjacent notes 
in the musical scale, while a musician can distinguish the sixtieth 
part of a semitone. And why would the wondrous harmonies of 
a Chopin noctiume seem a mere chaos of sound to a savage ? Be- 
cause his ears have not been trained through his imagination and 
intellect to discriminate sounds and sound -combinations, or to 
follow the plot or development of a musical narrative or " theme." 

Just so with the sense of touch. A sweetheart's veil fluttering 
in a Hottentot's face would only annoy him. A squeeze of the 
hand would leave him cold ; and would he refrain from putting 
his arm round her waist if that gave him any plea8iu*c ? Obviously, 
then, the reason why the art of kissing is unknown to him is be- 
cause his senses are too callous, his imagination too sluggish. 

Kissing, like every other fine art, has its sensuous and ita 
imaginative or intellectual side. Of all parts of the visible body 
the lips are the most sensitive to contact Here the layer in 
which the nerves and blood-vessels are contained is not covered 
over, as elsewhere on the skin, by a thick leathery epidermis, but 
only thiuly veiled by a transparent epitlielium ; so that when lips 
are applied to lips, the blood-vessels which cany the vital fluid 
straight from the two loving hearts, and the soul-fibres, called 
nerves, are brought iuto almost immediate contact : whence that 
interchange of soul-magnetism — that electric shock which makes 
the first mutual kiss of Love the sweetest moment of life— 

** What ivords can ever speak affection 
So thrilllDg and siucoro as thine ?" — DuBKS. 

Tet herein the imagination plays a much more prominent rtUe 
than it appears to do at first sight The real reason why a savage 
cannot enjoy a kiss is not so much because his lips are deficient in 
tactile sensibilit}', as because he has no imagination to invest labial 
contact with the romance of individualized passion. If a lover's 
pleasure lay in the mere labial contact, he would as soon exchange 
a kiss with any other girl. But shoidd a sweetheart, on being 
asked for a kiss, refer him, say, to his sister or her sister ; though 




2SS ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

tho latter be a hundred times more beaatiful, he would chide hia 
lore for offering a stone wher« bread was wanted. EUs imagina- 
tion has so long painted to him the superior ecstasy of a kiss from 
her that, when he finally gets it, the long-deferred gratification 
ensures the unparalleled rapture anticipated. 

ANCIS^rT KISSES 

As the ancient ciyilised nations were much more addicted than 
we are to gesture language, it seems natural that so expressive a 
sign as kissing should have been used for a variety of purposes — 
for indicating not only family affection, sexual passion and firiend- 
ship, but general respect, reverence, humility, condescension, etc. 
Among idolatrous nations, aa M'GIintock and Strong remari^ " it 
was the custom to throw kisses towards the images of the gods, 
and towsuxis the sun and moon.'' Kissing the hand appears to be 
a modem custom, but many other parts of the body were thus 
saluted by the ancients : " Kissing the feet of princes was a token 
of subjection and obedience, whicli was sometimes carried so far 
that the print of the foot received the kiss, so as to give the im- 
pression that the very dust hod become sacred by the royal tread, 
or that tlie subject was not worthy to salute even the prince's 
foot, but was content to kiss the earth itself near or on which he 
trod." A similar observance is the kissing of the Pope's toe, or 
rather, the cross on his slipper — a custom in vogue since tlie year 
710. Among the Ai'abs the women and children kiss the Ix^nls 
of tlieir hu.sbands or fathers. Among the ancient Hebrews, ** kiss- 
ing the lips by way of affectionate salutation was not only per- 
mitted, but customary among near relatives of both sexes, both in 
patriarchal and in later times." The kiss on the cheek ^* has at 
all times been customary in the East, and can hardly be said to be 
extinct even in Europe." 

Amon<( the ancient Greeks, Jealousy prompted the husbands to 
" make their wives eat onions whenever they were going from 
home." And in the Roman Republic, '^ Among the safeguards of 
female purity," says Mr. Lecky, "was an enactment forbidding 
women even to taste wine. . . . Cato said that the ancient Romans 
were accustomed to kiss their wives for the purpose of discovering 
whether they had been drinking wine." 

Breath-sweetening cloves and cachous were evidently unknown 
in the good old times. 

The Romans had special names for three kinds of kisses — 
hasium, a kiss of politeness ; 09culum^ between frieuds ; suavium^ 




• KISSIKG— PAST, PRESENT, AST) FUTURE 288 

between loveri^. If a man kissed his betrothed, she ^ined thereby 
the half of liis effects in tlie event of his dying Wfore the celebra- 
tion of the marriage ; and if the lady herself died, under the san^ 
circumstances, her heirs or nearest of kin took the half due to 
her, a kiss among the ancients being a sign of plighted faith. 
So seriously, indeed, was a kiss regarded by the ancient Romans, 
that a husband would not even kiss his wife in presence of his 
daughters. 

It was on nccoimt of this strict feeling regarding kisses ex- 
changed by man and woman that the early Christians subjected 
themselves to fierce attacks and slander, because of the kisses that 
were exchanged as a symbol of religious union at the Love-Feasts 
of the first disciples. '^But, in 397, the Council of Carthage 
thought fit to forbid all religious kissing between the sexes, not- 
withistanding St Paul's exhortation, * Greet ye one another with 
a kiss of charity.' " 

VXDIJEVAL KISSES 

Among many other refinements of the ancients, the mediseral 
nations lost the sense of the sacredness of kissing between the 
sexes. England was appiircutly the greatest sinner in this respect; 
for it appears to have been customary on visiting to kiss the host's 
wife and daughters. Indeed, up to a comparatively recent time, 
kissing on every occasion was almost as prevalent and permissible 
as handshaking is at the present day. In the sixteenth century 
it was customary in England for ladies to reward their partners 
in the dance with a kiss ; nnd for a long time the minister who 
united a couple in the holy bonds of matrimony had the privile;:;e 
of kissing not only the bride bat even the bridesmaids! No 
wonder the ministry was the most popular profession in those 
days. 

** It is quite certain," says a writer in the S(. Jam/fs's Marfozine 
(1871), 'Hhat the custom of kissing was brought into England 
from Friesland, as St. Pierius Wensemius, Listorio^rnipher to their 
High Mi^rhtinesses, the states of Friesland, in his Chronicle, 1G22, 
tells us that the ))leasant practice of kissing was utterly 'un- 
practised and unknown in England till the fair Princess Komix 
(Rowena), the daughter of King Hengist of Friesland, pressed the 
beaker with her lippens, and saluted the amorous Vortigem with 
a kusjen ' (little kiss)/' 

Having rccoverecl this lost art, however, the English lost no 
time in making up for neglected opportunities. Erasmus writes 
in one of his epistles : " If you go to any place (in Britain) you 




134 BOMANTIC LOVE AND FEBSOIfrAL BEAITIT 



are reoeired with a ku$ by all ; if you depart on a jouruej, yon 
are dismLased with a kiss ; you return, kisses are exchanged • • . 
wherever you moye, nothing but kisses. And if you, Faustos, bad 
but once tasted them, — how soft they are, bow fragrant ! on my 
honoiur, you would wish not to reside here for ten years only, but 
for life 1 ! 1'' 

Bunyan, howerer, frowned on this practice, and inquired most 
pertinently — and impertinently — why the men only *'^ute the 
most handsome and let the ill-favoured alone ? " 

Pepys, in his Diary for 1660, gives this account of some 
Portuguese ladies in London: ^I find nothing in them that is 
pleasing ; and I see they have learnt to hi$$, and look freely up and 
down idready, and I do believe will soon forget the recluse practice 
of tlieir own country." 

One of the luckiest of mortals was Bulstrode Whitelock, who 
at the Court of Cliristine of Sweden was asked to teach her ladies 
'' the English mode tof salutation ; which, after some pretty 
defences, their lips obeyeil, and IVliiUlock most readily/^ 

The following extraordiuary kissing story is told in Chamler^s 
Jownal for 18G1 : — 

'* When the gallant cardinal. Count of Lorraine, was jirescnted 
to the Duchess of Savoy, she gave him her hand to kiss, greatly 
to the indignation of the irate chnrchinan. 'How, inadaine,' 
exclaimed he, 'am I to be treated in this manner? I Iubs the 
queen, my mistress, who is the greatest queen in tiic world, and 
shall I not kiss you, a dirty little ducliessf I would have you 
know I have kissed as handsome Indies, and of as great or greater 
family than you.' Without more ado he made for the lips of tho 
proud Portuguese princess, and, despite her resistance, kissed her 
thrice on her mouth before he released her with an exultant 
laugh." 

The fashion of universal kissing appears to have gone out about 
the time of the Restoration. 

MODERN KICSES 

The history of kissing, thus briefly sketched, shows that among 
primitive men this art is unknown because they nre incapable of 
appreciating it. To the ancient civilised nations its charms were 
revealed ; but as usiwl in the intoxicatiou of a new (liscovcry, they 
hardly knew what to do with it, and applied it to all soi-ts of 
stupid ceremonial purposes. The tendency of civilisation, how- 
ever, has been to eliminate promiscuous kissing, and restrict it 




KISSING— PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE 285 

more and more to its proper function as an expression of the 
affections. And eyen within this sphere the circle becomes gradu- 

• ally smaller. Although in some parts of Europe men still kiss 
one another as a token of relationship, friendship, or esteem, yet the 
habit is slowly dying out, the example having been set in England, 
where it was abandoned toward the close of the seventeenth 
century. The senseless custom which women to-day indulge in of 
kissing each other on the slightest provocation, often when they 
would rather slap one another in the face, is also doomed to 
extinction. The witticism that women kiss one another because 
tbey cannot find anything better to kiss, differing herein from 
men, was not perpetrated by a woman. The practice of kissing 
little children has been often enough condemned on medical 
grounds, which also hold good in the case of adults. That con- 
tagious diseases are thus often conveyed from one person to 
another was already known to the ancient Komans, one of whoso 
emperors issued a special proclamation in consequence against pro- 
miscuous kissing. 

From a sentimental point of view, the most objectionable of 
modem kisses are those which are allowed between cousins. As 
long as a man may l)ccome a suitor for the hand of his cousin he 
should, both for the sake of his own love-drama and in justice to 
a possible rival, he debarred from this privil^e. Imagine the 
feelings of a lover who knows that his rival has been permitted to 
steal the virgin kiss from the lips of his adored one simply because 
his father happens to be her uncle ! Family kisses should, there- 
fore, be allowed only within that degree of relationship which 
predudes the idea of Love and marriage. Cousins will have to bo 
satisfied in future with a warmer grasp of the hand and an extra 
Ivipp of sugar in a maiden's smile. 

LOVE-KISSES 

The happiest moment in the life of the happiest man is that 
when he iH allowed for the first time to '' steal immortil blessing " 
from the Hps of her wlio has just promised to be bis for ever. 
No wonder the poets have grown eloquent over this supreme 
moment of pre-hcavenly rapture — 

• Teskyson— 

O lore, fire ! once he drew 
With one long kiss my whole sonl through 
My lips, as sunlight driuketh dew." 
Moons— 

" Grow to my lips thou sacred kiss.'* 



KOMANTIC LOVE A::D PERSONAL BEAUTY 

SnAKSFXRS— 



ROOSXRT^ 



** Afl if he plucked up kieees by the root 
That grew upon my lips." 

'* Keine Liebete^ mit (ien,(roinTnon treuen 
Braunen Kehesangen, sdfi^ sie habe 
Blane eiiist ala Kind gehabt. Ich glaub'ca. 
Neuiich da ich, seligM Yergcsson 
Trinkend hing an ihren Lippen, 
Meine Augen untenn lan;2:eu Kusse 
Oetfnend, schant' ich in die nahcn ihren, 
Und sie kamen mir in solcher Ndhe 
Tiofblau wie eiu Hiinniel vor. Was ist das 
Wer gibt dir der Kindheit Augon wieder t 
Deine Liebe, sprach sie, deiue Liebe, 
Die mich hat znm Kind gemacht, die alle 
Liebesunschuldstriiume meiner Kindheit 
Hat <rereift zu sel'ger Erfiillnng. 
' Soil der Himmel nicht, der mir ini Herzen 
Steht diirch dich, mir blau durch's Auge blicken t** 

LoTe-kisses are silent like deep affection— 

** Passions are likened best to floods and streams : 
The shallow murmur, but the deep are dumb." — Ralzioh. 

True, Petnichio kissed Katrina '' with such a clamorous smack, 
that at the partini,' all the church did echo " ; but his object was 
not to express his Love, but to tease and tame the shrew. Loud 
kisses, moreoyer, might betray the lovers to profane ears, and 
bring on a fatal attack of Coyness on the girl's part-* 

**The greatest sin 'twixt heaven and hell 
Is first to kiss and then to tell." 

Love-kisses are passionate and long; for Love is Cupid's lip- 
cement — 

** Oh, a kiss, long as my exile, 
Sweet as my revenge." — Shakspere. 

•* A long, long kiss, a kiss of youth and love.* 

" For a kiss*s strength 
I think it must be measured by its length." — BvROX. 

"A kiss now that will hang upon my lip 
As swfut as morning dew upon a rose, 
And full as long." — Thomas Middlkton. 

Perhaps the longest kiss on record is that which Siegfried gives 
BrGnnhilde in the drama of Siegfried, But this is not an ordinary 
kiss, for the hero has to wake with it the Valkyrie from the 



KISSING— PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE 237 

twenty years' sleep into which old Wotan had plunged her for dis- 
obeying his orders. Thanks to Wagner's art, the thrill of this 
Love-kiss, magically transmuted into tones, is felt by a thousand 
spectators simultaneously with the lover. 

Loye-kisses are innumerable. Thus sings the Italian poet, 
Cecco Angiolieri, in the thirteenth century — 

" Because the stnrs are fewer in heaven's simn 
Than all those kisMS ivherewith I kept time 
All in an instant (I who now have none !) 
Upon her mouth (I and no other man !) 
So sweetly on the twentieth day of June 
On the New Year twelve hundred ninety -one. ** 

RossEirrs Traksl. 

Novelists and poets have exhausted their ingenuity in finding 
adjectives descriptive of Love-kisses and others. An anonymous 
essayist has compiled the following list : — 

''Kisses are forced, unwilling, cold, comfortless, fri<nd, and 
frozen, chaste, timid, rosy, balmy, humid, dewy, trembling, soft, 
gentle, tender, tempting, fragrant, sacred, hallowed, divine, sooth- 
ing, joyful, afiectionate, delicious, rapturous, deep-drawn, impressive, 
quick, and nervous, warm, burning, impassioned, inebriating, 
ardent, flaming, and akin to fire, ravishing, lingering, long. One 
also hears of parting, tear-dewed, savoury, loathsome, poisonous, 
treacherous, false, rude, stolen, and great fat, noisy kisses." 



HOW TO KISS 

Kissing comes by instinct, and yet it is an art which few under- 
stand properly. A lover should not hold his bride by the ears in 
kissing her, as appears to have been customary at Scotch weddings 
of the last century. A more graceful way, and quite as effective 
in preventing the bride from ** getting away," is to put your right 
arm round her neck, your fingers under her chin, raise the chin, 
and then gently but firmly press your lips on hers. After a few 
repetitions she will find out it doesn't hurt, and become as gentle 
as a lamb. 

The word adoration is derived from kissing. It means literally 
to apply to the mouth. Therefore girls should l)eware of philolo- 
gists who may ask them with seemingly harmless intent, ** May I 
adore you 1 " 

In kissing, as in everjthing else, honesty is the best policy. 
Stolen kisses are not the sweetest, as Leigh flimt would have us 
believe. A kiss to be a kiss must be mutual, voluntary, simul- 




288 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

taneoiu. "TIio kifis snatched hasty from the sidelong maid 
not worth having. A stolen kiss is only half a kiss. 

** These poor half-kieses kill me quite ; 
Was ever man thus served f 
Amidst an ocean of delight, 
For x»l«&snre to be starved t " — Marlowl 



HOW TO WIN LOVE 

BRASS BX7TT01T8 

Biasmnch as language is the least eloquent and efTectiTe mode 
of expressing Lore, and inasmuch as Loyo is commonly inspired in 
woman by the possession of qualities which she lacks, it is obyious 
that Shakspere did not show his usual insight into human nature 
when he wrote — 

" That man that liath a tongne is, I say, no man, 
If with his tongue he caunot win a woman." 

It seems, indeed, quite probable that Bacon wrote those two 
lines ; if Shaksporc had written them he would have said — 

*'That roan that hath a uniform is, I say, no man, 
If with his uniform he caunot win a woman. " 

The extraordinary infatuation for military uniforms shown by 
women of all times and countries is oue of the most obscure 
problems in mental and social philosophy. Whenever on otiicer, 
tliough ever so humble in rank, is present at a ball or other social 
gathering, all otlier men, be they merchants, politicians, lawyers, 
physicians, artists, students, ministers, are simply " nowhere." 

What is the cause of this singular infatuation) Is it the 
colour-harmony formed by the complementary blue cloth and 
yellow buttons? No, for various ofiicials, as well as messenger 
boys, wear similar uniforms without making any special impression 
on the feminine heart. Is it the beauty or the wit of the soldier t 
No, for he may be as stupid as a log, and rcd-unseil and smallpox- 
pitted, without losing a jot of his popularity. Nor can it be his 
valour, for he has perhaps never yet been opposite the " business 
end " of a rifle, as they say out West. Nor, again, is it lively 
that women admire soldiers from an inherited sense of gratitude 
for the services they rendered in former warlike times in protecting 
their great-grcat-grandmothers from tlie enemy's barbarity; for 
woman's gi-atitude is not apt to be so very retrospective, while 
gratitude itself is less apt to inspire Love than aversion. 




HOW TO WIN LOYE 289 

Whaterer may be the cause of this mysterions phenoiOeDon, 
the fact remains that officers are woman's ideals. Hence the first 
and most important hint to those who would win a woman's Love 
is : Put brass buttons on your coat, have it dyed blue, and wear 
epaulettes and a waxed moustache. This love-charm has never 
been known to fail. 

CONFIDENCE AND BOLDNESS 

Women secretly detest bashful men. It is their own duty, 
prescribed by etiquette, to be passive, shy, and diffident ; hence if 
men were shy and diffident too, no advances would be made, and 
all progress in Love-making would be retarded. 

Women love coimige. He who robs lions of their hearts can 
easily win a woman's. 

" Onr doubts are traitors, 
And make us lose the cood we oft might win 
By fearing to attempt, ** 

says Shakspere ; and Chesterfield remarks d propos^ that " that 
siUy sanguine notion which is firmly entertained here, that one 
Englishman can beat three Frenchmen, encourages and has some- 
times enabled one Englishman in reality to beat two." 

Ovid knew the value of boldness. And although his object 
was not to teach how to win permanent Love, but how to get 
honey without taking care of the bees, yet his psychology is 
correct, and agrees with Goethe's aphorism that '*if thuu a|>- 
proachest women with tenderness thou wiunest them with a word ; 
but he who is bold and saucy comes ofif better." 

Perhaps this is one reason why officers ore so successful in 
Love, for several of them have been known to be bold and saucy. 

Another reason may be that their pursuit is more distinctively 
and exclusively masculine than any other profession. 

What, for instance, could be more delightfully masciiline, ue, 
medisval, than the way in which, according to the Chnmuxm 
TuronenMy William the Conqueror wooed and won Mathilde, the 
daughter of Count Baldwin, Prince of Flanders. At first he was 
unsuccessful, *'for the young girl," says Professor Scherr, ** de- 
clared proudly she would not marry n bastard. Then William 
rode to Bruges, waylaid Mathilde, attacked her when she came 
from church, pulled her long hair, and nialtrcateil her with his 
fists and with kick'<, after which heroic performance he made his 
escape. Strange to say, this peculiar mode of Love-making 
imposed so greatly on the beauty that she declared with tears in 



240 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEKSONAL BEAUTY 

her eyes that she would marry no one but the Nonnan Duke, 
whom she actnaUy did marry. A. parallel case may be found in 
the German Nihelvngenlied (str. 870 and 901)." 

Since, according to the old pliilosophy, human nature, including 
Love and Love-making, is the same at all times and in aU 
countries, it follows that a modern lover, after donning his brass 
buttons, should administer his sweetheart a soimd thrashing. 
That will make her mellow and docile. 



PLEASANT A8S0CIATI0KS 

The Germans, it is well known, are deficient in Gallantry, at 
least in conjugal life, and often treat their wives more as upper 
servants than as companions. Perhaps it was the imoonscious 
desire to justify this conjugal attitude that induced one of the 
leading German psychologists, Horwicz, to pen these lines : — 

'' Love can only be excited by strong and vivid emotions, and 
it is almost immaterial whether tliese emotions are agreeable or 
disagreeable. The Cid wooed the proud heart of Donna Ximene, 
whose father he had slain, by shooting one after another of her 
pet pigeons. Such persons as arouse in us only weak emotions, 
or none at all, are obviously least likely to incline us toward 
them. . . . Our aversion is most apt to be bestowed on individwils 
who, as the phrase goes, are * neither warm nor cold ' ; whereas 
impulsive, choleric people, though they may readily offend us, are 
just as capable of making us warmly attached to them." 

How that modem p^enius, wlio lived two thousand years ago 
and called himself Ovid, would have opened his eyes in wonder at 
this German-mediaeval Art of Love ! He, queer fellow, believed 
that a lover should never be otherwise than pleasantly associated 
in his sweetheart's mind. If she is spoiled by over-indulgence, 
do not, he says in effect, take away her dainties with your o^n 
hand. If she is unwell, do not hand her the bitter medicine iu 
person : " Let your rival mix the cup for her." 

So long as the professional manslaycr is the hijrhest ideal of 
woman's tender heart, lovers will do well to follow me<liseval 
methods of Courtship and make themselves as disagreeable as 
possible. When the millennium arrives, and wholesale duels to 
avenge offended national ** honour" will, like private duels to 
avenge individual "honour," have become obsolete, then the 
Ovidiau psychology of Love will begin to prevail. Then will 
the lover endeavour to avoid all harshness and to be only agree- 
ably associated in the mind of his goddess — through bright. 




HOW TO WIN LOVE 241 

cheerful conversation, harmless and sincere compliments, mutual 
cigojment of excursions and artistic entertainments, the avoidance 
of disagreeable topics, of jealous suspicions and reproaches, etc. ; 
hoping thus to become the nucleus around wliich her dreams of 
matrimonial happiness will gradually crystallise. 



PEBSEYERANCB 

Persistence alone may win a woman where all other means fail 
She may dream of an ideal lover and vainly wait for his appear- 
ance for several years ; and in the meantime the image of her 
ever-present suitor will become brighter and more inviting in her 
mind. For is not perseverance, is not imiiagging devotion to a 
single aim, one of the noblest of manly attributes, a guarantee of 
success in life and the highest test of genuine passion t ' 

Perseverance may neutralise more than one refusaL 

''Have you not heard it said full oft 
A woman's nay doth staud for naught t * 

asks Shakspere ; and Byron teaches that she 

•* Who listens ouce will listen twice* 
Her heart, be sure, is not of ice, 
And one refusal no rebuff." 

The fact that a proposal is the sincerest compliment a man can 
pay a woman, contributes not a little to make a second proposal 
more acceptable. A third should rarely be attempted. The first 
proposal may have been refused more from momentary embarrass- 
ment than from real indifference. The second, being weighted by 
reflection, is generally final, though numerous exceptions have 
occurred ; yet in such cases it is probable that the woman gives 
her hand without her heart, having at last discovereil that her 
heart is impervious to all Love. There are hundreds of thousands 
of such women, and some of them are very sweet and pretty. The 
fault lies in their shaUow education. 



FEIGNED INDIFFEREKCB 

Of every ten disappointed lovers seven might say : Had I been 
a less submissive slave, I might have been a more successful siutor. 

*' It is a rule of manners," says Emerson, " to avoid exaggera- 
tion. . . In man or woman the face and the person lose power 
when they «re on the strain to express admiration." 

B 



242 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTT 

In other words, one of the ways of winning Love is through 
stolidity and indiffereDce, real or fbigned. 

Were women the paragons of subtle insight they are painted, 
they would favour those who are most visibly affected by their 
charms, as being best able to appreciate and cherish them. There 
are such women — a few ; but the miyority are partial coquettes, 
to whom Love is known only as a form of Vanity, who neglect a 
man already won, and reserve their sweetest smiles for those that 
seem less submissive. The artificial dignity under which so many 
young society men hide their mental vacuity has an irresistible 
fascination for the average society girL And the high collar, 
which helps to keep the head in a dignified position, unswerved 
by emotion, is responsible for innumerable conquests. 

Ergo, to win a society girPs heart, wear a high collar, appear 
awfully dignified and stolid, and show not the slightest interest in 
anything. Above all, if you are of superior intelligence, carefully 
conceal tlie fact. Brains are not ''good form" in society; for 
what's the use of having flint where there is no steel to strike a 
spark t " Stolidity," says Schopenhauer, '' does not ii\jure a man 
in a woman's eye : rather will mental superiority, and still more 
genius, as something abnormal, have an unfavourable influence." 

A passage from Diderot's Paradox of Acting (Pollock's transla- 
tion) may be citcil in illustration of Schopenhauer's remark. 

"Take two lovers, both of whom have their declarations to 
make. Who will come out of it best ? Not I, I promise you. 
I remember that I approached the beloved object with fear and 
trembling; my heart beat, my ideas grew confused, my voice 
failed me, I mangled all I said ; I cried yes for no ; I made a 
thousand blunders ; I was illimitably inept ; I was absurd from 
top to toe, and the more I saw it the more absurd I became. 
Meanwhile, under my very eyes, a gay rival, light-hearted and 
agreeable, master of himself, pleased with himself, losing no 
opportunity for the finest flattery, made himself entertaining and 
agreeable, enjoyed himself; he implored the touch of a hand 
which was at once given him, he sometimes caught it without 
asking leave, he kissed it once and again. I the while, alone in 
a comer, avoided a sight which irritated me, stifling my sighs, 
cracking my fingers with grasping my wrists, plunged in melan- 
choly, covered with a cold sweat, I could neither show nor conceal 
my vexation. People say of love that it robs witty men of their 
wit, and gives it to those who had none before : in other words, 
makes some people sensitiv(^ and stupid, others cold and adven- 
turous." 




HOW TO WIN LOVE 2i3 

Another specialist in Loye-lore, Lord Byron, discourses on this 
text in five pithy lines — 

*' Not mnch he kens, I ween, of woman*A breast 
Who thinks that wanton thing is won by sighii 
Do proper homage to thine idol's eyes, 
£ut not toq humbly or she vnll cUspise ; 
Disguise even tenderness^ (^ thou art iriae.*' 

And eren the king of German metaphysicians, old Kant, under- 
stood this feminine foible, which may have been the reason why 
he never found a wife : *' An actor," he says, "who remains un- 
moved, but possesses a powerfiU intellect and imagination, may 
succeed in producing a deeper impression by his feigned emotion 
than he could by real emotion. One who is truly in love is, in 
presence of his beloved, confused, awkward, and anything but 
fascinating. But a clever man who merely plays the r6le of a 
lover may do it so naturally as to easily ensnare his poor victim ; 
simply because, his heart being unmoved, his head remains clear, 
and he can, therefore, make the most of his wits and his cleverness 
in presenting the counterfeit of a lover." 

"The counterfeit of a lover." It is he, then, whom women, 
according to these French, English, and German witnesses, en- 
courage, instead of the true lover. So that women are not only 
less capable of deep Love than men, but they do not even promote 
the growth and survival of Love by favouring the men most deeply 
affected by it And the fault, be it said once more, lies in the 
superficial education not only of their intellect but of their emo- 
tions, for the heart can only be reached and refined through the 
brain. The average woman, being incapable of feeling Love, is 
incapable of appreciating it when she finds it in a man. She sees 
only its ridiculous side ~ and ridicule is fatal, even to Love. Ridi- 
cule killed Love in France, which to-day is the most loveless 
country in the civilised world, its women the most frivolous and 
heartless, — and its popidation gradually diminishing. 

The ridiculous exaggerations of a lover are indeed harmless if 
the girl is in love too, for then she does not see them ; but to one 
who has yet to win Love, as girls are now constituted, they are 
fatal. Perhaps this is the reason why the list of men of genius 
who failed in their truest Love is so extraordinarily large : for, 
their Love being more ardent than that of others, they were unable 
to restrain its excesses and feign indifference ; while another way 
in which they "lost power" was tlirough their extravagant ad- 
miration of Beauty, which put their faces "on the strain" to 
express it 




244 BOMAKTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

Howeyer this may be, loyers should keep in mind this para- 
doxical rule, \vhich follows as a corollary from the foregoing dis- 
cussion : 

In order to win a woman, first cure yourself of your passion, 
then, having won her through feigned indifference (which is easy), 
fall ia love again and bag her before she has liad time to discover 
your change of feeling. 

The only difficulty herein lies in the cure. Should this be 
found impossible, even with the aid of oiur next chapter, one last 
resource is open to the lover. Says La Bruy^re : " Quand Ton a 
assez fait aupr^s d'une femme pour devoir I'engager, il y a encore 
une ressource, qui est de ue plus rien faire ; c'at alon gu'elle fwuM 
i-appeUe" In other words, if you have failed to win her love, with 
all your attentions, change your policy: leave her alone, and she 
will be sure to recall you. 

This trait is not simply the outcome of feminine perverseness 
or coquetry. The explanation lies deeper. Every sensible woman, 
be she ever so vain and accustomed to flattery, is [)ainfiilly con- 
scious of certain defects, physical or mental " Has he discovered 
them t " she will anxiously ask herself when the sly lover suddenly 
withdraws ; " I must recover his good opinioo." So she sets her- 
self the task of fascinating and pleasing him ; and this desire to 
please (Gallantry) being one of the constituent parts of Love, it 
is apt to be soon joined by the other symptoms which make up 
the romantic passion. 

COMPLDIENTS 

"0 flatter me, for love delights in praises," 

exclaims one of Shakspere's characters ; and again^ 

""Flatter and praise, commend, extol their graces ; 
Tho* ne'er so black, say they have angels' faces.'* . 

There is one advantage in writing about the romantic passion. 
Love is such a tissue of paradoxes, and exists in such an endless 
variety of forms and shades that you may say almost anything 
about it you please, and it is likely to be correct. So again here. 
It is true, no doubt, that skill in the art of flattery helps a man 
to win a woman's goodwill, but how does this rhyme with the 
doctrine that Feigned Indifference is the lover's shanjcst weapon 1 

Answer : A compliment is not so much an expression of Love 
as of simple aesthetic admiration ; or else it may spring from the 
flatterer's desire to show oft' his wit. A man may compliment a 
woman for whom he does not feel the slightest Love ; and women 




HOW TO WIN LOVE 245 

know it Therefore even a coquette does not despise and ignore 
a man who flatters her, as she invariably does one whose actions 
brand him as her captive and slave. 

At the same time, since the desire to be considered beautiful 
is the strongest passion in a wouian's heart, the avenue to that 
heart may often be found by a man who can convince her honestly 
that she is considered beautiful by himself and others. For, as 
every man of ability has moments when he doubts his genius, so 
every woman has moments when she doubts her beauty and longs 
to see it in the mirror of a masculine eye. 

The most common mistake of lovers is to compliment a woman 
on her most conspicuous points of beauty. This has very much 
the same effect on her as telling Rubinstein he is a wonderftd 
pianist He knows that better than you do, and has been told so 
so many million times that he i& sick and tired of hearing it again. 
But show him that you have discovered some special subtle detail 
of excellence in his performance or compositions that had escaped 
general notice, and his heart is yours at once and for ever. A 
lover can have no difficulty in discovering such subtle charms in 
his sweetheart, for Cupid, while blinding him to her defects, places 
her beauties under a microscope. 

A man who attends a social gathering comes home pleased, 
not at having heaixl a number of bright things, but in proportion 
to his own success in amusing the company. On the some prin- 
ciple, if you give a girl— especially one who mistrusts her conversii- 
tional ability — a chance to say a single bright thing, she will love 
you more than if you said a hundred clever things to her. 

Sincerity in compliments is essential ; else all is lost. It is 
useless to try to convince a woman with an ugly mouth or nose 
that those features are not ugly. She knows they are ugly, as 
well as Rubinstein knows when he strikes a wrong note. " Very 
ugly or very beautiful women," says Chesterfield, "should be 
flattered on their understanding, and mediocre ones on their 
beauty." 

A clever joke is never out of place. You may intimate to a 
comparatively plain woman that she is good-looking, and if she 
retorts with a sceptical answer, you may snub her and score ten 
points in Love by telling her you pity her poor taste. 

Indeed, the art of successful flattery, especially with modem 
fielf-conscious girls, consists in the ability of giving " a heartfelt 
compliment in the disguise of playful raillery," as Coleridge puts 
it Conundrums are very useful. For instance, Angelina is 
patting a dog. " Do you know why all dogs arc so fond of you 1" 




246 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

asks Adolpbus. Angelina gives it up. "Because dogs ore the 
most intelligent of dl animals." Angelina goes to Paris, and 
AdolphuB eiyoys his last walk with her. They pass a weeping 
willow. "Why ai-e we two like this tree 1" She gives it up again. 
" A weeping willow is graceful and melancholy ; you are gnce- 
ftdy I melancholy." 

" How old am II" asks Angelina. " I don't know. Judging 
by your conversation thirty-five, by your looks nineteen." 

Tell a woman — casually, as it were — of the effect of her 
charms on a third party, and it will please her more than a bushel 
of your neatest compliments. As Lessing remarks, Homer gives 
us a more vivid sense of Helen's beauty by noting its effect even 
on the Trojan elders, than he could have done by the most minute 
enumeration of her charms. Put your flatteries into actions rather 
than words — " mettre la flatt^rie dans les actions et non en paroles " 
— is Balzac's advice. But " flattery in actions " is simply another 
name for Gallantry. 

There is no danger that the subtlest compliment will ever 
escape notice. In the discovery of pi-oise the commonest mind has 
the quickness of genius. 

LOVX-LXTTEBS 

The great trouble with compliments is that they have an an- 
noying habit of occurring to the mind about ten or twenty minutes 
after the natural opportunity for getting them off has passed 
away. It is here that Love-letters come to the rescue. They 
enable a man to excogitate the most excruciatingly subtle and 
hyperbolic compliments, and then "lead up to them" most 
natitmlly. 

There is an old superstition that Love-letters must be inco- 
herent trash to be genuine evidences of passion. When Eeats'a 
Love-letters to Fanny Brawne were sold at auction, a spicy jour- 
nalist commented as follows on the occasion : — 

" It is. open to question whether, like so many of the letter- 
writers of the age of which Keats inherited the traditions, the 
singer of Endymion had not a shrewd eye to postentv when he 
wrote the laboured compositions which the world regards as the 
record of hia wooing. The manuscript is painfully correct, the 
pimctuation worthy of a printer's reader, the capitals much nicer 
than fiery lovers usually form, and the periods rounded with pain- 
ful care. Like so many cultivators of the art of letter-writing, 
the sensitive poet, 'who was snuffed out by a review,' seems to 




HOW TO WIN LOVE 247 

hare copied the gnsb, which last week sold for ten times more 
than Endymion fetched, before he committed it to the fourpenny 
post^ Hence the yeriest scrawl, the most illegible postcard of 
these times is, as an index to the writer's character, infinitely more 
valuable than the ponderous pieces of rhetoric which last century 
passed for love-making between Strephon, who quotes the elegant 
Tully, and Cliloe, who makes free use of the ' Elegant Extracts.' 
Duller fustian than such priggish love-letters it is hard to conceive. 
They remind one of nothing so much as the epistles copied out of 
The Compute Letter- Writer, and must recall to some middle-aged 
men certain painful experiences of those salad days when their 
young affections suffered a sudden blight by missives of so severely 
correct an order that they suggest the idea of having undergone 
maternal supervision." 

Yet why, pray, should Keats not have written his Love-letters 
80 carefully and copied them so neatly ) Is it not a fact that 
when a man is in love he cares more to make a ]ileasing impression 
on one particular person than on all the rest of the world com- 
bined 1 and that even his ambition and fame, for which he labours 
so hard, seem valuable in his eyes solely as a means of winning 
Her Love 1 And if Love is a deejier passion, even in a poet, than 
ambition, why should he not go to the extent even of takitirj nates 
and utilising his very best conceits in his Love-letters ? The 
truth is, in the writing of Love-letters ever}'thing depends on 
the man's habits. If he is accustomed to writing carelessly, his 
Love-letters will probably be hasty and slovenly enough to suit 
orthodox notions on this subject. But if he is a literary artist, 
he will probably ])olish his billet s-doux more than anything else 
con amore, considering the probable effect on her mind of every 
sentence. And although the thought of future publication may 
enter his mind, it will appear as the veriest trifle compared witli 
the more important object of winning a woman's Love by a 
display of complimentary wit and passionate protestations of un- 
dying affection. 

Sir Richard Steele evidently did not believe that Love-letters, 
to be genuine, must be slovenly. In one of his letters to Miss 
Scurlock he apologises for not having time to revise uhat he had 
written. In another letter he exclaims : " How art thou, oh my 
soul, stolen from thyself ! how is all my attention broken ! my 
books are blank paper, and my friends intniders." Again : " It 
is the hardest thing in the world to be in love, and yet attend 
business. As for me, all that speak to* find me out, and I must 
lock myself up, or other people will do it for me. A gentleman 



218 ROMANTIC LOTS AND PERSONAL BKAUTT 

asked me this momin^ ^What news from Holland t' and I 
answered, ^She is exquisitely handsome.' Another desired to 
know when I had been last at Windsor ; I replied, ' She designs 
to go with me.' " And onoe more : ^ It is to my lonely charmer I 
owe that many noble ideas are contimially affixed to my words and 
actions : it is the natural effect of that generous fiassion to create 
in the admirers some similitude of the ol^ject admired ; thus, my 
dear, am I every day to improve from so sweet a comfianion.'' . 

The first score or so of Eeats's Love-letters have the ring of 
true gold. Here are a few specimens in which the thermometer 
of endearments rises steadily from My Dearest Lsdy, through My 
Sweet Giri, My Dear Girl, My Dearest Girl, My Sweet Fanny, 
to My Sweet Love, Dearest Love and Sweetest Fanny. In the 
very first letter he writes : — 

^Ask yourself, my love, whether you are not very cruel to 
have so entrammelled me, so destri>yed my fr-eedouL Will you 
confess this in tlie letter you must write immediately ? and do all 
you can to console me in it — make it rich as a draught of poppies 
to intoxicate me — write the softest words and loss them, that I 
may at least touch my lips where yours have been. For myself, 
if I do not know how to express my devotion to so fair a form, I 
want a brighter word than bright, a fairer word than fair. I 
almost wish we were butterflies, and lived but three summer days 
— three such days with you I could fill with more delight than 
fifty common years could ever contain." 

^All I can bring you is a swooning admiration of your 
beauty." 

^ I have two luxuries to brood over in my walks — your loveli- 
ness and the hour of my death. that I could have possession 
of them both in the same minute." 

" I hate the worid : it batters too much the wings of my self- 
will, and would I could take a sweet poison from your lips to send 
me out of it. From no others would I take it." 

" At Winchester I shall get your letters more readily ; and it 
being a cathedral city, I shall hare a pleasure, always a great one 
to me when near a cathedral, of reading them during the service 
up and dowu the aisle." 

^MJl this is in the true Shaksperian key of Romantic Love, 
as are the Love-letters of Bums, Byron, Moore, Heine, Burger, 
Lenau, and most other poets. Room must be made here for a 
few extracts from Lenau*s letters to bis love, which, in some 
re.-'pects, resemble those of Keats— equally polished, poetic, deep, 
and sincere : — 



HOW TO "WLN LOVE 249 

" It makes roe melancholy to see how incapable I am of sym- 
pathising with the pleasures of my friends. My Love goes out afar 
towards you ; it he^irkens and listens and stares in the distance for 
you, and takes no note of all the love by which it is surrounded 
here. I am truly ilL I constantly think of you alone and death. 
It often seems to me as if my time had expired. I cannot write 
poetiy, I cannot rejoice in anything, cannot hope, can only think 
of you and death. Tlie other day I wrote to you to take good 
care of your health — though I myself feel so little desire to live." 

'* The whole evening I was unable to think of anything but of 
you and the possibility of losing you. The large crowd of people 
seemed to have asscuibled on purpose to show me most painfully 
what a mere nothing the world would be to me if I had to fiart 
from you. I constantly saw but your face, your lovely, divine 
eye." 

'' Alexander wishes me to go to the baths at Leuk with him. 
He is quite ill But I cannot go. If I have to see Switzerland 
without you, I prefer not to see it at all." 

" My iK)etic composition is in a bad way. Though a thought 
sprouts in me here and there, it withers before it has reached 
maturity. When I go to see you I shall bring along a dry wreath 
of prematurely-faded poetic blossoms, and make them revive in 
your presence, as there are warm fountains dipped into which faded 
flowers blossom again." 

" I have lost all pleasure in other people when you are absent 
If you had only been at Weinsberg ! Even the ^olian harps did 
not produce the usuxd impression on me." It is noticeable how 
the overtone of Monopoly is accented in all these plaints. 

''I have foimd in your companionship more evidence of an 
eternal life than in all my investigations and studies of nature. 
Whenever, in a hnppy hour, I l>elieved I had reached the climax 
of Love and the proper moment for death, since a more delicious 
moment could never follow : it was on each occasion an illusion, 
for another hour followed in which I loved you still more deeply. 
These ever new, ever deeper abysses of lite convince me of its 
immortality. To-day I saw in your eyes the full measure of the 
divine. Most distinctly did I perceive to^ay that the swelling and 
sinking of the eye is the breathing of the souL In an eye of such 
beauty as yours we can see, as in a j)rophetic hieroglyphic, the 
essence ot which some day our immortal body will consist. If I 
die, I shall depart rich, for I have seen what is most beautiful in 
the world." 

" The rose you gave ne at parting has a most delidoiiB ft^ 



250 UOMANTIC LOYE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

granoe, as if it were a Qood-Night from you ! Sleep well, dearest 
heart 1 Preserve the second rose as a memento. I love you 
immeasurably." 

No doubt the average Love-letters reail in courts of justice in 
breach of promise cases, to the intense amusement of the audience, 
are very different in character from these poetic effusions. But to 
say that, because tlie average Love-letters are ludicrous, therefore 
all Love-letters, to be genuine, must be ludicrous and incoherent, 
is the very Bedlam of absurdity. What makes common Love- 
letters so laughable is the fact that the writer, previously a para- 
gon of prosiness, suddenly gets some poetic fancies and tries to put 
them into language. But as the writing of poetry — ^in verse or 
prose — is a more difficult art than piano-playing, first attempts 
cannot be otherwise than harrowiug or amusing. On the other 
hand, just as a pianist can never improvise so soulfully as when he 
is in love, so a poet will write his best prose in the letters addressed 
to his love ; the only ludicrous feature being that extravagant and 
exclusive admiration of one person which is the very essence of 
Love. 

Surely Hawthonie was neither ** insincere" nor "thinking of 
posterity " when he finished one of his Love-letters with this poetic 
conceit, expressed in his best prose style : — 

" When we shall be endowed with spiritual bodies I think they 
will be so constituted that we may send thoughts and feelings any 
distance, in no time at all, and transfuse them warm and fresh into 
the consciousness of those we love. Oh, what happiness it would 
be, at this moment, if I could be conscious of some purer feelinir, 
some more delicate sentiment, some lovelier fantasy than could 
possibly have had its birth in my own nature, and therefore be 
Aware that you were thinking through my mind and feeling through 
my heart ! Perhaps you possess this power already." 

This is true epistolary Love-making — the sublimated essence of 
complimentary Gallantry. 

L0VE-CHA.BM3 FOB W03IEN 

As women are not allowed to make Love actively, tbey resort 
to various cunning arts with which they indirectly reach the hard 
hearts of men. IVIagic is the most potent of these arts, and always 
has been so considered by women ; for, curiously enough, one finds 
on looking over the folklore of various nations, ancient and mo<lem, 
that in nineteen cases out of twenty where a Love-chann is spoken 
of, it is one used by women to win the affection of men. 



HOW TO WIN LOVE 251 

Probably the real reason why the vast majority of women are 
80 corioufily indifferent to the hygienic arts of increasing and pre- 
serving Personal Beauty — as shown in their devotion to tight- 
lacing, their aversion to fresh air, sunshine, and brisk exercise — is 
because they know they can infallibly win a man's Love by the use 
of some simple powder or potion. It is well known that the 
Roman poet Lucretius took his life in an amorous fit caused by a 
love-potion ; and Lucullus lost his reason in the same way. The 
grandest musical work in existence would never have been written 
had not Brangane given to Tristan and Isolde a love-potion which 
was so powerful that it made not only both the victims die of the 
fever of Love, but united them even after death : " For from the 
grave of Tristan sprang a plant which descended into the grave of 
Yscult. Cut down thrice by order of the Cornish king, the irre- 
pressible vegetable bloomed verdant as ever next morning, and 
even now casts its shadow over the tombs of the lovers — 

** ' An ay it grew, an ay it threw, 
As they would fain be one.* '* 

In mediseval times Personal Beauty was such a rare thing, and 
created sucli havoc among men, that the unhappy possessors of it 
were frequently accused of using forbidden Love-charms, and burnt 
at the stake as witches. 

To-day, thanks to our superior sanitary and educational arrange- 
ments, B^uty is such a common affair that it has lost all its effect 
on the masculine heart ; hence girls should carefully note a few of 
the ways by which a man may be irresistibly fascinated. 

Italian girls practise the folloii^ing method : A lizard is caught, 
drowned in wine, dried in the sun and reduced to powder, some of 
which is tlm>wn on the obdurate man, who thenceforth is theirs 
for evermora 

A favourite Slavonic device is to cut the finger, let a few drops 
of her blood run into a glass of beer, and mvke the adored man 
drink it unknowingly. The same method is current in Hesse and 
Oldenburg, according to Dr. Ploss. In Bohemia, tiie girl who is 
afraid to wound her finger may substitute a few drops of bat's 
blood. 

Cases are known where invocations to the moon were followed 

by the bestowal of true Love. And if a girl will address the new 

moon as follows — 

" All hail to thee, moon ! All lioil to thee I 
Prithee, good moon, reveal to me 
ThiM niglit who my husband shall be,** 

she will dream of him that very night 



252 BOMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

A four-leaTed dover secretly placed in a man's shoes will make 
him the devoted lover of the woman who puts it in. 

" Inside a frog is a certain crooked bone, which, when cleaned 
and dried over the fire on St John's Eve, and then ground fine 
and given in food to the lover, will at once win his love for tlie 
administerer." 

If a girl sees a man washing his hands — say at a picnic — and 
lends him her apron or handkerchief to dry them, he will forthwith 
declare himself her amorous slave to eternity. 

There are men, however, who, owing to some constitutional 
defect or inherited anomaly, remain unaffected by these and similar 
arts. Should any woman be so foolish us to crave such a man's 
Love, she will do well to bear in mind that Vanity is the back- 
door by which every man's Juart may be entered. Thus Byron says 
of a Venetian flame of his : '* But her great' merit is finding out 
mine — there is nothing so amiable as discemment." *' Let her be," 
says Thackeray, " if not a clever woman, an appreciator of clever- 
ness in others, which, perhaps, clever folks like better." '• Ne'er," 

says Scott, 

*' * Was flattery lost on poet's ears : 
A simple race ! they waste their toil 
For the vain tribute of a smile.' '* 

Rousseau's last love was inspired by a woman's admiration of his 
writings. Balzac, celibate for many years, was at last captured by 
a woman who returned to a hotel room for a volume of his works 
she had left there, informing him, without suspecting who he was, 
that she never travelled without it and could not live without it. 

" The story of the marriage of Lamartine," says the author of 
Salad for the Solitary^ '* is also one of romantic interest. The 
lady, whose maiden name was Birch, was possessed of considerable 
property, and when past the bloom of youth she became passion- 
ately enamoured of the poet from the perusal of his Meditations, 
For some time she nursed this sentiment in secret, and, l)eing 
apprised of the embarrassed state of his affairs, she wrote him, 
tendering him the bulk of her fortune. Touched with this re- 
markable proof of her generosity, and supposing it could only be 
caused by a preference for himself, he at once made an offer of his 
hand and heart He judged rightly, and the poet was promptly 
accepted." 

S}Tnpathy, beauty, wit, elegant manners, amiability — these are 
woman's arrows of Love, ever sure of their aim, " She loved me 
for the dangers I had passed," says Othello, " and I loved her that 
she did pity them." Or, as Professor Dowden comments on this 




HOW TO WIN LOVE 25S 

passage, ''the beautiful Italian girl is fascinated by the regal 
strength and grandeur, and tender protectiveness of the Moor. 
He is charmed by the sweetness, the sympathy, the gentle disposi- 
tion, the gracious womanliness of Desdemona/' 

''The </racwu8 womatdineu of Desdemona.'' There lies the 
secret — the charm of charms. It is fortunate that the political 
viragoes of to-day, who would remove woman from her domestic 
sphere, have opposed to them the greatest force in the universe — 
the power of marC$ Love ! When they have overcome tliat, they 
will find it easy to dam the current of the Niagara Eiver, and curb 
the force of the ocean's countless breakei's. 

PBOPOSINO 

Countless as the stars, and only too apposite, are the jokes 
about lovers who evolve masterpieces of eloquence wherewith to 
]ay their hearts at their idol's feet ; but who, when the crucial 
moment of the trial arrives, like Beckmesser in Wagner's comic 
opera, stutter out the veriest parody of their song of Love. And 
no wonder, considering what is at stake ; for the Yes or No decides 
whether the lover is to be — literally — the happiest or the im- 
happiest of all meu for weeks or months to come. 

Ovid cautions a man not to select a sweetheart in the twilight 
or lamplight, since '* spots are invisible at night and every fault 
is overlooked; at that time almost every woman is held to be 
beautiful." 

But proposing is a different matter from selecting. When once 
the choice is made, and her choice alone remains to be decided, 
twilight is the only proper time to " pop the question." For n 
maiden's independence and Coyness are inversely related to the 
degree of light In the morning, in broad daylight, she can boldly 
face even the terrible thought of being left an old maid ; but in 
the twilight she feels the need of a man's protection, and it is at 
that time that the imagination is least deaf tvo the whispered and 
self- suggested fancies of Romantic Love and wedded bliss. A 
man who proposes in the morning deserves, therefore, to be dis- 
appointed. 

Nature herself has provided a safeguard against morning pro- 
posals. No woman is so beautiful in the daytime as in the even- 
ing ; and the moon's romantic associations are largely due t3 its 
magic effect of beautifying the complexion and features of women, 

and thus urging the lover's courage to the point of amomiw rom- 
lession. 




S6i BOMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUT7 

There is still another reason why a tender and considerate 
lover should propose in the chiaroscuro of subdued lights to spore 
her blushes — 

" Bat 'neath jon crimson tree. 
Lover to listening maid might breathe his flame, 
Nor mark, within its roseate canopy, 
Her blosh of maiden shame. " — Bkyant. 

Not many yea» ago a plan was described in the newspi^rs l^ 
which a number of Southern youths who had not the courage to 
propose were happily mated and wedded. An elderly person was 
selected, vowed to eternal secrecy, and to him each youth and 
maiden who was in love confided in writing the name of tlie be- 
loved. Those couples that had chosen one another were informed 
of the fact, and went away rejoicing, arm in arm. 

A fairy story, on the face of- it A woman would sooner cut off 
her hand than write with it the secret of her Love before she 
knew it was retiuned ; and tliat man that hath a tongue is, I say, 
no man, if he is afraid to ask for a woman's hand — or to take it 
unasked, and let it respond to the touching question. *'Love 
sought is good, but given unsought is better," snys Shokspere. 
The only true proposals are those where spoken words are dis- 
pensed with ; \^here the magnetic thrill of the hands, the eloquence 
of the tell-tale eyes, draw the lovers into mutual embr«ice, and lips 
become glued on lips in unpremeditated ecstasy. 

DIAGNOSIS OB SIGNS OF LOVB 

Though women may often feel in doubt concerning the in- 
tentions of men who pay them attentions, they cannot help recog- 
nising deep Love in a man instantly; for the symptoms, as described 
in a previous chapter, are absolutely unmistakable. A woman, 
too, who loves deeply, can hardly help betraying herself, by the 
sly opportunities she finds for meeting her lover (purely accidental, 
of course), and by the special pains she takes to make it clear to 
her friends that she does noc care for that man certainly; often 
also by the fact, pointed out by Jean Paul, that *' Love increases 
man's delicacy and lessens woman's"; tempting her occasionally 
to throw away all prudence and regard for public opinion, in the 
wild intoxication of her passion and her confidence in her lover. 

But in cases of doubt — how is a lover to decide whether it is 
safe and worth while to proceed f A woman's Coyness, of course, 
means nothing, and may have been brought on by an assumption 
of excessive confidence and boldness on the man's part. Girls are 



HOW TO CUBE LOVE 

like wild tx>lt8. Tliey may be safely approached to a certain dis- 
tance, whence one step more will cause them to stampede ; bat 
stand still at that point, and before long they will cast away fear 
and meet you half-way. 

Trifles are the only safe tests of Love. For they are not so 
apt as weighty words and actions to be the outcome of a deliberate 
coquettish desire to deceive. To ascertain if you are loved — and 
this holds true for both sexes — allude (with a careless assumption 
of indifference) to some trifling details of previous conversation or 
common experience. If she (or he) remembers them all, especially 
if of remote occurrence, the chances are you are loved. 

Shakspere evidently bad this in mind when he wrote— 

* If thou remembcrest not the slightest folly 
That ever love did make thee ruu into. 
Thou host not loved." 



HOW TO CURE LOVE 

All hope abandon ye who enter here. It is a terrible haunt 
of pessimism, for disappointed lovers only. All others will please 
pass it by, for the object of this book is to advocate the cause of 
Love, not to weaken it. Only when all hope of reciprocation is 
abandoned, should the tender plant ever be crushed underfoot 

An exception must be made in favour of those hopeful lovers 
who merely wish to cure themselves in order to improve their 
chances of winning, as explained in the last chapter, under the 
head of Feigned Indifference. 

It is useless to quote to a rejected lover Rosalind's philosophy : 
" Our poor world is almost six thousand years old, and in all this 
time there was not any man died in his own person, videlicet, in a 
love cause. . . . Men have died from time to time, and worms 
have eaten them, but not for love." Useless to tell him, as 
Emerson does, that it is not a disgrace to love unrequitedly : ** It 
never troubles the sun that some of his rays fall wide and vain 
into ungrateful space, and only a small part on the reflecting 
planet." 

To all such efforts at consolation the poor wretch may retort 
with Shakspere: '* Every one may master a grief but he who 
has it." Yet he may, at any rate, endeavour to '* patch his 
grief" with the following reflections, based on the experience of 
centuries^ 



tStf ROMANTIC LOTS AND FEBSONAL BEAUTT 



ABSSNCB 

Two thousand yean ago Ovid advised the readers of his 
Semedta Amoria who wished to cure themselves of an unwelcome 
attachment to flee the capital, to travel, hunt, or till the soil till 
all danger of a reUpse should be averted. ** Out of sig^t, out of 
mind," wrote Thomas k Eempia ; and this theme has been varied 
bj a hundred writers in prose and verse. ''Love is a local 
anguish," exclaims Coleridge ; '^ I am fifty miles away and cm not 
half so miserable." Garew puts it tbub — 

** Then fly betimes, for only tbev 
Conquer love, that run a^n'ay. ' 

Even the unspeakable Turk has a proverb advising a lover to fly 
to the mountains. The Himalayas ore jirobably meant, for no 
other chain would be high enough to allay the anguish of a poly- 
gamist rejected by a whole harem. 

On the other hand, *' I find that absence still increases love,** 
wrote Charles Hopkins in the seventeenth century; and Bayly 
gave this paradox the familiar form of *' absence makes the heart 
grow fonder" — to which a modem realistic wag has adde<l the 
coda " of the other man." '' La Rochefoucauld has well remarked," 
says Hume, "that absence destroys weak passions, but increases 
strong ones ; as the wind extinguishes a candle but blows up a 
fire." 

This simile is not very appropriate, nor is the statement un- 
questionable. It is more correct to say that short absence increases 
Love, while long absence cures it. 

There are two ways in which a short absence favours Love : 

Like the thirst of a man who would wean himself of strong 
liquor, the lover's ardour is at first increased when he is placeil 
where he can no longer drink in the intoxicating sight of her 
beauty. Time is needed to annihilate the maddening memory of 
that pleasure. 

Secondly, short absence favours the idealising process in the 
lover's mind. Hemuved from the corrective influence of her actual 
presence, his imagination may abandon itself to the delightful task 
of painting a gloriously unreal counterfeit of her charms — which is 
oil in the flames. 

This idealising process is facilitated by the strange difficulty 
which most people — and lovers in particular — experience in recalling 
the features of those specially dear to them. 




HOW TO CURE LOVE 257 

Given sufficient time to fix the idealised image of the beloved 
in the memory, and a cure may be effected througli the shock sub- 
sequently felt on comparing this image with the greatly inferior 
reality. 

TRAVEL 

It is safer, however, not to risk a return, but to avoid sight of 
her altogether for several years. The advantages of travel are 
twofold, not to mention the security from the danger of an 
accidental meeting. At home the surrounding world is too familiar 
to afford distraction, whereas in a strange place every object claims 
the attention and diverts the mind from its amorous reveries. 
More important still is the fact that in a foreign country the 
strangeness of national pliysiognomy invests all women with a 
heightened charm, so that it is easier to find an antidote by falling 
in love anew. 

EMPLOYMENT 

'* Great spirits and great business do keep out the weak passion 
of love," said Bacon ; but long before him Ovid knew that Leisure 
is Cupid's chief ally. " If you desire to end your love, employ 
yourself and you will conquer ; for Amor flees business." He 
advises military service, agriculture, and hunting as excellent 
diversions. 

Poetry and music, however, as the same poet tells us, and all 
other occupations tending to stir up the tender feelings, are to be 
carefully avoided. Novel -reading is particularly bod, for to 
imagine another's Love is to revive your own. '' Lotte Hartmann 
played some melodies of Bellini on the piano this evening," writes 
Lenau ; " I ought to avoid music when I am away from you, for it 
arouses in me a longing and an anguish of consuming violence. I 
feel how my heart sadly shrinks within itself, and unwillingly 
continues to beat" 

MABEIED MISEBT 

Surely the thought that his romantic adoration will cease with 
marriage ought to cure a rejected wooer. Unquestionably, marriage 
is the best cure of Love. For though cynics are wrong in claim- 
ing tliat wedlock changes Love to indifference, it does change it to 
conjugal affection, which is an entirely different group of emotions. 
To the rejected lover, unfortunately, matrimony is not available as 
a cure of his Love. But he may give his overheated imagination 
an ice-bath by reflecting on the dark side of coxyugal life, the 

8 




258 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTT 

promised blira of which has been described as a mirage hj so 
many great minds. 

Professor Jowett thus discourses on how a modem Sokrates 
in a cynical mood might discourse on the seamy side of married 
life:— 

^ How the inferior of the two drags the other down to his or 
her level ; how the cares of a fiimily ' breed meanness in their 
souls.' • . . They cannot undertake any noble enterprise, such as 
makes the names of men and women £&mous, from domestic con- 
siderations. Too late their eyes are opened; they were taken 
unawares, and desire to part company. Better, he would say, a 
' little love at the beginning,' for heaven might have increased it ; 
but now their foolish fbndiuMS has changed into mutual dislike. 
• • • How much nobler, in conclusion he will say, is friendship, 
which does not receive unmeaning praises from novelists and 
poets, is not exacting or exclusive, is not impaired by familiarity, 
is much less expensive, is not so likely to take offence, seldom 
changes, and may be dissolved from time to time without the 
assistance of the courts." 

Dr. Johnson, in a letter to Baretti, points out the difference 
between Love and Marritige : 

''In love, as in every other passion of which hope is the 
essence, we ought always to remember the uncertainty of events. 
There is, indeed, nothing tliat so much seduces reason from 
vigilance as the thought of passing life with an amiable woman ; 
and if all would happen that a lover fancies, I know not what 
other terrestrial happiness would deserve pursuit. But love and 
mamage are different states. Those who are to suffer the evils 
together, and to suffer often for the sake of one another, soon lose 
t/iat tcndemesB of look and that benevolence of mind which arose 
from the participation of unmingled pleasure and successive 
amusement.'' 

" Lose that tenderness of look !" Have you reflected that it is 
that exquisite tenderness of look which chiefly fascinated you, and 
have you not noticed that, as Johnson implies, married people 
rarely regard one another with that look which constantly intoxi- 
cated them during Courtship 1 For " beauty soon grows familiar 
to the lover, fades in his eye, and polls upon the sense,'' says 
Addison ; or, as Hazlitt puts it, ** though familiarity may not breed 
contempt, it takes off the edge of admiration." 

** With most marriages," says Goethe, " it is not long till things 
assume a very piteous lo^jk." Raleigh : " If thou marry beauty, 
thou bindest thyself all thy life ibr that which, perchance, will 



HOW TO CUBE LOVE 259 

Ddtber last nor please thee one year." Seneca : ** Beauty is snob 
a fleeting blossom, bow can wisdom rely upon its momentary 
deligbtf" HoweUis: "Marian Butler was at that period full of 
tbose airs of self-abnegation with which women adorn tbemselTes 
in the last days of betrothal and the first of marriage, and nerer 
afterwards." Alexander Walker : " It looks as if woman were in 
))06se8sion of most enjoyments, and as if man had only an illusion 
held out to him to make him labour for her." 

Montaigne: ''As soon as women are ours we are no longer 
theirs." " The land of marriage has this peculiarity that strangers 
are desirous of inhabiting it, while its natural inhabitants would 
willingly be banished thence." Boucicault : " I wish that Adam 
had died with all his ribs in his body." De Finod : " Marriage is 
the sunset of love." Goldsmith : " Many of the English marry in 
order to have one happy month in their lives." Hood: "You 
can't wive and thrive both in the same year." Southey : " There 
are three things a wise man will not trust, — the wind, the sun- 
shine of an April day, and a woman's plighted faith." Byron : 
" I remarked in my illness the complete inertion, inaction, and 
destruction of my chief mental faculties. I tried to rouse them, 
and yet could not — and this is the Soul/// I should believe 
that it was married to the body if they did not sympathise so much 
with each other." CoUey Cibber : " Oh, how many torments lie iu 
the small circle of a wedding-ring 1 " Alphonse Karr : "Women for 
the most part do not love us. They do not choose a man because 
they love him, but because it pleases them to be loved by him." 

Lady Montagu : " It goes far toward reconciling me to being a 
woman, when I reflect that I am thus in no immediate danger of 
ever marrying one." Schopenhauer: "It is well known that 
happy marriages are rare." " The lover, contrary to expectation, 
finds himself no happier than before." Byron — 

" Tliink you if Laura bad been Petrarch's wife 
He womd have written soonets all his life 7 " 

Burton : " Paul commended marriage, yet he preferred a single 
life." Buxton : " Juliet was a fool to kill herself, for in three 
months she'd have married again, and been ^lad to be quit of 
Romeo." Heine: "The music at a marriage procession always 
reminds me of the music which leads soldiers to battle." Lessing — 

" £in einzig boses Weib gibt's hoclistens in dor Welt, 
Kur schade dass cin joder es fiir das seine htUt." 

" Of shreirish women in the world there's snrcly only one, 
A pity, though, that every man says she's the* wife he won." 



2«0 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

Seidell : " Marriage is a desperate thing. The fVogs in iBsop were 
extremely wise ; they hnd a great mind to some water, but they 
woidd not leap into tho well, because they could not get out 
again." 

When the Pope heard of Father Hyacinthe's marriage, says 
Cheales, he exclaimed : *' The saints be praised ! the rene^oide has 
taken his punishment into his own hands. Truly the ways of 
Providence are inscrutable 1 " 



FEBONINB nrFxniosiTT 

Why are women so mysterious, so inscrutable? Cynics say 
because you cannot calculate what they will do, as they have no 
fixed compass by which they steer, i.e. no character. But Heine 
takes up their defence. For from having no character, he says, 
they have a new one every day. 

The world's opinion of women is best revealed in the crystallised 
wisdom, based on experience, called proverbs. It will soothe the 
wounded lover's heart to note the unanimity with which wonmu's 
foibles arc dwelt on in the proverbs of all nations from ancient 
Greece to modem China and France. To give only three instances 
of a thousand that may be found in any collection of pix> verbs : 
** Women," says a French proverb, " have quicksilver in tlie brain, 
wax in the heart." The old Greek poet Xenarchus sang, " Happy 
the cicadas live, since they all have voiceless wives." '* There is 
no such poison in the green snake's mouth or in the hornet's sting 
as in a woman's heart," says a Chinese maxim. 

But it is not necessary to rely on such anonymous collections 
of wisdom as proverbs to convince a man of the folly of linking 
himself for life with such a miserable inferior being as a woman. 
From Plato to Darwin there is a consensus of opinion as to woman's 
vast inferiority to man. 

According to Plato, says Mr. Grote, "men are superior to 
women in eveiything ; in one occupation as well as in another." 
Cookeiy and weaving having been named as two apparent excep- 
tions, Plato denies woman's superiority even in these. 

"The chief di:itinction in the intellectual powers of the two 
sexes," says Darwin, " is shown by man's attaining to a higher 
eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman — whether 
requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use 
of the senses and hands. If two lists were made of the most 
eminent men and women in poetry, painting, 8culptm*e, music 
(inclusive both of composition and performance), history, science^ 




HOW TO CURE LOVE 261 

and philosophy, with half a dozen names under each subject, the 
two lists would not bear comparison.'' 

'* I found, as a rule," says Mr. Galton, " that men have more 
delicate powers of discrimination than women, and the business of 
life seemi to confiim this view. The tuners of pianofortes are meu, 
and so, I understand, are the tasters of tea aud wine, the sorters of 
wool, and the like. These latter occupations are well salaried, 
because it is of the first moment to the merchant that he should 
be rightly advised on the real value of what he is about to purchase 
or to sell If the sensitivity of women were superior to that of 
men, the self-interest of merchants would lead to their being 
always employed ; but as the reverse is the case, the opposite sup- 
position is likely to l>e the true one. 

"Lailies rarely distinguish the merits of wine at the dinner- 
table, and though custom allows them to preside at the breakfast- 
table, men think them, on the whole, to be far from successful 
makers of tea aud coffee." 

This disposes of the old myth that women are more sensitive 
than men. And De Quincy, in his essay on False Dutinctions, 
refutes the equally absurd notion that ** women have more imagina- 
tion than men." He comes to the coucluision that, '^ as to poetry 
in its highest form, I never yet knew a woman, nor yet will believe 
that any has existed, who could rise to an entire sympathy with 
what is most excellent in that art." 

One proof of this statement lies in the fact that as a rule men 
of genius have been refusetl by the women they loved most deeply. 

Regarding the emotional sphere, we have seen that it is only in 
parentid and conjugal feeling that woman surpasses man. In 
Bomimtic Love, in all the impersonal feelings for art and nature, 
she is vastly his inferior. Her superficial education gives her no 
intellectual interests, and that is the reason why so many married 
men prefer the club and friendship to home and conjugal devotion 
—even as did the ancient Greeks. 

It is in the seventh bonk of the Xatrs, p. 806, that Plato 
remarks : " The legislator ought not to let the female sex live softly 
and waste money and have no order of life, while he takes the 
utmost care of the male sex, and leaves half of life only blest with 
happiness, when he might have made the whole state happy." 

Is it not humiliating to man, who loves to call himself a 
*^ reasoning animal," to find that, after so many centuries, one of 
our greatest and most liberal thinkers, Professor Huxley, is obliged 
to write in this same Platonic tone that '* the present system of 
female education stands self-condemned, as inherently absurd," 



282 roma:vTIc love and personal beauty 

becftiwe it fosters and exag^rates instead of removing woman's 
natural disadvantages? ''With few insignificant exceptions/' 
Professor Huxley continues, " girls have been educated either to 
be dnidges or toys beneath man, or a sort of angels above him ; 
the highest ideal aimed at oscillating between Clarchen and Beatrice. 
The possibility that the ideal of womanhood lies neither in the fair 
saint nor in the fair sinner ; that women are meant neither to be 
men's guides nor their playthings, but their comrades, their fellows, 
and their equals, so far as Nature puts no bar io their equality, 
does not seem to have entered into the minds of those who havo 
had the conduct of the education of girls " (Lay SermotUy p. 25). 

Woman, in short, is a failure ; and let any disappointed lover 
ask himself, Is it businesslike to begin lifo with a failure t 

FOCUSSINO HEB FAULTS 

Love being a magic emotional microscope which ignites pnssion 
by magnifying the most beautiful features of the beloved, leaving 
everything else indistinct and blurred, it follows that the simplest 
way of arresting this flame is to diange the focus of tJiis mia'oscopey 
to fix the attention deliberately on her faults, while throwing her 
merits and charms into an unfavourable light. 

This method is too self-evident and effective not to have occurred 
to the ingenious Ovid. He advises the lover who wishes to be 
cured to study the girFs charms in a hypercritical spirit. Call her 
stout if she is plump, black if she is dark, lean if slender. Ask 
her to sing if she has no talent for music, to talk if unskilled iu 
conversation, to dance if awkward, and if her teeth are bad, tell 
her funny stories to make her laugh. 

Her mental faults require no microscope to reveal them. Cer- 
tainly her taste is execrable, for does she not prefer that vulgar 
fellow Jones to you, one of the cleverest fellows that ever conde- 
scended to be bom on this miserable planet ] 

What folly, indeed, to love such a girl ! What fascinates you 
is simply the mysterious brilliancy of her coal-black eyes — of which 
you may find ten thousand duplicates in Itflly or Spain. Don't 
you see that no flashes of wit are ever mirrored in those eyesi 
that, though beautiful, they are soulless, like a black pansy ? that 
they look at one pei-son as at another, incapable of expressing 
shades and modulations of tender emotion, because the soul of 
which they are the windows has never been, and never will be, 
moved by Love 1 

She never thinks of anything but her own pleasure; does 




HOW TO CURE LOVB 263 

Bothing but visit the dressmaker and the theatre and read novels ; 
never thinks it her duty to provide for her future husband's com- 
fort and happiness by educating herself in domestic economy and 
aesthetic accomplishments of real depth — as you have toiled and 
studied in anticipation of providing for her comfort and happiness. 
She takes no sympathetic interest in your affairs — how can you 
expect to be happy with her ? If she loves you not, you would be 
more than a fool to try to get her consent to marriage, for is it not 
the ecstasy of Love to be luved and worshipped alone and beyond 
any other mortal f 

The beauty of her eyes will not last, — it is nothing, anjrway, 
but sunlight mechanically reflected from a darkly-painted iri^ — and 
when its youthful brilliancy vanishes there will be no soul-sparks 
to take its place. And for this brief honeymoon mirage you are 
willing to give up your bachelor comforts and pleasures, your 
freedom to do what you please, go where you please, and travel 
whenever you please ; to exchange your refreshing sleep o' nights 
for domestic cares and the pleasure of trotting up and down the 
room with a bawling baby at two o'clock in the morning 1 Bah 1 
Are you in your senses ? 

True, if you are rich some of these disadvantages may be 
avoided. But if you are rich you will not be refused, for^ 

"Mammon wins his way where seraphs might despair," 

as Byron remarks ; and again : *' For my own part, I am of the 
opinion of Pausanias, that success in love depends upon Fortune" 

But of all her shortcomings the most galling and fatal is that 
she loves yon not This thought alone, says Stendhal, may suc- 
ceed in curing a man of his passion. You will notice, he says, 
that she whom you love favours others with little attentions which 
she withholds from you. They may be mere trifles, such as not 
giving you a chance to help her into her carriage, her box at the 
opera. The thought of this, by ** associating a sense of humiliation 
with every thought of her, poisons the source of love and may 
destroy it." 

Tlius wounded Pride is the easiest way out of Love, as gratified 
Pride is the straightest way in. 

EEA80N VERSUS PASSIOK 

According to Shakspere, though Love does not admit Reason aa 
his counsellor, he does use him as his physician. The most effective 
way of using Reason to cure Love is by way of comparison. By 
dwelling on the miseries of married life as just detailed, the disap- 




264 ROMAUnC LOVE AND PEKSONAL BEAUTY 

pointed lover may mitigate his pains somewhat, as did that Italian 
mentioned by Schopenhauer, who resiBted the agony of torture by 
constantly keeping in \m mind's eye the picture of the gallows 
that would have been the reward of confession. 

Again, he may compare his present Love with a former infatua- 
tion that seemed at the time equally deep and eternal, though now 
he wonders how he could have ever loved that girl History 
repeats itself. 

Compare, moreover, your present idol with her stout and faded 
mother. In a few years Bhe will perhaps resemble her mother more 
than her present self. 

Compare her charms, feature by feature, with some recognised 
paragon of beauty. Look at her in the glaring light of the sun, 
which reveals every spot on the complexion. 

LOVK VERSUS LOVE 

Longfellow says it is folly to pretend that one ever wholly 
recovers from a disappointed passion ; and Mr. Hauierton believes 
that ** a wrinkled old maud may still preserve in the depths of her 
own heart, quite unsuspected by the young and lively j^eople about 
her, the unextinguished embers of a passion that first made her 
wretched fifty years before." 

Occasionally this may be true, in the sense in which psychology 
teaches that no impression made on the mind is ever completely 
effaced, but may, though forgotten for years, be revived in moments 
of great excitement, or in the delirium of fever ; as, for example, 
in the case mentioned by Duval, of a Pole in Germany, who had 
not used his native language for thirty years, but who, under the 
influence of anajsthetics, " spoke, prayed, and sang, using only the 
Polish language." The persistence of an old passion is the more 
probable from the fact that in mental disease and age, as Rihot 
points out, the emotional faculties are effaced much more slowly 
than the intellectual. Feelings form the self; amnesia of feeling 
is the destruction of self. 

Ordinarily, however, and for the time being, it may be possible 
to practically obliterate a passion. " All love may be expelled by 
love, as poisons are by other poisons," says Dryden. And if the 
allopathic remedies described in the preceding paragraphs should 
fail to effect a cure, the lover may find the homoeopathic principle 
of similia similibus more successfiU. 

Heine, in his posthumous Memoirs, thus refers to this principle 
of curius: like with like : — 




KATIONALirr AND LOVE 265 

''In lore, as in the Roman Catholic religion, there ia a 
provisional purgatory in which mortals are allowed to get used 
gnidually to being roasted before they get into the real eternal 
helL ... In all honesty, what a teirible thing is love for a 
woman. Inoculation is herein of no use. . . . Very wise and 
experienced physicians counsel a change of locality in the opinion 
that removal fix>m the presence of the enchantress will also break 
the charm. Perhaps the homoeopathic principle, by which woman 
cures us of woman, is the best of all. ... It was ordained that I 
should be visited more severely than other mortals by this malady, 
the heart-pox. . . . The most effective antidote to women are 
women ; true, this implies an attempt to expel Satin with Beelze- 
bub ; and in such a case the mediciue is often more noxious still 
than the malady. But it is at any rate a change, and in a 
disconsolate love-affair a change of the inamorata is unquestionably 
the best policy." 

PEOOKOSIS OB CHANCES 07 BECOVERT 

After carefully following all the foregoing rules regarding 
aliscnoc, travel, employment, dwelling on the miseries of marriage, 
the weaknesses of women in general and one woman in particular, 
the disappointed lover may boldly return and face her again. 
The chances are ten to one he will find himself — more in love 
than ever ! 

Women are magicians. No wonder they were burned as witches 
in the Middle Ages. 



NATIONALITY AND LOVE 

Romantic love — commonly considered immutable — not only 
displays countless individual variations in regard to duration and 
degrees of intensity, but has a sort of 'Mocal colour" in each 
country ; or, to keep up our old metaphor, a varying clangtint, 
depending on the greater or less prominence of certain ** over- 
tones.' 

To describe all these varieties of Love would require a separate 
volume. And since all the most interesting forms of the romantic 
passion are to be met with in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, 
England, and America, it will suffice to briefly characterise Love 
in those countries. 




b&. ^^y 



see EOMA^nc love and peiisonal beautt 



7KKNCR LOVX 

As literarj luck would have it, the subject of French Lore 
follows naturally upon the subject of the last chapter, the Remedia 
Amoris. 

The French are too derer a nation to leave to individual effort 
the difGicult task of curing the mind of such an obstinate thing as 
Love. All the papas and mammas in the Innd have put their 
heads together and devised two methods of hilling Love whotuale^ 
compared with which all the remedies named in the last chapter 
are mere fly-bites. 

These two methods are Chaperonage and Parental Choice, as 
opposed to Courtship and Individual Sexual Selection. 

Paradoxical as it may seem, there is in the midst of modem 
Europe a nation which, in the treatment of women. Love, and 
marriage, stands on the same low level of evolution as the ancieut| 
mediaeval, and Oriental nations. 

This is not a theoiy, but a fact patent to all, and attested by 
the best English, German, and French authors. 

One of the deepest of French thinkere, whose eyes were opened 
by travel and comparison, De Stendhal, in 1842, says in his book 
De r Amour : "Pour comprendre cette passion, que depuis trente 
ans la pcur du ridicule cache avec tant de soin parmi nous, il faut 
en parlor comme d*une nialadie " — " To understand tiiis passion, 
vhich during the kst thirty years has been concealed among us 
with so much solicitude, from fear of ridicule, it is necessary to 
speak of it OS a malady." 

But Stendhal greatly understates the case. It was not only 
within tliirty years from the time when he wrote, and by means 
of ridicule, that the Frencii had tried hard to kill Love. They 
have never really emancipated themselves from meiliajval barbari-m. 
Pure Romantic Love' between two young immarried persons has 
never yet flourished in France — because it has never been allowed 
to grow. To-day, as in the days of the Troubadours, the only 
form of Love celebrated in French plays and romances is the form 
which implies conjugal infidelity. 

"Marriage, as treated in the old French epics," sajrs Ploss, "is 
rarely based on love ;" the woman marries for protection, the man 
for her wealth or social aftiliations. In the eighteenth century 
girls were compelled from their earliest years to live ouly for 
appearance sake : " The most harmless natiu-al enjoyment, every 
childish ebullition, is interdicted as improper. Her mother denies 



FBEKCH LOVE S67 

her the expression of tender emotion as too bourgeois, too common. 
The little one grows up in a di-eary, heartless vacuum ; her deeper 
feelings remain undeveloped. . . Real love would be too ordinary 
a motive of marriage, and therefore extremely ridiculous. It is not 
offered her, accordingly, nor does she feel any." 

Heine wrote from Pans in 1837 that "girls never fall in love 
in this country." " With us in Germany, as also in England and 
other nations of Germanic origin, young girls are allowed the 
utmost possible liberty, whereas married women become subjected 
to the strict and anxious supervision of their husbands. 

" Here iu France, as already stated, the reverse is the case : 
young girls remain in the seclusion of a convent until they either 
marry or ore introduced to the world under the strict eye of a 
relative. In the world, i,e, in the French salon, they always 
remain silent and little noticed, for it is neither good form here nor 
wise to make love to an unmarried girl 

"There lies the difference. We Germans, as well as our 
Germanic neighbours, bestow our love always on unmarried girls, 
and these only are celebrated by our poets ; among the French, on 
the other hand, married women only ore the object of love, in life 
as well as in literature." 

The difficulty of becoming acquainted with a young lady, 
Mr. Hanicrton tells us, is greatest *' in what may be called the 
'respectable' classes in country-towns and their vicinities. In 
Parisian society young ladies go out into U monde, and may be 
seen and even s]X)kcn to at evening-parties." 

" And even spoken to " is good, is very good. What a privilege 
for the young men ! The iron bars which formeily separated 
them from the young ladies have actually been remov^, and they 
are allowed to speak to them — in presence of a heart-chilling, 
conversation-killing dragon. No wonder Parisian society is bo 
oomipt ! 

Mr. Hamerton has given in Hound My Hmise the most realibtic 
and fascinating account of French courtship and moninge-customs 
ever written. He is a great admirer of the French, always rendy 
to excuse tlieir foibles, and his testimony is, therefore, doubly 
valuable as that of an absolutely impartial witness. He had an 
opportunity for many years of studying French provincial life with 
an artist's trained faculties ; and here ore a few sentences culled 
from his descriptions : — 

" It is not merely difficult, in our neighbourhood, for a young 
man in the respectable classes to get acquainted with a young lady, 
but ivti^ conceivable arrangement u devised to make it aiiolutelj^ 



208 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

impossible. Balls and eTening-parties are hardly ever given, and 
when they are given great care is taken to keep young men out of 
them, and youn<; maniaigeable girls either dance with each other 
or with mere children." 

Whereas in England '' a young girl may go where she likes, 
without much risk to her good name/' a French girl *^ may not 
cross a street aloue, nor open a book which has not been examined, 
nor have an opinion about anjrthing/' " The French ideal of a 
well-brought-up young lady is that she should not know anything 
whatever about love and mamage, that she should be both innocent 
and ignorant, and both in the supreme degree — both to a degree 
which no English person can imagine." 

" The young men are not to blame ; they would be ready enough, 
perhaps, to fall in love if they had the chance, like any Englishman 
or German, but the respectable ])arents of the young lady take care 
that they shall not have the chance of falling in love." 

The only opportunity a young man has of seeing a girl is at a 
distance, at church or in a religions procession. Here he may see 
her face; her character he can only ascertain through gossip, a 
lady friend, or the parish piiest. It is much more respectable, 
however, to show no such curiosity, for its absence implies the 
absence of such a ridiculous thing as Love. " I'/iere is nothinfj 
which good society in France disapproves of so much as the jxission 
of Love, or anything resembling it." ** When Coelebs asks for the 
hand of a girl he has seen for a minute, he may just possibly be in 
love with her, which is a degrading supposition ; but if he has 
never seen her, you cannot even suspect him of a sentiment so 
unbecoming." 

There is but one way for the young man to gain admission to a 
house where there is a maniageable young lady : "He must first, 
through a third party, ask to marry the young lady, and, if her 
parents consent, he will then be admitted to see her and speak to 
her, but not otheruise. The respectable order <f (tffairs is tliat 
t/ie offer and acceptance s/iould precede and not follow court- 
ship" 

Would it be possible to conceive a more cliabolically ingenious 
social machinery for massacring Romantic Love en (jros ? 

" Marriages in France are generally arranged by the exercise of 
reason and prudence, rather than by eitiier passion or affection." 
Mr. Hamerton gives an amusing account of how he was asked to 
be matrimonial ambassador by a young man who had never seen 
the girl he wanted to marry. Mr. Hamerton obliged the young 
man, but was told by the mother that if the young man would 




FRENCH LOVE 2C9 

wait two years lie might have a fair chance, provided a richer or 
nobler siiitor did not torn up in the meantime. 

Money and Rank versus Love. French mammas have at least 
one virtue. They are not hypocrites. 

Tlie Countess von Bothmer, who lived in Frarce a quarter of a 
century, sayp in her French Home Life : " Where we so ordinarily 
listen to what we understand by love — to the temptations of the 
young heart in all their forms (however transitory), to our individual 
impressions and our own opinions — the French consult fitness of 
relative situation, reciprocities of fortune and position, and har- 
monies of family intercourse." 

To annihilate the last resource of Love— elopement — the Code 
Napoleon forbids all marriages without either the consent of the 
father and mother, or proof that they are both dead. " It is very 
troublesome to get married in France ; the operative is surroimded 
by difficulties and formalities which would make an Englishman 
stamp with rage." 

Social life, of course, suffers as much from this idiotic system 
as Romantic Love. French hospitality '* does not extend beyond 
the family circle," we are informed by M. Max O'Rell, who also 
gives this amusing instance of the imbecility or mental slavery 
(he does not use these words) produced by the French system of 
education and chaperonage : — 

^I remember I was one day sitting in the Champs Elys^ 
with two English ladies. Beside us was a young Frerch girl with 
her father and mother. The person on the right of papa rose nnd 
went away, and we heard the young innocent say to her mother : 
'Mamma, may I go and sit by papal' It was a baby of about 
eighteen or twenty. Those English ladies laugh over the ail'air 
to this day." 

Boys suffer as well as girls. As the author of an article on 
** Parisian Psychology *' remarks : ** There are no mothers in 
France ; it is a nation of ' mammas,' who, in the most unlimited 
sense of the word, spoil their boys, weaken them in body and 
soul, dwarf their thought, dry their hearts, and lower them to 
below even their own level, hoping thereby to nde over them 
through life, as they too often <lo. Frenchwomen having been 
at l)est but half-wives, regard their children as a sort of com- 
pensation for what they have themselves not had ; and after the 
mischievous fashion of weak ' mammas,' prolong babyhood till far 
into mature life." 

The French, in fact, are a nation of babies. Their puerile 
conceit, which prevents them from learning to read any language 




270 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

but their own, and thuB finding out what other nations think of 
them, is responsible in part for the mediaeval barbarism of their 
matrimonial arrangements. The Parisian is the most provincial 
animal in the world. In any other metropolis — be it London, 
New York, Vienuii, or Berlin — people understand and relish 
whatever is good in literature, art, and life, be it English, 
American, French, Crerman, or Italian. But the Parisian under- 
stands only what is narrowly and exclusively Freuch. And this 
is the dictionary definition of ProvinciaUsou 

The consequences of this medisevnlism and provincialism in 
roo<lem France are thus eloquently sunmied up by a writer in the 
Westminster Review (1877) : — 

*' Such education as girls receive is not only not a preparation 
for the wedded state, it is a positive disqualification for it. They 
are not taught to read, they are not taught to reason ; they are 
Inunched into life vnthaut a single intellectual interest. The 
whole etfort of their early training goes to fill their mind with 
puerilities and superstitions. As regards God, they are instructed 
to believe in relics and old bones ; as regards man, they are 
instmcted to believe in dress, in mannerisms, and coquetry. 
Their love of appre(dation, after beinj; enormously developed, is 
bottled up and tied down until a hu3l>and is found to draw the 
cork. What else, then, can we look for but an explosion of 
frivolity] Can we expect that such a provision of coquettish ness 
will be reserved for the husband's exclusive use 1 He will be 
tired of it in three montiis — unless it is tired of him before ; and 
then the pent-up waters will foreake their narrow bed and overfiow 
the country far and wide." 

No wonder Napoleon remarked that " Love does more harm 
than good." And right he was, most emphatically, for the only 
kind of Love possible in France does infinite harm. It poisons 
life and litemture alike. 

We can now understand the fiercene«5S of Dumas's attacks on 
mariaffes de convenance : "The manifest deterioration of the 
race touches him ; it does not touch us. Nor do we at all realise 
the next to impossibility of a man ever marrying for love in 
France. There are those who have tried to do it, but they can 
never get on in life ; they are reputed of * bad example ' " (Su 
James's Gazette). 

And now we come upon a paradox which hns puzzled a great 
many thinkers. The Countess von Bothmer, while deploring the 
abnence of Love in French courtship, endeavoui*s to show that 
domestic happiness and conjugal affection are, nevertheless, not 



FRENCH LOVE 271 

rare in France. French Lusoands "are ordinarily with their 
wiyes, accomiiany them wherever they can, and share their friend- 
ships and distractions." Mr. Hamerton likewise bears witness 
that French girls ** become excellent wives, faithful, orderly, 
dutiful, contented, and economicid. The}* all either love their 
husbands, cr conduct t/iemselves as if tJiey did bo,** He says the 
notion fustcred by novels "that Frenchmen are always occupied 
in making love to their neighbours' wives" is nonsense; tha'. 
there is no more adultery than elsewhere. "There exists in 
foreign countries, and especially in England, a belief that French- 
women are very generally adulteresses. The origin of the belief 
is this, — the manner in which marriages are generally managed 
in France leaves no room for interesting love-stories. Novelists 
and dramatists must find love-stories somewhere, and so they have 
to seek for them in illicit intrigues." 

This is all very ingenious, but the argument is not conclusive. 
Even granted for a moment that Mr. Hamerton is right in his 
defence of French conjugal life, is it not a more than sufficient 
c<»ndeuination of the French system of " courtshij) " that one-half 
of the nation are prevented from reading its literature because it 
is so foul and filthy — because Love has been made syEoaymous 
with adulter}' ? 

But Mr. Hamerton's assertion loses its probability when viewed 
in the light of the following considerations. He himself admits 
that the French arc anxious to read about Love, that the novelists 
and dramatists must find stories of Love somewhere — mind you, 
not of conjugal but of Romantic Love — and the Paris Figaro not 
long ago denounced the French novelists of the period for devoting 
their stories to Love almost exclusively, whereas Balzac, Dumas, 
Thackeray, and Scott, at least introduced various other matters of 
interest Now French novels have the largest editions of any 
books published ; and if so vast an interest is displayetl by the 
French in reading about Love, is it likely that their interest is 
purely literary ? Certainly not. They will seek it in real life. 
And in real life it can only be found in one sphere, which else- 
where is protected against such invasions, by the young being 
allowed to meet one another. ** It is to be feared that they who 
marry where they do not love, will love where they do not marry.* 
In this respect human nature is the same the world over. The 
testimony of scores of unprejudiced authors on tlus head cannot 
be ignored. 

ThLi, however, is only one of the evils following from the 
French suppression of pre-matrimonial Love. The parents tiay or 




272 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

may not suffer through conjugal jealousy and infidelity, one thing 
is certain, — that the children suffer from it, in body and mind. 
It is leading to the depopulation of France. It was M. Jules 
Rochard who called attention to the fact that " France, which two 
centuries ago included one-third of the total population of Europe, 
now con tuii IS but one-tenth"; although the death-rate is smaller 
in France than in most European countries, and although there 
has been a gradual increase of wealth throughout the country. 

That the suppression of Romantic Love and of all opportunities 
for courtship is the principal cause of the decliue of France, is 
apparent from the fact that th^ countries in which population 
increases most rapidly — as America and Great Britain — are those 
in which Romantic Love is the chief motive to marriage. 

Romantic Love goes by complementary qualities, the defects 
of the parents neutralising one another in the offspring ; so that 
the children who are the issue of a love-match are commonly more 
beautiful than their parents. In France there is no selection 
whatever, except with reference to money and rank. Not even 
Health is considered, the nne qua non of Love as well as Beauty. 
Hence the absence of Love in France has led to the almost 
al«olute aWnce of beauty. And it would be nothing short of a 
mii-acle if the offspring of a young maiden, still in her toens, and 
an old broken-down sinner, chosen by her parents for his wealth 
or social position, were any different from the puny, hairy men and 
coarse-featured, vulgar women that make up the bulk of the 
French nation. 

In Paris one does occasionally see a fine figure nnd a rather 
pretty face, but they almost always belong to the lower classes. 
As the lower classes allow the young considerable freedom, it 
would seem as if beauty in this class ought to be as common an 
article as in England or the United States. But the incapacity 
of the young women for feeling and reciprocating Love neutraiUes 
these opportunities. For of what use is it for a man to feel Love 
if the woman invariably bases her choice on money 1 This matter 
is most clearly brought out by Mr. Hamerton : — 

" Amongst the lower classes, the peasantry and workmen . . . 
girls have as much freedom as they have in England. The great 
institution of the parlement gives them ample opportunities for 
Ijecoming acquainted with their lovers ; indeed the acquaintance, 
in niaihy cases, goes further than is altogether desirable. A 
peasant girl requires no parental help in looking after her own 
interests. She admits a lover to the happy state of parlement^ 
which means that he has a right to talk with her when they 




FRENCH LOVK 273 

meet, and to call upon ber, dance with her, etc. The loTer is 
aHays eoger to fix the wedding-day, the girl is not so eager. She 
keeps him on indefinitely until a richer one appcnrx, on which 
No. 1 hns the niortitication of seeing himself excluded from parU- 
mffil, whilst another takes his place. Id this wiiy a clever girl 
will go on for several years, amusing herself by torturing amorous 
iwains, until at length a sufficiently big fish nibbles at the bait, 
when she hooks him at once, and takes good care that he shall 
Dot escape. Kotbing can be more pathetically ludicrous than the 
condition of a young peasant wbo is really in love, espcciidly if he 
is able to write, for then he pours forth his feelings in innumer- 
able letters full of tenderness and complaint On her part the 
girl does not answer the letters, and has not the slightest pity for 
the unhappy victim of her channs. After seeing a good deal of 
such love-affairs I have come to the conclusion that in humble 
life young men do really very often feel 

*' ' The hope, the fear, the jealous ctx% 
The exalte<l portion of the pain 
And power of love.' 

And they 'wear the chain' too. Young women, on the other 
hand, seem only to amuse themselves with all this simple-hearted 
devotion — 

*" And mammon wins his way where terapht might despair.* ** 

Schopenhauer pointed out that the French lack the Gffiikl 
far da$ Innige — the tenderness and emotional depth which 
eliaracterise the Germans and Italians. It is this that accounts 
for the inability of the French to appreciate Love, and for the fact 
that even vice is coarser in France than elsewhere, as remarked bj 
Mr. Lecky, who, in his Uuiory of European Morah, contrasts '' the 
coarse, cynical, ostentatious sensuality, which forms the moit 
repulsive feature of the French character," with '*the dreamy, 
languid, and esthetical sensuality of the Spaniard or Italian.** 
And it remained for the French to attempt to deify vice as in that 
over-rated and repulsive story of Manon Lescaut, 

Mme. de Stael, who suffered so much from the provincialism 
(alias patriotism) of her countr}'men, saw clearly Uie immorality 
of the French system of manning girls without consulting their 
choice. Brandes relates the following anecdote of her: ''One 
day, speaking of the unnatiiralness of marriages arranged by the 
parents, as distinguished from those in which the young girls 
choose for themselves, she exclaimed, ' I would compel my dauf^ter 
to many the man of her choice 1 ' " 




274 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEESONAL BEAUTY 

An attempt is being made at present in Paris to introduce tljs 
Anglo-American feminine spirit into society. The word Jiirter has 
been adopted, and the thing itself experimented with. But the 
French girl does not know how to draw the line between coquetry 
and flirtation. She needs a better education before she can flirt 
properly. This education the Government is trying to fsjive her at 
present ; but it meets with stubborn resistance fr»m the priests, 
and from the old notion that intellectual cidtiire is fatil to feminine 
charms and the capacity for affection. If this book should accom- 
plish nothing else than prove that without intellect there can be 
no deep Love, it will not have been written in vaiu« 

rrAXIAN LOTE 

In Italy, in the sixteenth centuiy, women were kept in as 
strict seclusion as to-day in France ; and with the same results, — 
conjugal infidelity and a great lack of Personal Beauty, as noted 
by Montaigne, who remarks at the same time that it was regarded 
as something qiute extraordinary if a young lady was seen in 
public. 

Byron wrote in 1817 that "Jealousy is not the order of the 
day in Venice '' ; and that the Italians '^ marry for their parents, 
and love for themselves." 

In Crowe and Cavalcaselle's Life and Times of Titian we read 
that " Though chroniclers have left us to guess what the state of 
society may have been in Venice at the close of the fifteenth 
century, they give us reason to believe that it was deeply influ- 
enced by Oriental habit. The separation of men from women in 
churches, the long seclusion of unmarried females in convents or in 
the privacy of palaces, were but the precursors to marriages in 
which husbands were first allowed to see their wives as they cani6 
in state to dance round the wedding supper- table." 

But even at this early period when women were still treated as 
babies unable to take care of themselves, we find at least one 
trace of the Gallantry which is so essential an element in modem 
love. It was customary for the men, on festive occasions, to 
stand behind their wives* chairs at table and serve them. 

Extremely ungallant, on the other hand, are some of the Italian 
proverbs about women of this and other periods. " A woman is 
like a horse-chestnut — beautiful outside, worthless inside." ** Two 
women and a goose make a market." " Married man — bird in 
cai^e." " In buying a horse and taking a wife shut your eyes and 
commend your soul to heaven." 




ITALUN LOVE 276 

Her exiil>erant health makes an Italian woman nntnmlly prone 
to Love ; but though she falls in love most readily, the pawion is 
apt to be fugitive an«l superficial She rarely loves with the 
passionate ardour of a Spanish woman. *' What we notice especi- 
ally in Itdian women/' says Schweiger-Lferchenfeld, '* is the 
absence of that alternation between those extremes of tempera- 
ment which are so conspicuous in other Southern women. Energy 
is almost as unknown to her as the moral i>ower of resignation 
and sacrifice. Hence it can hardly surprise us that Italian history 
records so few heroic women or pious female martyrs. Italy has 
prodnced neither a Jeanne d'Arc nor an Elizabeth of Thuringia ; 
the crowns were too oppressive to be borne by these beauties, and 
life too enchanting for tlicm to invite to tragic self-sacrifice.'' 

Probably the most realistic, and certainly the most fascinating, 
account of ludian love-making ever given is to be found in Mr. 
Howells's Vffurtian Life. As it is too long to quote, I will 
attempt to condense it, though at some sacrifice of that literary 
** bouquet,^ as an epicure would say, which constitutes the unique 
charm of Mr. Howells's style : — 

*' The Venetians have had a practical and strictly businesslike 
way of arranging marriages from the earliest times. The shrewdest 
provision has always been made for the dower and for the good of 
the state ; private and public interest being consulted, the small 
matters of affection have been left to the chances of association. 

'* Herodotus relates that the Assyrian Veneti sold their 
danghters at auction to the highest bidder ; and the fair being 
thus comfortably placed in life, the hard-favoured were given to 
whom<toever would take them, with such dower as might be con- 
sidered a reasonable compensation. The auction was discontinued 
in Christian times, but marriage contracts still partook of the 
form of a public and half-mercantile transaction. 

''These passionate, headlong Italians look well to the main 
chance before they leap into matriuiony, and you may be sure 
Todaro knows, in black and white, what the Biondina lias to her 
fortune before he weds her." 

** With the nobility and with the richest commoners marriage 
is still greatly a matter of contract, and is arranged without much 
reference to the principals, though it is now scarcely probable in 
anv case that thev have not seen each other. Uut with all other 
classes, eicefit the poorest, who cannot or will not seclude the 
yoQth of either sex from each other, and with whom, r«msequently, 
romantic contrivance and subterfujre wouhl be KUfjertiuou^, love is 
made to-day in Venice as in the Capa y espcuia comedies of the 




276 BOMANTIC LOYE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

Spaniards, and the business is carried on with all the cumbrous 
machinery of confidants, bUlets-doux, and stolen interviews." 

The " operatic method of courtship " theuce resulting commonly 
assumes this form : — 

''They follow that beautiful blonde, who, marching demurely 
in front of the gray-moustached papa and the fat mamma, after 
the &8hion in Venice, is electrically conscious of pursuit. They 
follow during the whole evening, and, at a distance, softly follow 
her home, where the burning Todaro photographs the number of 
the house upon the sensitised tablets of his soul. This is the first 
step in love : he has seen his adored one, and she knows that he 
loves her with an inextingubhable ardour." 

The next step consists in his frequenting the cftfS, where she 
goes with her parents, and feasting his eyes on her beauty. After 
some time he may possibly get a chance to speak a few words to 
her under her balcony ; or, what is more likely, he will bribe her 
servan?-maid to bring her a love-letter. Or else he goes to church 
to admire her at a convenient distance. 

'* It must be confessed that if the Biondina is not pleased with 
his looks, his devotion must assume the character of an intolerable 
bore to her; and that to see him everywhere at her heels — to 
behold him leaning U'^^ainst the pilliir near which she kneels at 
church, the head of his stick in his mouth, and his attitude care- 
fully taken with a view to captivation — to be always in deadly 
fear lest she shall meet him in promenade, or turning roimd at 
the cqtFe encounter his pleading gaze— that all this must drive the 
Biondina to a state bordering upon blasphemy and finger-nails. 
Ma, come si fa ? Ci vuol pazitma ? This is the sole course open 
to ingenuous youth in Venice, where confessed and unashamed 
acquaintance between young people is extremely ditficult ; and so 
this blind pursuit must go on till the Biondiua's inclinations are 
at last laboriously ascertained." Then follow the inquiries as to 
her dowry, after which nothing remains but " to demand her in 
marriage of her father, and after that to make Iter acqiiaintaTire." 

Topsy-tui-vy as this last armngement may seem to Ani;l>- 
American notions, here at least Love has some chance to bring 
about real Sexual Selection, for a Southerner's passions ai*e momen- 
tarily intlamed, and the Italian Cupid needs but a moment to fix 
his choice. And what distinguishes Italy still more favourably 
from France is that, whereas the French consider Love ridiculous, 
and have made the most ingenious contrivances for annihilating it, 
the Itiilians worship it, revel in it, and are inclined rather to make 
too many concessions to it than to ignore it. 




SPANISH LOVE 277 

The result i» patent to all eyes. For every attractive French- 
woman there are to-day a hundred beautiful Italians. And were 
Anglo-American methods of courtship introduced in Italy, beauty 
would again be doubled in amount. It must not be for;;otten, 
however, that Love, as a beautiHcr of mankind, has in Italy very 
•troDg allies in the balmy air and sunshine, tempting to constant 
ootd<K>r life, which mellows the complexion, brightens the eyes, 
and fills out the figure to those full yet elegant proportions which 
instantaneously arouse the romantic passion. 

SPANISH LOVE 

Spanish veins contain more Oriental blood than those of any 
other European nation ; and to the present day Eastern methods 
of treating women cast their shadow on Spanish life. But the 
shadow is so light, and so much mitigated by the rosy hue of 
romance, that the ^Mucal colour" of Love in Spaiu presents an 
unusually fascinating spectacle, which countless literary artists 
have attempted to depict 

I>nriug the sixteenth and seventeenth centiuies the Oriental 
■hadow was much darker, and kept the women in extren)e subjec- 
lAun and ignorance. " Their life/' says Professor Scherr, sj)eaking 
even of tlie queens, '* passed away in a luxurious tedium which 
dulled the sentiments to the point of idiocy. They were only 
crowned slaves. As an instance of their aWolute deprivation of 
liberty may be cited the case of Elizabeth, wife of Philip II., who, 
when in 1565 she went to Bayonne to meet her mother, had to 
wait three davB before the gates of Burgos before it was possible 
to ascertain the king's decision whether the queen should pass 
through the city or around it.'' 

•• Women of rank," he continues, " lived in a seclusion border- 
ing on that of a convent, if not surj)a«(sing it. For nuns were 
at least allowe<l to s]>eak to male visitors behind Itars, where:is 
married women were strictly forbidden to receive the visit of a 
man, except with the syicciul permission of the husband. And 
only during the first year of their wedded life were tliey allowed 
to frequent public drivcH in ojien carriaires by the side of their 
baslHind ; subM>(|uent1y they were only allowed to go out in cIomnI 
carriages. Of cony family life not a trai'e. . . . Even the table 
did not unite the husUand and witV : the mnnter t<K)k hii« meal 
alone, while his wife and children sat respectfully on the floor on 
earpcts, with their legs croswd in Oriental lashion. 

** The poor women, excluded from ever}' refined social diversion. 



278 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEKSONAL BEAUTY 

were confined to manual work, gossip with their duennas, mechani- 
cal praying, playing with their rosaries, and — intriguing. For the 
greater the subjection of women, the more does their cunning 
grow, the more passionate becomes their desire to ayenge them- 
selves on their tyrants. The Spaniards found this out to their 
cost. The most inexorable spirit of revenge, all the parade of 
'Spanish honour/ bordering in its excess on clownishness, could 
not prevent the Spanish dames from loving and being loved." 

In course of time this Oriental despotism, with ita fatal con- 
sequences to conjugal fidelity — as in France — has been greatly 
mitigated in Spain. In Pepys's Diary ^ 1667, we read of an 
informant who told the writer "of their wooing [in Spain] by 
serenades at the window, and that their friends do always make 
the match ; but yet they have opportunities to meet at masse at 
church, and there they make love." 

In an interesting book on Spain, written almost two and a 
quarter centuries after Pepys's Diary — Mr. Lathrop*s Spanish 
Vistas — we still read concerning this ecclesiastic Love-maldn^, in 
the Seville Cathedral : " Every door was guarded by a squad of 
the decrepit army, so that entrance there became a horror. These 
sanctuary beggars serve a double purpose, however. The black- 
garbed Sevillan ladies, who are perpetually stealing in and out 
noiselesbly imder cover of their archly-draped lace veils — losing 
themselves in the dark, incense-lailen interior, or emerging from 
confession into the daylight glare again — are careful to drop some 
slight conscience-money into the palms that wait. Occasionally, 
by pre-arrangement, one of these beggars will convey into the 
hand that passes him a silver piece, a tightly-folded note from 
some clandestine lover. It is a convenient underground mail, and 
I am afraid the venerable church innocently shelters a good many 
little transactions of this kind." 

How greatly the facilities for falling in love and for making 
love have been increased in modern Spain is vividly brought out 
in the following citation from Schweiger-Lerchenfeld regarding the 
scenes to be witnessed every evening on the crowded promenade 
or Rambia at Barcelona : — 

" Are these elegantly-attired ramblers one and all suitors, since 
they put no limit nor restraint on their whispered flatteries 1 No, 
that is simply the custom in Barcelona. The women and girls 
are beautiful, and though they are well aware of it, they neverthe- 
less allow their charms to be whispered in their ears hundreds of 
times every evening — a freedom of intercourse which is only 
possible on Spanish soil . . . And thus one of these adored 




SPANISH LOVE S79 

beauties wdIIqb up and down in the glare of the lamps, and sweet 
music is wafted to her ears : ' Your beauty dazzles me,' whispers 
one voice; and another, 'Happiuess and anguish your eyes are 
burning into my soul.' One cou)pliments the chosen one on her 
hair, another on her figure, a third on her graceful gait Young 
adorers feel a thrill nmning down their whole body if her mantilla 
only touches tlieui ; while mature lovers are contented with nothing 
less than a pressure of the hand. It is a picture that is possible, 
conceivable only in Spain." 

The same writer quotes some specimens of Spanish Love-Bongs, 
(mo of which may be transferred to this page^ 

r 

" KcliRini*, ni&a bonita, 
La^riinu en tu paftuelo, 
Y los Uevar^ a Madri«l 
Qae los engarce uu platero.** 

''Show me, my little charmer, the tear in your handkerchief; to 
Aladrid will I take it and have it set by a jeweller.*' 

What a contrast between this modem complimentary and 
poetic form of Gallantry and the form prevalent in the good old 
tiroes when lovers endeavoured to win a maiden's favour by flagel- 
lating themselves under her window until the blood ran down 
their backs ; and when, as Scherr adds, '* it was regaided as the 
mu-est sign of supreme gallantry if some of the bloo<i bespattered 
the clothes of the beauty to whom this crazy act of devotion was 
addressed ! " 

Nevcrtlieless, the Spanish still have much to learn from Eng- 
land and America regarding the proper methods of Courtship ; fur, 
according to a writer in MacmiUari's Magazine (1874), the un- 
married maiden of the higher classes, ''like her humbler sister, 
can never have the privilege of seeing her lover in private, and 
very rarely, indeed, if ever, is he admitted into the $ala where 
she is sitting. He may contrive to get a few minutes' chat with 
her through the barred windows of her sala ; but when a Spaniard 
leads his wife from the altar, he knows no more of her character, 
attainments, and disposition than does the parish priest who 
married them, and perhaps not so much." 

In one respect Spanish lovers have a great advantage over their 
unfortunate colleagues in France. There marriage is impossible 
without parental consent, whereas in Spain a law exists concerning 
which the writer just quoted says : — 

"Should a Spanish lad and lassie become attached to one 
another, and the parents absolutely forbid the match, and refuse 
their daughter liberty and permission to many, the lover has hia 



280 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

remedy at law. He has but to make a statement of the facts 
00 paper, and deposit it, signed and attested, with the alcalde or 
mayor of the township in which the lady's parents dwelL The 
alcalde then makes an order, giving the yoong man the right of 
free entry into the house in question, within a certain number of 
days, for the purpose of wooing and carrying off his idol. The 
parents dare not interfere with the office of the alcalde, and the 
lady is taken to her lover's arms. From that moment he, and he 
alone, is bound to provide for her : by his own act and deed she 
has become his property.'' Should he prove false '* the law comes 
upon him with all its force, and he is bound to maintain her, in 
every way, as a wife, under pain of punishment." 

Thus a Spanish girl is protected against per6dious lovers as 
well as is au English and American girl through tlie possibility of 
suing for breach of promise. If the short stories told in Don 
Quixote may be taken as examples, faithless lovers were very 
common in Spain at that time ; wl)ich, doubtless, accounts for the 
origin of this law. The girU on their part erred by yielding too 
easily to the promises of the men ; thoui^h they are partially 
exciLsed by the great strength of their passions. 

In his work on Suicide, Professor Morselli has statistics show- 
ing that more women take their life in Spain than in any other 
country; and he attributes this to the force of their passions, 
wluch is greater than in Italy, where the number of female sui- 
cides i^ considerably lower. 

Thus Love has a more favourable ground in Spain than either 
in Italy or in France, notwithstanding certain restrictions. And 
the result shows itself in this, that all tourists unite in singini; the 
praises of Spanish Beauty. Spain, indeed, unites in itself all the 
conditions favourable to Beauty : a climate tempting to outdoor 
life ; a considerable amount of intellectual culture and aesthetic 
refinement ; a mixture of nationalities, fusing ttltnic peculiarities 
into a harmonious whole ; and Love, wiiich fuses individ^tal com- 
plementary qualities into a harmonious ensemble of beautiful 
features, graceful figure, amiable disiwsition, and refined manners. 

GERMAN LOVE 

When Tacitus penned his famous certifi'^ate of good moral 
character for the Germans of his time, he little suspected how 
many thousand times it would be quoted by the grateful and 
proud descendants of those early Teutons, and pinned to the lapels 
of their coats as a sort of prize medal in the competition for 




GERMAN LOVB 281 

ancestral virtne. The more candid historians, howerer, admit 
that the Roman historian somewhat orerdrew his picture in order 
to teach his own profligate countrymen a sort of Sunday school 
lesson, by the vivid contrast presented by these inhabitants of the 
northern virgin forests. 

There is no question that women were held in considerable 
honour among these early Germans. Many of them served as 
priestesses, and adultery was punished with death. Polygamy 
existed only among the chiefs, and even among them it was not 
oonin\pn. Yet the men did not treat the women as their equals. 
*' They ha<l more duties than privileges," says Schweiger-Lerchen* 
feld. Their husbands were addicted to excessive drinking or 
punbling when not engaged in war or the chase, leaving the hard 
domestic and field labour to the women : and all this cannot have 
tended to refine the women. 

'* Marriage in the old Geniianic times," says Ploss, '' was mostly 
an afiair of expediency. ... In the choice of a wife beauty was of 
less moment than property and good social antecedents. Love 
hefoTt the betrothal rarely occurs." 

Gustav Freytag, in his Pict%tru of Oerman Lift^ during the 
fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, remarks : *' Marriage 
was considered by our ancestors less as a union of two lovers than 
as an institution replete with duties and rights, not only of married 
people towards one another, but aUo towards their relatives, as a 
bond uniting two corporate bodies. . . . Therefore in the olden 
time the choice of husband and wife was alwsys an affair of im- 
portance to the relatives on both sides, so that a Grerman wooing 
from the oldest times, evtn until the Icut century, had the appear- 
ance of a business transaction, which was carried out with great 
regard to suitability." 

And a business transaction it is, unfortunately, to the present 
day, in the vast mnjority of cases. A certain amount of dower or 
property on the bride's part is the first and roost essential requisite. 
Second in importance is the desirability of not descending even a 
step in the social ladder, though an extra lump of gold commonly 
■tdfices to [)ull down social Pride to a lower level Health, temper, 
Personal Beauty, and mutual suitability — these are the trifles 
which, other things being equal, come in as a third consideration. 
And thus is the order of Sexual Selection, as ordained by Love, 
eommonly t\3 versed. 

What would an English or American youth of twenty-two say 
to bis father if the latter should undertake to write to all his 
idathreSy asking them to look about for an eligible partner for hia 



282 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

son, and capping tlie climax by starting himself on a trip in search 
of a bride for his son ] Would he accept without a murmur the 
girl thus found, and would an English or American girl thus allow 
herself to be given away like a cat in a bag, not knowing whether 
she was going ? I have seen several such casea with my own eyes. 
One of them was most pathetic. For when the blooming bride, a 
sweet and refined girl, was introduced to the bridegroom selected 
for her by her parents — a repulsive-lnoking brute, twice her age — 
sae conceived a perfect loathing for him, and almost wept out her 
eyes before the wedding-day. But the man was rich, and that 
settled thjB matter. 

What aggravated this outrage was the fact that the bride's 
father also was rich. Ajid herein, in fact, lies the canker of the 
German systeuL Money is such a comfortable thing to have that 
it is useless to preach asrainst it. There are money- marriages 
enough in England and America. But in these countries it is 
generally considered sufficient if one party has the money. Not 
so in Germany. It is not so much the comfort ensured by a 
cei-tain amount of money that is aimed at as the superior social 
influence ensured by a large amount of wealth. Hence the rich 
marry the rich, regardless of other consequences, and poor 
Cupid is left shivering in the cold. So that, after alL the silly 
pride of social position is a greater enemy of Eomantic Love than 
money. 

And the consequences of such a matrimonial system 1 They 
have been most eloquently set forth by the blind old philosopher, 
Dr. DUhring : — 

" The amalgamation of fortunes, and the resulting enervating 
luxury of living, are the ruling matrimonial motives ; and the want 
of mutual adaptation of the indivi'liials becomes the cause of the 
degenerate appearance of the ottspring. The loathsome products 
of such marriages then walk about as ucly embodiments and 
witnesses of such a degraded system of legalisjed prostitution 
(Kuppelivirthsc/iaft), They bear the stamp of incongruity on body 
and mind ; for their appearance shows them to be the offspring of 
dishiirmonious parents, blindly associated, or even, in many cases, 
of parents who themselves are already prodiK'ts of this new matri- 
monial method. This degeneracy necessarily continues from one 
generation to another, and in this manner maltreated Nature 
avenges herself by leading to personal decrepitude and the forma- 
tion of a new sort of iiliocy." ' 

"It is tnie," he adds, "that love is not an infallible sign of 
mutual smtability ; but when it is absent, or even replaced by 




GERMAN LOVE 283 

aTereion, it is certain that it is useless to expect a specially 
harmonious composition of the offspring." 

Is this one of the reasons why Personal Beauty is so rare^ 
comparatively, in Germany T 

But Individual Preference is not the only element of Love 
which thus suffers in Germany through false Pride and parental 
tyranny. Gallantry is another factor which needs mending. 
German women are sweet and amiable. In fact, they are too 
sweet and good-natured. They have spoiled the men, who in con- 
sequence are excessively selfish in their relations to women — the 
most selfish men in the world, outside of Turkey or China. True, 
the German officer in a ballroom seems to be the very essence of 
officious Gallantry. But his motives are too transparently 
Ovidian : it is not true Anglo-American politeness of the heart 
that inspires his conduct. He is cither after forbidden sweets or 
panidini: his uniform and his vanity. Take the same man anH 
watch him at home. His wife has to get him his chair, move it 
up to the fire, bring him his slippers, put the coffee in his hand, 
and do errands for him. When he goes out she puts on his over- 
coat and buttons it up carefully for him as if he were a helpless 
big baby. This would be all very well — for why should not 
Women be gallant too ? — if he would only retaliate. But he never 
dreams of it. Even if it comes to a task which calls for masculine 
muscular power — the carrying of bundles, etc — he makes the 
wife do it He is, in fact, matrimonially considered, not only a 
biir baity but also a big brute, the very incarnation of masculine 
selfishness. 

In former centuries it was customary in Germany, as it is now 
with us, for women to bow first to men. The modem German 
has reversed this. Woman has no right to bow until her lord 
and superior has invited her to do so by doffing his hat 

The Germiin girl, pays the Countess von Bothmer in Gertnam 
Home Li/f, *' is taught that to he womanly she must be helpless, 
to be feminine she must be feeble, to endear herself she must be 
dependent, to charm she must ding." '* To keep carefully to the 
sheep-walk, to applaud in concert and condemn in chorus, is the 
only behaviour thnt can be tolerated." '* Tbey have one bugbear 
and one object of idolatry, these monotonous ladies, — a fetish 
which tiiey worship under the name of Mcxle ; a monster between 
public opinion and Mrs. Grundy. To say a thing is not 'Mode' 
here, is to condemn it as if by all the laws of Media and Penlik 
It is not her centre [tur], but the system of her social education, 
that renderi the German woman so hopelessly provinciaL'' 



284 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

Of course it is the men who are responsible for this social edu- 
cation and this feminine ideal of absolute dependence. It suits 
their selfish pleasure to be worshipped and obeyed by the women 
without any efforts at j^Uant retaliation on their part. 

A native writer tells us that ^a tme German philosophises 
occasionally while he embraces his sweetheart ; while kissing even, 
theories will sprout in his mind." 

No wonder, therefore, that one of the German metaphysicians, 
Fichte, should have made a sophistic attempt to reduce masculine 
selfishness to a system. He proves to his own satisfaction that it 
is woman's duty to sacrifice herself in man's behalf; while man, 
on his part, has no such obligations. His reasoning is too elaborate 
to quote in full ; but is too amusin;;ly naive to be omitted, so I 
will translate the summary of it given by Kuno Fischer in his 
History of Philosophy : — 

" What woman's natural instincts demand is self-abandonment 
to a man ; she desires this abandonment not for her own stike, 
but for the man's sake ; she gives herself t<> him, f >r him. Now 
abandoning oneself for another is self-sacrifice, and self-sacrifice 
from an instinctive impulse is Love, Therefore love is a kind of 
instinctive impulse which the sexual instinct in woman necessarily 
and involuntarily assumes. She feels the necessity of loving. . . . 
This impulse is peculiar to woman alone ; woman alone loves [! ! !] ; 
only through woman does love appear among mankinds . . . The 
woman's life should disappear in the man's without a remnant, and 
it is this relation that is so beautifully and correctly indicated in 
the fact that the wife no longer uses her own name, but that 
of her husband [!]." 

The latest (and it is to be hoped the last) of the German meta- 
physicians, the pessimist Hartmann, ^oes even a step beyond 
Fichte in arrogating for man special privileges in Love. If Fichte 
makes Love synonymous with Self-Sacrifice — feminine, mind you, 
not masculine — Hartmann tries to prove that man may love as 
often as he please-*, but woman only once. And what airgravates 
the offence, he does it in such a poetic manner. ** Though it may 
be doubtful," he says, "wiiether a man can tnily love two women 
at the same time, it is beyond all doubt that he can love several in 
succession with all the depth of his heart ; and the assertion that 
there is only one true love is an unwarranted generalisation to all 
mankind of a maxim which is true of woman alone. . . . Woman 
can learn but once by experience what love is, and it is painful for 
the lover not to be the one who teaches her first. Tme it is that 
a tree nipped by a spring frost brings forth a second crown of 




GEEMAK LOVE 285 

• 

leayes, but so ricli and luxuriant as the first it will not be ; thus 
does a mniden-heart produce a second bloom, if the first bad 
to wither before maturity, but its full and complete floral glory is 
unfolded only where love, aroused for the first time, passes in full 
vigour through all its phases." 

Yet it is not ungallant selfishness alone that prompts German 
men to bring up their women so that they shall be mere playthings 
at first and dnidges after marriage, never real soul-mates. They 
have the same old stupid continental fear that culture of the 
intellect weakens the feelings. This fear is based on slovenly 
reasoning — on the inferenitc that because a few blue-stockings have 
at aU ages made themselves ridiculous by assuming masculine 
attributes and parading their lack of tenderness and feminine 
delicacy, therefore intellectual training must be fatal to feminine 
channs. As if there were not plenty of masculine blue-stockings, 
or pedants, without disproving tlie fact that the men of the greatest 
intellectual power — men of genius — are also the most emotional 
and refined of aU men ; or the fact proved by this whole mono- 
graph, that Love and general emotional refinement crruw with the 
general intellectual nilture of women. 

A typical illu>^tration of German feeling on the subject of female 
education is to be found in Scliweiger Lerchenfeld's FrauenUben 
tier Erdty p. 530. Referring to the attempts now being made in 
France to give young girls a rational education, he quotes Uie 
opinion of a French legislator that a girl thus brought up would 
not love less deeply tkin heretofore, while she would love more 
intelligently ; and then comments as follows : ''How far this 
aiiticiioition may be realised cannot be deci<1ed now or in the near 
future. At any rate we must leave to the French themselves the 
task of getting along with this cla^sicid female generation of the 
future. Certain it ib that their experiment will hanlly be imitated, 
and that the old Romans and Greeks may eventually become more 
danfrerous to masculine supremacy (Autoritat) than the pilgrimage 
stories of Lourdes." 

It is time for German woman to rise in revolt against this 
mediasval masculine selfishness. Not in active revolt, for a warlike 
woman is an abomination. But in passive revolt. Let them 
i^ase to spoil the men, and these bears mill become more gallant 
Germany is later in almost ever}* phase of literary and socixd 
culture than England It was not an accident that Shaks|>ere 
came before Heine, the English before the German p'^t of Love ; 
for Love is much less advanced in Germany than in England. It 
has not even passed the stage where a harsh sort of Coyness is still 



286 ROMANTIC LOTS AND PERSONAL BRAUT7 

io place. Gennan women want to leam the cnnning to be strange. 
They are too deferential to the men, too easily won. They want 
to leam to indulge in harmless flirtation, and they want the educa- 
tion which will give them wit enough to flirt cleverly and make 
the men moUow. 

It must be admitted, however, notwithstanding all these 
strictures, that there is much genuine Romantic Love in Grermauy, 
often diflering in no wiae from Anglo-American Love. At first 
sight it seems, indeed, as if cha|)eronflge were as strict as in 
France ; and no doubt many German girls are brought up on the 
spring-chicken-coyness system which r^ards every man as a hawk, 
and a signal f^r hiding away in a comer. But in general Qer- 
man girls have much more freedom than French girls. They 
may walk alone in the street in the daytime, go alone to 
the conservatory to attend a music-lesson. They meet the young 
men freely at evening parties, dances, musiciil entertainments, 
etc. ; and the chaperons are not nearly so oI)tn]sive and ofien- 
sive as in France. The mothers appear to have taken to heart 
Jean Paul's saying that *4n the mother'^ presence it is impos- 
sible to carry ou an edifying convereation with the daughter." 
So that there is plenty of opportunity for falling in love ; and 
were it not for parental dictation, Love-matches would perhaps 
be iis common as in EugUmd. But the girls lack indepeudence 
of spirit to defy parental tyranny, which it is their moi-al duty 
to defy where money or rank arc pitted aj^^ainst Love. For the 
health and happiness of the next generation are at stake. 

German girls also enjoy an advantage over the French in 
having a literature which is pure and wholesome ; and by reading 
about Romantic Love they train and deepen their feelings. It is 
often said that Heine's influence has been chiefly negative. The 
truth is, Heine is t/ie greatest emotional educator Germany has 
ever had. More young men and girls have wept over his pathetic 
lyrics than over auy other poetry. His Buch der Lieder has done 
more to footer the growth of Romantic Love in Germany than all 
other collections of verse combined ; not only by their own 
unadorned beauty, but through the soulful music wedded to these 
poems by Schubert, Schumann, and other magicians of the heart. 
The fact that the copyright on Heine's works was soon to expire, 
and the country to be flooded with clieap editions, has long caused 
Master Cupid to mb his hands in gleeful anticipation of brisk busi- 
ness; and he has just given orders in his arsenal for one 
hundred thousand new golden aiTows, 

Heine indeed fathomed the secrets of Love much more deeply 




GER^IAN LOTS 2S7 

than Goethe. Whereas Heine sang of Love in every major and 
minor key, Goethe appears to have emphasised chiefly its transi- 
toriness. " Love, as Goethe knows it," says Professor Seeley, " is 
very tender, and has a lyric note as fresh as that of a song-bird. 
In his Autobiography one love-passage succeeds another, but each 
comes speedily to an end. Huw far in each case he was to blame 
is a matter of controversy. But he seems to betray a way of 
thinking abont women such as might be natui*al to an Orientxd 
sultan. ' I was in that agreeable phase,' he write?, ' when a new 
piission ha^l begun to spring up in me before the old one had quite 
disap|ieared.' About Frederika he blames himself without reserve, 
and uses strong expressions of contrition ; but he forgets the 
matter strangely soon. In his distress of mind he says he found 
riding, and especially skating, bring much relief. This reminds us 
of the famous letter to the Frau von Stein about coffee. He is 
always ready in a moment to shake off tlie deepest impressions and 
receive new ones ; and he never looks back. . . . Goethe was a 
man of the old regime. . . . Had he entered into the reforming 
movement of his age, he might have striven to elevate women. . . . 
He certainly felt at times that all was not right in the status of 
women (' woman's fate is pitiable 0* ftod how narrowly confined was 
their h^i>ines8 (wie enggebuiiden ist des Weibes Gluck) . . . but 
he was not a reformer of institutions." 

A reformer of institutions, however, has apparently just arisen 
in Berlin. For we read that at a private female seminary the girls 
received the following subject for an essay : ** There is from the 
Idea^ of PLito, the atoms of Democritus, the Substance of Spinoza, 
the monads of Leibnitz, and from the subjective mental forms of 
Kant, the proof to bring, that the philosophy it never neglected 
has the to-lie-calculated results of their hypotheses with their into- 
perception-falling effects to compare." 

Such subjects, so elegantly expressed, are no doubt eminently 
calculated to bring out the latent possibilities of feminine feeling 
and cidture. 

To close this chapter with a sweet, soothing concord — mi^ 
triail, horns and 'cellos, tmorzando — it must be admitted that tlie 
Germans have one ingredient of Romantic Love which all other 
nations must envy them. They have one more thrill in tiie drama 
of Love, in the as<%nding srale of familiarities, than we have, namely, 
tlie word Du^ which is something ver>' different from the stilted 
Thou^ because still a part of ever^'day language. The second 
person singular is used in Grermany t«>wards pet animals and 
children, between students, intimate friends, relatives, and lovexi. 




288 ROMAirnC LOVE AND PERSONiX BEAUTY 

French '' lovers " do not say fu to each otlier till after marriage, and 
even then they do not use it in public. But the (German lover has 
the privilege, as soon as he is engaged, of exchanging the formal Sie 
for the affectionate Du ; and the first Du that comes from her lips 
can hardly be less sweet than the first kiss. 

There is a game of cards, popnlar among young folks in Germany, 
during which you have to address every one with i>t« whom yon 
otherwise would have to call Sie, and vice versd ; cards have to be 
called spoons, white black, etc. If there is a young man in the 
company secretly in love with a young lady, you can always 
'' spot " him by the eagerness he shows to speak to her, and the 
fact that he always gets the Du right and everything else wrong ; 
while she, strange to say, appears to have never heard of such a 
thing at all as a personal pronoun. 

ENGLISH LOVS 

Concerning Romantic Love in En«;land and America, there is 
less to be said under the head of National Peculiarities than in 
case of the continental nations of Europe, for the simple reason 
that almost everything said in the pages on Mo<lem Love refers 
especially to these two countries. Anglo-American Love is 
Romantic Love, pure and simple, as first depicted by Shakspere, 
and after him, with more or less accuracy, by a hundred other 
poets and novelists. There is no lack of colour in thi^ Love — 
colour warm and glowing — but it is no longer a mere local colour, a 
national or provincial peculiarity, but Love in its essence, its 
cosmopolitan aspect ; Love such as will in course of time prevail 
throughout the world, wiien the Anglisation of this planet — which 
is only a question of time — shall have been completed. 

England has many a bright jewel in the crown of her achieve- 
ments in behalf of civilisation, but the brighest of all is this, that 
she was the first country in the world — ancient, mediaeval, or 
modem — that removed the bars from woman^s prison-windows, 
opened every door to Cupid, and made him thoroughly welcome 
and comfortable. And grateful Cupid has retaliated by setting jp 
English manners and customs as a model which all other nations 
are slowly but surely copying. Eighteen million souls in the 
United States, or almost two persons in every five, are not of 
English origin ; yet of these there are not one million who have 
n(»t given up their old countiy methods of courtship as antiquated, 
and adopted the Anglo-American style. The Germans in America 
make love not after the German but after the English fashion. So 




ENGLISH LOVE 289 

ilo the French, though somewhat more reluctantly and tardily. In 
San Fraucisco and Chicago it is said that but one name in ten 
is of English origin ; yet who ever heard of a San Franciscan 
or Chicagoan making love in foreign stylet During the 
last hundred years the majority of the immigrants to America 
have come from non-£ngli.sh countries ; yet, though the parents 
enter the ooantry as adults with all their national traditions 
Btatnped on tbeir memories, they invariably allow their sons and 
daughters to court and be courted in American style. And now 
that England is gradually extending her influence to every one of 
the five continents. Romantic Love — to wliose sway, quite as much 
as to tlieir outdoor active life, the English owe the fact that they are 
to-day the handsomest and most energetic race in the world — is 
also rapidly extending its sphere, and will finally oust the last 
vestiges of Oriental despotism, feminine suppression, and mediieval 
masculine barbarism. 

For some centuries woman has been more favoured by law, aiK^ 
especially by national custom, in England than in any other 
European state. It is true that the Englishman who beats his 
wife is the most brutal savage on the face of the globe, but he is 
t> be found only among the lowest classes. Nor has wife-selling 
e\er been quite such a univers:d custom in England as foreigners 
imagine ; although cases are on record as far back as 1302 and as 
late as 1884. In an article in AIL tJie Year Bound (Dec. 20, 1884) 
more tlian twenty cases are eniunerated with full details, the price 
of a wife varying from twenty-five guineas to a pint or half a pint 
of beer, or a penny and a dinner ; and the Tinu$ of July 22, 1797, 
remarks sarcastiadly : ** By some mistake or oniissicn, in the report 
of the Smithfield market, we have not learned the average price of 
wives fur the week. The increasing value uf the fair sex is es- 
teemed by several eminent writers the certain criterion of increasing 
civilisation. Smithfield has, on thi^ ground, Rtrong pretensions to 
refined improvement, as the price of wive^ ha^ risen in that market 
from half a guinea to three guineas and a half 

That these cases occurred only among the lowest chisses is self- 
evident ; yet even the lowest classes often resented the brutal 
tr» ns;iction by pelting the offenders with stones and mud ; whereas, 
as far as the women were concerned, the offence Wiis mitigated by 
the £sct that in all cases on record they appear to have been only 
too glad to be sold, so as to get rid of their tyrants. 

It cannot be said that English women are all exempt from the 
hardest manual labour even to-day ; but the tendency to reliere 
them of tasks unsuited to feminine muscular development hat 

V 




290 ROMANTIC LOVE AJSTD PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

existed longer in England than elaewhere. The difference can be 
best observed with regard to agricultural labour. Any one who 
travels through Italy, Switzerland, France, or CkrmanT in the 
autumn, gets the impression that most of the harvesting is done by 
the women ; whereas in EngLind, as shown by statistics, there are 
twenty-two men to every woman engaged us field-labourers. Yet 
even at that rate there are stiU 64,840 women in England engaged 
in agricultural labour unsuited to their sex. 

On the other hand, English women, like American women, are 
manifesting a great disposition at present to try their hand or 
brain at almost every employment heretofore considered exclusively 
masculine. The census enumerates 349 different classes of work, 
and of these all but about 70 have been invaded by women ; in- 
cluding 5 horse-dealers, 14 bicycle makers and dealers, 16 sculptors, 
18 fence makers, 1 9 fossil diggers, etc. ; whereas there are as yet no 
female pilots, dentists, police officers, shepherds, law students, 
architects, cab-drivers, commercial travellens, banisters, etc. [Full 
list in rail Mall GazeUe, Oct. 3, 1884.] 

Inasmuch as there are almost a million more women than men 
in England, it is not surprising that women should thus seek to 
extend their sphere of usefulness. We live in an experimental 
epoch, wheu it is to be ascertained what is and what is not becom- 
ing to woman regarded as a lalxnu^r. It is therefore of the utmost 
importance that there should be some standard by which each em- 
ployment is to be judged. And this standard, fortunately, is 
supplied by Romantic Love. 

We have seen that the tendency of civilisation has been to 
differentiate the sexes more and more in appearance, character, and 
emotional susceptibilities, and that on this differentiation depends 
the existence and power of Love, because it indi vidua li'sfs man and 
woman, and Love is the more intense tiie mure it is individualised. 

Hence every employment which tends to make woman masculine 
in appearance or habits is to be tabooed by her because antagonistic 
to Love. If she, nevertheless, persists iu it, Love will liave its 
revenge by eliminating her through Sexual Selection. No man 
will marry a masculine woman, or fall in love with her, so that 
her unnatural temperament will not be transmitted to the next 
generation and multiplied. 

But what is to be accepted as the standard of femininity ? The 
answer is ^ven us by Nature. Throughout the animal world, with 
a few insignificant exceptions, the sexes are differentiated dis- 
tinctly ; and the female is the more tender and gentle of the two, 
the more devoted to domestic affection and the care and education 




ENGLISH LOVE S91 

of the jouDg, the more amiable, and, above all, less aggressive, bold, 
and pugnacious than the male. '^Adj educatiou which women 
undergo,'' says the Spectator^ ''should be an education not for the 
militant life of war against evil but for the spiritual life inspiiing 
a persuasive or patient charity. . . . Even in a field profierly 
;uited to them — the field of charitable institutions, uf poor-law 
work, of educational representation — m-omen no sooner take up the 
cudgels than they los>e their appropriate influence, and are either 
unsexed or paralysed." 

According to Mr. Iluskin, ''woman's work is — (1) To please 
people. (2) To fetd them in dainty ways. (3) To clothe them. 
(4) To keep them orderly. (5) To teach them." 

Statistiits concerning the employments instinctively sought by 
the migority of women bear out Mr. Ruskiu'd table quite well. 
Woman's first duty is to please people by being beautiful, amiable, 
and fascinating in conver&ition and manners. No man would 
marry a woman unlei»s she pleased him in one way or another ; 
hence matrimony is the morX successful female profession, which 
in England includes 4,437/JG2 women. But there are other ways 
in which m-omen seek to please and proe|>er ; hence there are in 
England 2308 actresses as against 2197 actors, and 11,376 women 
whose profei^ion is music, as against 1 4, 1 70 men. 

Dome^ftic service, which includes the *' feeding in dainty ways " 
(though too often the ** dainty " must be omitted), employs 
1,230,406 women in England — about 30,000 fewer than industrial 
employments, which are somewhat more popular owing to the 
greater indiridu^d lil>erty they allow the employed. Yet domestic 
■crvioe is a much better prepanition for married hfe than labour in 
a roannfoctor}' ; so that, other things being equxd, a labouring mun 
lo> iking for a wife would be apt to select one who has learned how 
to take care of his home. This thought ought to help to render 
domestic ser\'ice more fx>pnlar. 

**To clothe them." Dressmaking, staymaking (alas!), and 
millinery* employ 357,995 women in England. 

*• To keep them orderly." Bathing and washing service employ 
176.670 women ; medicine and nursing, almost 50,000 ; missions, 
1660. 

'*To tearh them." This, one of woman's special vocations, 
eminently suited to her capacity, employs 123,995 females. 

If I have faile<i in correctly interpreting Mr. Buskin's oracle, I 
stand subject to correction from that earnest labourer in the task 
of finding fur woman her profier sphere — a work for which he hat 
not jet received the recognition and thanks he deserves^ 



292 ROMANIIC LOVE AND PEBSOKAL BEAUTY 

That marriage, and not miscellaneous employment, is woman's 
true destiny, is shown by the way in which Cupid influences sta- 
tistics. Thus there are in England about 29,000 school-mistresses 
aged 15-20, and 28,500 aged 25-45 ; but the time from 20-25, 
the period of courtship and marriage, has only 21,000. In tlie 
case of dressmakers this fact is brought out still mnre strikingly : 
15.20 — 84,000; 20-25—76,000; 25^5—129,000, in round 
numbers. 

Although, therefore, as Emerson remarks, "the circumstances 
may be easily imagined in which woman may speak, vote, argue 
cases, legislate, and drive coaches, if only it comes by degrees," 
facts show that there is more philo^sophy of the future in Mrs. 
Hawthorne's remark that " Home, I think, is the gresit arena for 
women, and there, I am sure, she can wield a power which no king 
or emperor can cope with." 

A consideration of all the foregoing f<icts shows that Love may 
be safely accepted as a guiding-star in making a proper divisiou of 
the world's labour between men and women. And the reason why 
England and America have made so much more progress than 
other nations in ascertaining woman's true capacity and sphere, 
is because she has 1)een educated to a point where she con assert 
her independence, and where she can inspire as well as feel Love 
— thus making man humble, gallant, gentle, ready to make con- 
cessions and remove restrictions. It is in England and America 
alone that Love plays a more important role in marriage than 
money and social position ; that the young are generally permitted 
to considt their own heart instead of parental command ; and that 
the opportunities for coiutship are so liberal and numerous that 
the young are enabled to fall in love with one another not only for 
dazzling qualities of Pei*snnal Beauty, viewed for a moment, but for 
traits of character, emotional refinement, and a cultured intellect. 

These two nations alone have lully taken to heart and heeded 
Addison's maxim that " Those marriages generally abound most 
with love and constancy that are preceded by a lo7ig courtship. 
The passion should strike root an<l leather strength before marriage 
be grafted on it. A long course of hopes and expectations fixes 
the idea in our minds, and habituates us to a fondness of the per- 
son beloved." 

There is, however, a difference between En5:li3h and American 
Love which shows that we have learnerl Addison's lesson even 
better than his own countrymen. As Mr. Robert Laird Collier 
remarks in English Home Life : " The American custom, among 
the mass of the people, of leaving young men and young women 




ENGLISH LOYE S03 

free to associate together and to keep company with each other 
for an indefinite length of time, without declaring their intentions, 
is almost unknown in any country of Europe. It is not lon^, 
after a young man begins to show the daughter attentions before 
the father gives intimation that he wishes to know what it means, 
and either the youth declares his intentions or is notified to * cut 
sticks.' " '' Courtships in England are short, and engagements are 
long." 

The London Standard doubtless exaggerates the difference 
between English and American girls and their attitude toward 
men in the course of an article, part of which may, nevertheless, 
be cited : '* American girls offer a bright example to their English 
sisters of a happy, unclouded youth, aud instances seem to be few 
of their abusing the liberty which is accorded to them. Perhaps 
their immunity from sentimental troubles arises from the fact that 
from earliest childhood they have been comrades of the other sex, 
and are therefore not disposed to turn a man into a demi-god be- 
cause they only see one at rare intervals under the eagle eye of a 
mother or aunt A great revolution in public opinion would be 
required ere English girls could be emancipated to the extent 
which prevails on the other side of the Atlantic, and even then 
it is doubtful whether the system would work welL The 
daughters of Albion, with but few exception^ are single-hearted, 
earnest, and prone to look upon everything seriously. They often 
make the mistake of imagining that a man is in love because he 
is decently dviL" 

Yet in German Home Life^ written from an English point 
of view, we read that *' There is no such thing as coimtry life, as 
we understand it, in Germai)y ; no cosy sociability, smiling snug- 
ness, pleasant bounties and hospitalities ; and, above all, for the 
young folk, no freedom, flirtation, boatings, sketchiogs, hi;zh teas, 
scamperings, and merriments generally/' And again : '' The sort 
of frank ' flirtation,' beginning openly in fun and ending in amuse- 
ment, which is common amongst healthy, high-spirited boys and 
girls in England, and has no latent element of intrigue or vanity 
in it, but is bom of exuberant animal spirits, youthfuJ frolics, and 
healthy pastimes shared together, is forbidden to her '' (the Ger- 
man girl). 

The Standard itself apparently contradicts itself in another 
article on '' Flirtation," concerning which it says : *' It is usually 
80 innocent that it has become part of the education most of our 
young women pass through in their training for society. The 
British matron smiles contentedly when she sees that her daughter, 




294 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAI7T7 

just entered on her teens, exhibits a partiality for long walks and 
soft-toned confabulations with her cousin Fred or her brother's 
&yourite schoolmate. Three or four such juvenile attachments 
will do the girl no harm, if they are gently watched over by the 
parental eye. They ser\'e to evolve the sexually social instincts in 
a gradual way. Through them the bashful maiden learns the 
nature of man in the same fashion as she takes lessons on the 
piano. In a word, she is * getting her hand in ' for the real game 
of matrimony that is to be played in a few years. Her youthful 
swains, of course, derive their own instructions from these inno- 
oeot amours. . . . Chivalrous feeling is developed which it takes 
a deal of worldly wisdom to smother in after years. . . . When 
we observe this sentimentality in a boy, we derive great amuse- 
ment from it, but it should raise the lad in our estimation. He 
has something in him to which ideals appeal, and his early- 
developed susceptibility will — to use a beautiful but forgotteu 
word— engentle his nature." 

Perhaps the difference between English and American court- 
ship and flirtation is not so great as often painted, and is becoming 
less every year, owing to the Americanisation of Europe. 

AMERICAN LOVE 

It is in the United States of America that Plato's ideal — so 
completely ignored by his countrymen — that young men and 
women ohould have ample opportunity to meet and get acquaints I 
with one another before marriage, is* most perfectly realised ; as 
well as Addison's supplementary advice that marriage should be 
preceded by a long courtship. 

As bojra and girls in America are commonly educated in the 
same schools, they are initiated at an early age into the Rweets 
and sorrows of Calf-love Courtship, which Las such a refining 
influence on the boys, and renders the girls more easy and natural 
in society when they get older ; destro}ing among other pueiili- 
ties that spring-chicken Coyness which makes many of their 
European sisters appear so silly. In the Western country-schools 
each girl has her " beau " — a boy of fourteen to seventeen — who 
brings her flowers, apples, or other presents, accompanies her 
home, and performs various other gallant services ; nor has any 
harm ever been known to result from this juvenile Courtship — 
except an occasional elopement, in case of a prematurely frivolous 
couple, whom it was just as well to get rid of in that way as any 
other. 




AMERICAN LOVE • 295 

When they get a little older, the young folks go to picnics 
without a chaperon, or they enjoy a drive or sleigh-ride, or go a- 
skating together ; and after a party, dance, church fair, or other 
social gathering, where the elders commonly keep out of the way 
considerately, each young nmn accompanies a young lady home. 
Were you to insinuate to him the advisability of having a chi^ron 
for the young lady, he would inform you pointedly that the young 
lady needed no protection inasmuch as he was a genUenutn and not 
a tramp. It is this high sense of gentlemanly honour that pro- 
tects women in America — a hundred times better than all the 
barred windows of the Orient and the dragons of £iut)pe. Thanks 
to this feeling of modem chivalry, a young lady may travel all 
alone from New York to Chicago, or even to San Francisco, and, 
if her manners are modest and refined, she will not once be in- 
sulted by word or look, not even in passing through the roughest 
mining regions. 

It is the consciousness of this chivalrous code of honour among 
the men that gives an American girl the frank and natural gaxe 
which is one of her greatest charms, and that allows her to tidk 
to a man just introduced as if they were old acquaintances. It is 
a knowledge of this gentlemanly code that makes parents fe^l 
perfectly at ease in leaving their d.-mj^hter alone in the parloiu* all 
the evening with a visitor. In a word, American customs prove 
that if you treat a man as a gentleman he wiU behave like a 
gentleman. 

Unquestionably there are girls who abuse the liberty allowed 
them, and encourage the men to encourage them in their freedom. 
Mr. Henry James has done a most valuable service in holding up 
the mirror to one of thes^ girls, to serve 21s a warning to all iJaisy 
Millers and semi-Daisy Millers. There are not a few of the latter 
kind, and I have myself met three full-iSe(lge«l specimens of the 
real •* Daisy " in Eiuxjpe — girls who would not have hesitated to 
go out rowing on a hike at eleven o'clock in the evening with a 
man known to thorn only a few hours, or to ^ro next day with him 
to visit an old tower, or to say that mauima *' always makes a fusa 
if I introduce a gentleman. But I do introduce them — almost 
always. If I didn't introduce my gentlemen friends to mother, I 
shouldn't think I was natural." It is this class of American 
tourists that liave, unfortunately, given foreigners a caricatured 
notion of the American girl's deportment 

Etiquette differs somewhat in various American cities ao«l 
among the different classes For instance, a young lady of the 
^ upper drdef , " who in Chicago is permitted to drive to the 




SM BOMANTIC LOTS AND FEBSOKAL BEAX7T7 

theatre in a carriage with a yomig man, is not allowed the aame 
priWl^pe in New York. 

The New York Sutif an excellent anthority in social matterB, 
gives the whole philosophy of American Courtship and Love iu 
answering a young man's question as to whether, in asking a young 
lady of the highest circles to accompany him to a place of amuse- 
ment^ it is necessary to inrite a chaperon at the same time. He 
is told that he must, — ^in those circles : — 

M But these people are only a few among the many. What is 
called society more exclusively in New York comprises, all told, no 
mcn^ than a hundred or two hundred families. Outside of them, 
oi course, there are larger circles, to which they give the law to a 
greater or less extent, but the whole number of men and women 
in this great town of a million and a half of inhabitants who pay 
obedience to that law is not over a few thousand. 

** Nine girls out of ten in New York, with the full consent of 
their parents and as a matter* of course, accompany youug men to 
amusements without taking a chaperon along. They feel, and 
they are, entirely able to look out for themselves, and they would 
regard the whole fun as spoiled if a third person was on hand to 
watch over them. A large port of the audience at every theatre is 
always made np of young men and young women who have come 
out in pairs, and who have no thought of violating any rule of 
propriety. Very many of these girls would never be invited to the 
theatre by their male acquaintances if they were under the dominion 
of such a usage, for the men want them to themselves, else they 
would not ask their company, and besides do not feel able to pay 
for an extra ticket for an obnoxious third person ; or, if they have 
a little more money to spare, they prefer to expend it at an ice- 
cream saloon after the play. 

'' Nor can it be said that the morals of these less formal young 
people are any worse than those of the more exacting society. 
Probably they are better on the average, and if the laws of Murray 
Hill prevailed throughout this city, the uiarriage>rate of New York 
would be likely to decline, for nothing di^^couroges the passion of 
the average young man so much as his inability to meet the 
charmer except in the presence of a third person, who acts as a 
buffer between him and her. He feels that he has no show, and 
cannot appear to good advantage under the eyes of a cool critic, 
whereas if he could walk with the girl alone in the shades of the 
balmy evening, the courage to declare his affection would come 
to him. 

'^ Therefore it is that engagements, even in the most fashionable 




AMERICAN LOTS 297 

•odetj, are commoDly made in the couDtrj diiriog the sammer, 
where the young people come together more freely and more 
constantly than in the town." 

The attempt made in certain comers of New York '' Society " 
to introduce the foreign system of chaperonage is one of the most 
ahsord and incongmous efforts at aping foreign fashions (which are 
on the decline even in Europe) ever witnessed in our midst In 
Europe Chaperonage is in so far excusable, as it is a modified 
survival from barbarous times when men were mostly brut4«, being 
drunk half the time and on military expeditions the other half. 
To treat American men, who are brought up as gentlemen, and 
commonly behave as such, as medisval ruffians, is a gratuitous 
insult, which they ought to resent by avoiding those houses where 
Oriental experiments are being tried with the daughters. That 
would bring the " mammas " to reason very soon. 

Tet it would seem as if New York *' Society" had already had 
enough of the Oriental experiment ; for the same high authority 
just quoted asserted last autunm that *^A regular stampede in 
£sTour of the liberty of the young unmarried fenude is to be under- 
taken this winter by a number of ' three-years-in-sodety ' veterans, 
supported and encouraged by nearly all this season's dibutanUi. 
The first step is to be the establishment of a right on the part of 
young girls to form parties for theatre maiinSei and afternoon 
concerts, untrammelled by the presence of even a matron of their 
own age, and to which all ' reliable and well-behaved young men 
are to be eligible.' . . . Rule Na 2 establishes beyond all dispute 
the often-mooted question whether the presence of a brother and 
sister in a party lof young people going to any place of evening 
amusement throws a shield of respectability over the others of the 
party. Society long ago frowned upon this mongrel kind of 
chaperonage ; but upon the principle that no young roan would 
permit indiscretions or improprieties in a party of which his sister 
made one, the ' veterans ' have voted in favour of it. The young 
man with a sister is therefore to enact the part of dragon on these 
occasions, and will be largely in demand. Failing a convenient 
sister, he may get a cousin, perhaps, to take her pUoe." 

When it comes to the cousin, the reversion to Americanism, 
pure and simple, will be complete. 

The gentlemanliiiess and Gallantry of Americans have at all 
times been acknowledged by observers of all uationalities ; and it 
is indeed hardly too much to say that the average American is 
dk poaed to treat the whole female sex with a studied Gallantry, 
wbich in most European countries is reserved by men for the 



298 BOMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

one girl with whom they happen to be in lore. Even the irate 
and yituperative Anthony Trollope in his book on North America 
waa obliged to admit that " It must be borne in mind that in that 
country material wellbeing and education are more extended than 
with us, and that therefore men there hare learned to be chivalrous 
who with us have hardly progressed so fox. The conduct of the 
men to the women throughout the states is always gracious. . . . 
But it seems to me that the women hare not advanced as far as 
the men have done. ... In America the spirit of chivalry has 
sunk deeper among men than it has among women." 

Anthony Trollope is by no means the only writer who has put 
his finger on the greatest foible of American women. No doubt 
they have, as a class, been spoiled by excessive masculine Gallantly. 
They do not, like the women of the Troubadour period, who were 
similarly spoilt, go quite so far as to send their knights on crusades 
and among lepers, but they often shroud themselves in an atmo- 
sphere of selfishness which is very unfeminine — to choose a compli- 
mentary adjective. 

In the East, where there is already a large excess of women 
over men, this evil is less marked than in the West, where women 
are still in a minority. Thus the Denver Tribune, in an article on 
" The Impoliteness of Women," remarks : " If there is any charac- 
teristic of Americans of which they arc more proud than any other, 
it is the courtesy which the men who are natives of this country 
exhibit towards women, and the respect which the gentler sex 
receives in public. This is a trait of the American character of 
which Americans are justly proud, and in which they doubtless 
excel the people of any other country. But while this is true of 
the men, it is a matter to be deeply regretted that as much cannot 
be said of the women of this country." After praising American 
women for their beauty, vivacity, high moral character, and other 
charms, the Tribune adds that they " seem very generally to be 
prompted in their conduct in public by a spirit of selfishness which 
very often finds expression in acts of positive rudeness." They 
are ungrateful, it continues, to the men who give up their seats in 
street-cars ; they compel men to step into a muddy street, instead 
of walking one behind the other at a crossing ; and at such places 
as the stamp-window of the post-office they do not wait for their 
turn, but force the men to stand aside. 

Another Western paper, the Chicago Tribune, complains that 
in that city there are 10,000 homes in which the dau.srhters are 
ignorant of the simplest kind of household duties. It adds " That 
they do not desire to learn ; that^ having been brought up to do 




AHEBICAK LOVS 299 

nothing except appear graoefolly in society, their object in life ia 
to many hnsbands who can support them in idle luxury ; that this 
state of things has substituted for marriages founded on love and 
respect a market in which the men hare quoted money-values, and 
where a young man, however great his talents, has no chance of 
winning a wife from the charmed circle." 

So that the pendulum has apparently swung to the other 
extreme. In mediaval times the women were married for their 
money by the lazy, selfish men ; now the women are lazy and 
selfish, while the men toil and are married for their money. 

Yet there is much exaggeration in this view, which applies to 
only a small portion of the American people. We are far from the 
times when Miss Martineau complained of the feeble health of 
American women, and attributed it to the vacuity of their minds. 
Their health is still, on the average, inferior to that of English and 
German danisele, from whom they could also learn useful lessons in 
domestic matters ; but intellectually the American woman has no 
equal in the world; while her sweetness, grace, and proverbial 
beauty combine into an ensemble which makes Cupid chuckle 
whenever he looks at a susceptible young man. 

Goldsmith says somewhere that " the En^rlish love with vio- 
lence, and expect violent love in return." Certainly this holds 
true no less of the Americans. There are indeed several favour- 
aUe circumstances which combine to make Romantic Love more 
ardent and more prevalent in the United States than in any other 
part of the world. 

(1) The first is the intellectual culture of women just referred 
to, which they owe partly to the leisure they eiyoy, partly to the 
fact that America has the best elementary schools in the world, so 
that their minds are aroused early from their dormant state. As 
Bishop Spalding remarks : " Woman here in the United States is 
more religious, more moral, and more intelligent than man ; more 
intelligent in the sense of greater openness to ideas, greater flexi- 
bility of mind, and a wider acquaintance with literature." Now 
the whole argument of this book tends to show that the capacity 
for feeling Romantic Love is dependent on intellectual culture, and 
increases with it ; hence we might infer that there is more Love 
among the women of America than amon<: those of any other country, 
even if this were not so patent from the greater number of VsfSxt- 
matches and various subtle signs known to international observers. 

And as the sweetest pleasure and goail of Love lies in the con- 
viction that it is really returned, man s Love ii thus doubled in 
ardour through woman's responsive sympathy. 



800 BOMANTIC LOVE AIH) PEBSOKAL BEAUT7 

(2) That Courtship proper is longer than in England, and 
engagement shorter, is a circumstance in favour of AmericiL For 
nothing adds so much to the ardour of Love as the uncertainty 
which prevails during Courtship ; whereas, after engagement, all 
these alternate hopes and doubts, confidences and jealousies, are 
quieted, and the ship approaches the still waters of tiie harbour of 
matrimony, which may be quite as deep but are less sublime and 
mmantic than mid-ocean, with its possibilities of storm and ship- 
^vreck. 

Moreover, the longer the time of tentative Courtship, the fewer 
are the chances of a mistake being made in selecting a sympathetic 
ttpouae. 

In Germany an engagement is so conclusive an affair that it is 
announced in the papers, and cards are sent out as at a wedding. 
In America we meet with the other extreme, for it is not very 
unusual for a couple to be engaged some time before even the 
parents know it. Though there is such a thing as breach of 
promise suits against fickle young men, such engagements, if 
unsatisfactory to either &ide, are commonly broken off amicably. 
And, OS one of Mr. Howells's characters remarks in Indian Summer .* 
" A broken engaiErement mat/ be a bad thing in some cases, but I 
am inclined to think it is the very best thing that could happen 
in most cases where it happens. The evil is done long before ; the 
broken engagement is merely sanative, and so far beneficent" 

Were engagements less readily dissolved, divorces would be 
more frequent even than they are now. 

(3) Parental dictation is almost unknown in America ; nowhere 
else have young men and women such absolute freedom to choose 
their own soul-mate. Hence Individual Preference, on which the 
ardour of Love depends in the highest degree, has fUll sway. The 
comparative absence of barriers of rank and social grade also makes 
it easier for a man to find and claim his real Juliet. 

(4) This dependence of Love on Individualisation gives it 
another advantage in America. For nowhere is there so great a 
mixture of nationalities as here ; and, aioayfrom homey a national 
peculiarity of feature or manners has a sort of individualising effect. 
Till we get used to such national peculiarities through their con- 
stant recurrence we are apt to judge almost every woman in a new 
city attractive. From this point of view Love may be defined as 
an instinctive longing to absorb national traits, and blend them all 
in the one cosmopolitan type of perfect Personal Beauty. 

(5) There are beautifiil women in all countries of the world, 
but no country has so many pretty girls as America^ Money and 




riUU 



AHERICAN LOVE 801 

nnk find it hard to compete with rach loveliness, hence Love his 
its own way. Here aloue is it possible to find heiresses who have 
failed 4x} get married through lack of Beauty. Personal Beaaty is 
the great matchmaker in America ; and thus it comes that Beauty 
is erer inherited and multiplied. For Lore is the cause of Beauty 
as Beauty is the cause of Lore. 

One more characteristic of American Lore remains to be noted 
— the most unique of alL American women are of all women in the 
world the most self-conscious, and have the keenest seuse of humour. 
To these quick-witted damsels the sentimental sublimities of amor- 
ous Hyperbole, which may touch the heart of a naive German or 
Italian girl, are apt to appear dangerously near the ludicrous; 
h^ce an American lover, if he is clever enough, deliberately covers 
the step which separates the sublime from the ridiculous. He 
gilds the gold of his compliments by using the form of {)lAyfiil 
exaggeration, which is the more easy to him because exaggeration 
is a national form of American humour. Mr. Howells's heroes 
often make love in this fashion. The lover in The Lady of tk$ 
Aroattook spices his flatteries with open burlesque, and succeeds 
admirably with this new Ar$ AmorU ; and ColvUle in Indian 
Summer says to Imogene : *' Come, I'll go, of course, Imogene. A 
fancy-ball to please you is a very difierent thing from a fancy-ball 
in the abstract" 

^Oh, what nice things you say I Do you know, I always 
admired your compliments 1 I think they're the most charming 
compliments in the world.'' 

^I don't think they're half so pretty as yours; but they're 
more sincere." 

** No, honestly. Thev flatter, and at the same time they make 
fun of the flattery a little ; they make a pemon feel that you like 
them even while you laugh at them." 

Perfect success in this form of flattery requires a talent for 
epignm. Not numy, unfortunately, even in America, are poets 
and wits at the same time, like Mr. Howells; but there is an 
abmidanoe of clever compliments nevertheless, and they are apt to 
the form of playful exaggeration. 



SCHOPENHAUER'S THEORY OF LOVE 



A fiiBl hasty perusal of Schopenhauer's brilliant essay oo the 
^ Metaphysics of Sexual Love " (in the second volume of kia 
WA ab WUU umd VonuUung) will dispose most readers to 




302 ROMANTIC LOTS AND PERSONAL BEAOTT 

figpree with Diihring that the great pessimist '' makes war on love." 
Bat a more careful consideratioa of his profound thoughts shows 
that this is not the case, notwithstanding his habitual cynical 
tone. 

In the first place, his theory can do no possible harm, because, 
as he himself admits, no lover will ever believe in it Secondly, 
the gist of Schopenhauer's theory is to show that a lover is the 
most noble and unselfish martyr in the world, because his usual 
attitude and fate is self-sacrifice. 



LOTS IS Ur ILLUSIOir 

The fundamental truth which Schopenhauer claims to have 
discovered is that love is an illusion — an imtincUve belief on the 
lover's part that his life's happiness absolutely depends on his 
imion with his beloved ; whereas, in truth, a love-match commonly 
leads to lifelong conjugal misery. The lover, on reaching the goal 
so eagerly striven for, finds himself disappointed, and realises, to 
his consternation, that he has been the dupe of a blind instinct. 
Quieu se casa por amores, ha de vivir con dolores, s&ys a Spanish 
proverb ("to marry for love is to live in misery ") : and this 
doctrine Schopenhauer re-echoes in a dozen different forms : " It 
is not only disappointed love-passion that occasionally has a tragic 
end ; successful love likewise leads more commonly to misery than 
to happiness." ''Marriages based on love commonly end un- 
happily," etc. 

INDIVIDUALS SACKIFICED TO THE SPECIES 

The reason of this curious fact is given in this sentence: 
" Love- marriages are formed in the interest of the species, not of 
the individuals. True, the parties concerned imagine that they 
are providing for their own happiness ; but their real [unconscious] 
aim is sometliiug foreign to their own selves — namely, the pro- 
creation of an individual who^te existence becomes possible only 
through their marriage." 

What dirges a man on to this sacrifice of individual happiness 
to the welfare of his offspring is, as already intimated, a blind 
instinct known as Love. The universal Will (Schopenhauer's 
fetish, or name for an impersonal deity underlying all phenomena) 
has implanted this blind instinct in man, for the same reason that 
it implants so many other instincts in various animals — to induce 
the parents to undergo any amount of labour, and even danger to 



SCHOPEimAUER'S THEOBT OF LOVE 803 

life^ for the sake of benefiting the offspring, and thus preserving 
the species. All these animals, like the lovers, are urged on 
blindly to sacrifice themselves in the belief that thej are doing it 
for their own pleasure and benefit; whereas it is all in the 
interest of their ofiispring. 

Why was the Will compelled to implant this blind instinct in 
man t Because man is so selfish wherever guided by reason, that 
it would have been unwise to entrust so important a matter as 
the welfare of coming generations to his intellect and prudence. 
Prudence would tell young people to choose not the most attrac- 
tive and healthy partners, who would be able to transmit their 
excellence to the next generation, but the ones who are most 
liberally supplied with money and useful friends. That is, they 
would, invariably look out first for " Kuml)er One," indifferent to 
the deluge that might come after theuL It was to neutralise this 
selfishness that the Will created the instinct of Love, which 
impels a man to marry not the woman who will make him the 
most happy and comfortable, but whose qualities, combined with 
his own, will be likely to produce a harmonious, well-made group 
of children. 

Schopenhauer's TTt//, it must be understood, is an esthetic 
sort of a chap. He has his hobbies, and one of these hobbies is 
the desire to preserve the species in its typical purity and beauty. 
There are a thousand accidents of climate, vice, disease, etc, that 
tend to vitiate the type of each species ; but Love strives for ever 
to restore a harmonious balance, by producing a mutual infatua- 
tion in two beings whose combined (and opposite) defects will 
neutralise one another in the offspring. 

SOURCES 07 LOTS 

More definitely speaking, there are three vrajB in which the 
Will preserves the purity of its types — three ways in which it 
inspires the Love whose duty it is to achieve this result Physical 
Beauty is the first thing desired by the lover, because that is the 
expression of typical perfection. Secondly, he may be influenced 
by such Psychic Traits as will blend well with his own ; and 
thirdly, he will be attracted by perfections (or imperfections) 
which are the opposite of his own. These three sources must be 
considered briefly in detail. 

(1) Physical Beauty. — The most important attribute of 
Beau^, in the lover's eye, is YoutL Men prefer the age from 
eighteen to twenty-eight in a woman; while women give the 



804 BOtf AimC LOTS AIH) PEBSOITAL BEAbOT 

preference to a man aged from thirty to thirty-fiTe, rhidi 
represents the acme of his virility. Youth without Beauty may 
still inspire Love ; not so Beauty without Youth. 

Health ranks next in importance. Acute disease is only a 
temporary disadvantage, whereaa chronic disease repels the 
amorous affections, for the reason that it is likely to be trans- 
mitted to the next generation. 

A fine framework or skeleton is the third desideratum. Be- 
sides age and dlBease, nothing proves so fatal to the chances of 
inspiring Love as deformity : ** The most charming face does not 
atone for it ; on the contrary, even the ugliest face is preferred if 
allied with a straight growth of the body." 

A certain plumpness or fulness of flesh is the next thing 
considered in sexual selection ; for this is an indication of Health, 
and promises a sound progeny. Excessive leanness is repulsive, 
and 60 is excessive stoutness, which is often an indication of 
sterility. '* A well-developed bust has a magic effect on a man." 
What attracts women to men is especially muscular development, 
because that is a quality in which they are commonly deficient, 
and for which the children will accordingly have to rely on the 
father. Women may marry an ugly man, but never one who is 
unmanly. 

Facial beauty ranks last in importance, according to Schopen- 
hauer. Here too the skeleton is first considered in sexual 
selection. The mouth must be small, the chin projecting, ^' a 
slight curve of the nose, upwards or downwards, has decided the 
fate of innumerable girls ; and justly, for the type of the species 
is at stake." The eyes and the forehead, finally, are closely 
associated with intellectual qualities. 

(2) Psychic Traits. — What charms women in men is pre- 
eminently corn-age and energy, besides frankness and amiability. 
*' Stupidity is no disadvantage with women : indeed, it is more 
likely that superior intellectual power, and especially genius, as 
being an abnormal trait, may make an unfavourable impression on 
them. Hence we so often see an ugly, stupid, and coarse man 
preferred by women to a refined, clever, and amiable man.* 
When women claim to have fallen in love with a man's intellect, 
it is either affectation or vanity. Wedlock is a union of hearts, 
not of heads ; and its object is not entertaining conversation, but 
providing for the next generation. This part of Schopenhauer's 
theory is evidently an outcome of his doctrine that children inherit 
their intellectual qualities from the mother, and their character 
from the father. Hence the feeling that they are capable of 







SCHOPEKHAUEB'S THEORY OF LOVE 805 

supplying their children with raffident intellect is part of the 
feminine Love-instinct, and makes women indifferent to the 
presence or absence of those qualities in men. 

It does not follow from all this that a sensible man may not 
reflect on his chosen one's character, or she on his intellectoal 
abilities, before marriage. Such reflection leads to marriages of 
reason, but not to Love -marriages, which alone are here under 
consideration. 

(3) CompUmentary Qualities, — The physical and mental attri-' 
butes considered under (1) and (2) are those which ocmimonly 
inspire Lore. But there are cases where perfect Beauty is less 
potent to inflame the passions than deviations from the normal 

type. 

*' Ordinarily it is not the regular perfect beauties that inspire 
the great passions," says Schopenhauer; and this seems to be 
borne out by the ezperieuce of B}tou, who says : " I believe there 
are few men who, in the course of their observations on life, have 
not perceived that it ii not the greatest female beauty who forma 
[iuspires] the longest and the strongest passions." 

How is this to be accounted fort By the anxiety of Nature 
(or the Will) to neutralise imperfections in one individual by wed- 
ding them to another's excesses in the opposite direction ; as an 
acid is neutralised by combining it with an alkali The greater 
the shortcoming the more ardent will be the infatuation if a persoQ 
is found exactly adapted for its neutralisation. The weaker a 
woman is, for example, in her muscular system, the more apt will 
she be to fall violently in love with an athlete. Short men have 
a decided partiality for tall women, and vice ver»d. Blondes 
almost always desire bnmettes ; and if the reverse does not hold 
true, this is owing to the fact, he says, that the original colour 
of the human complexion was not light but dark. A light com- 
plexion has indeed become second nature to us, but less so the 
other features ; and ** in love nature strives to return to dark hair 
and brown eyes, as the primitive t3*pe." 

Again, persons afilicted with a pug-nose take a special delight 
in fttlcon-uoses ajid parrot-faoes ; mid those who are excessively 
long and slim admire those who are abuormally short and even 
stumpy. So with temperaments ; each one preferring the opposite 
to his or her own. True, if a fierson is quite perfect in any one 
respect, he does not exactly prefer the correspouding imperfection 
in another, but he is more readily reconciled to it. 

Throughout his essay, Schopenhauer tadtly assumes that the 
parental peculiarities are fused or blended equally in the ofi^pring^ 

X 




«0« ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

and that this blending la what the Will aims at But on this 
point Mr. Herbert Spencer has some remarks, in his essay on 
"Personal Beauty," which directly contradict Schopenhauer, of 
whose theory, however, he does not seem to have been cognisant: — 

'^The fact," he says, "that the forms and qualities of any 
offspring are not a mean between the forms and qualities of its 
parents, but a mixtui'e of them, is illotitrated in every family. 
The features and pecniiarities of a child are separately referred by 
observers to father and mother respectively — uose and mouth to 
this side ; colour of the hair and eyes to that ; this moral pcculi- 
turity to the first ; this intellectual one to the second — and so witii 
contour and idiosyncrasies of bxly. Manifestly, if each organ or 
faculty in a child was au average of the two developinents of such 
organ or faculty in the parents, it would follow that all brothers 
and sisters should be alike ; or should, at any rate, differ no more 
than their parents differed from year to year. So far, however, 
from finding that this is the case, we find not only that great 
irregularities are pntduced by intermixture of traits, but that there 
is no constancy in the mode of iutermixture, or the extent of varia- 
tions produced by it 

"This imperfect union of parental constitutions in the constitu- 
tion of offspring is yet more clearly illustrated by the rcappoaraiice 
of peculiarities tracejible to bygone generations. Forms, disposi- 
tions, and diseases, possessed by distant progenitors, habitually 
come out from time to time in descendants. Some single feature, 
or some solitary tendency, will again and again show itself after 
being apparently lost It is notoiiously thus with gout, scrofula, 
and insanity." 

Again, unite a pure race "with another equally pure, but 
adapted to different conditions and having a correspondingly dif- 
ferent physique, face, and morale, and there will occur in the 
descendant** not a homogeneous mean between the two constitu- 
tions, but a seemingly irregular combination of characteristics of 
the one with characteristics of the other—one feature traceable to 
this race, a second to that, and a third uniting the attributes of 
both ; while in disposition and intellect there will be found a like 
medley of the two originals." 

The fact that the more remote ancestry must be taken into 
account besides the parents, in considering the traits of the off- 
spring, is one which Mr. Galton has done much to emphasise, and 
which Schopenhauer completely ignores. It tells against the 
metaphysical part of his theory ; for all the efforts of the Will 
to merge opposite characters into homogeneous traits must prove 




SCHOPENHAUEE'S TUEOET OF LOVE 807 

futOe -if a blue-eyed man, for instanoe, who marries a black-ejed 
girl, finds that their children have neither the father's blue nor the 
mother's black, but the grandmother's gray eyes. 

Tet in the long nm diverse traits of figure and physiognomy 
do tend to a harmonious fusion. Though a man with a prominent 
nose, which he inherited from his father, is likely to transmit it 
to his son, though his wife may have a snub-nose, 3ret there will 
be a slight modification even iu the son's organ ; and if the son 
keeps up the tradition of marrying a snub-nosed girl, and his 
children follow his example, the chances are that in a few genera- 
tions the nose of that family will be a feiiture of moderate sixe and 
classic proportions. The very fact emphasised by Mr. Gnlton that 
all the ancestral influences count, will here nid the ultimate fusion. 
Conspicuous instances of the long-continued prevalence of a par- 
ticular nose — or other feature — may be accounted for by the fact 
that other kiniis of that organ \i ere rare in the vicinity, or that 
marriage was decided by so many other considerations that the 
dimensions of one organ could not come into consideration, much 
as the bride or groom might have preferred an improrement in 
that respect 

So far as Schopenhauer's theory concerns only the fact that 
Love is apt to be based on complementary qualities, he is doubt- 
less correct ; but it needs no erratic metaphysical fetish, as a deut 
ex maehina^ to account for that fact. A simple application of 
psychologic principles explains the whole my>tery. 

In the first place, nothing could be more remote from the truth 
than the cynical notion that every woman considers herself a 
Venus. She may, on the whole, consider herself equal to the 
average of Beauty ; but if she has any special fault — a mouth too 
large or too siuall, an upper lip too high, a nose too flat or too 
prominent, too much or too little fle»h, excessive height or short- 
ness — she is not only conscious of the defect, but morbidly con- 
scious of it, and uses every possible device to conceal it Thus 
constantly brooding over her misfortune her mind, by a natural 
reaction, will conceive a special admiration for an organ that 
exceeds the line of Beauty in the opptisite direction. Every day 
one hears a prdU girl admiring a spei-ially tall woman ; and this 
admimtioQ will prompt her, other things being equal, to fall in 
love with a tall man. 

Secondly, familiarity breeds indifierence to one's own charmSi 
and a disposition to admire what we lack ourselves. 

Novelty comes into play. A Northern blonde among a nation 
3f brunettes caunor fail to slsy hearts by the hundred, while tho 




808 BOUAlSmC LOTS AHD PEBSOKAL BEAUTY 

myBtie fkuBhes of a Spaniah woman's black eyes are fatal to evexy 
Northern yiaitor. 

Nations, like indiriduals, admire and desire what thej lack. 
The Grermans and the Eng^h are deficient in grace— hence that 
quality is what chiefly charms them in the French, who have 
much more of it than of Beauty, and in the Spanish. Byron was 
so much smitten with the sun-mellowed complexions and the 
graceful proportions and gait of the Spanish maidens, that he 
became quite uigust to his own lovely countrywomen — 

*' Who xoand the North for pder dames would seek f 
How poor their forms appear ! How kngoid, wan, and weak 1 " 

Were savages susceptible to Love, it might be suggested that 
their practice of exogamy, or marrying a woman from another 
tribe, had something to do with their admiration of novelty and 
complementary qualities ; but we know that they do not admire 
such qualities, but only such typical traits as prevail among their 
own women, and these, moreover, in an exaggerated form. This 
is one reason why savages are so ugly. They have no Romantic 
Love to improve their Personal Beauty by fusing heterogeneous 
defects into homogeneous perfections. 

Thus we may freely endorse Schopenhauer's doctrine regarding 
the benefits derived by the ofl&pring (ulcimately, in several genera- 
tions) from marriages based on complementary Love, without 
bowing down before his fetish — a fetish which appears doubly 
objectionable because it is old-fashioned ; ue, it strives to " main- 
tain the type of the species in its primitive purity/' whereas 
modem science teaches that this ''primitive type" of human 
beauty had a very simian aspect 

Nor need we at all accept the pessimistic aspect of his theory 
— the notion that Love is an illusion, and that Love-marriages 
commonly end unhappily, the lover sacrificing himself for his 
progeny. 

Mr. Herbert Spencer, in his Sociology, elaborates an idea which 
so curiously leads up to this phase of Schopenhauer's doctrine that 
it must be briefly referred to for its evolutionary suggestiveness. 

Among the lowest animals — the microscopic protozoa — the 
individual, as he remarks, is sacrificed after a few hours of life, 
by breaking up into two new individuals, or into a number of 
germs which produce a new generation. The parents are here 
entirely sacrificed to the interests of the young and the species. 
As we ascend in the scale of life this sacrifice of parents to the 
young and the 8i>ecies becomes less and less prevalent Among 




8CH0P£NHAU£U*S THEORY OF LOVB 809 

birds, for instanoe, ''The lives of the pareDts are bat partially 
Bubonlioated at times when the young are being reared. And 
then there are long intervals between breeding-seasons, during 
which the lives of parents are carried on for their own sakes. . . • 
In proportion as organisms become higher in their structures and 
powers, tbey are individually leas sacrificed to the maintenance of 
the species; and the implication is that in the highest type of 
man this sacrifice is reduced to a niiiiimunL" 

Here is the point where Schopenhauer, had he been an evolih 
tiouist, might have dovetailed his theory with Spencer's, by saying 
that in man it is no longer the life of the individual, or most of 
his time, that is sacrificed, but merely his conjugal happiness, 
which the Love-instinct induces him unconsciously to barter for 
the superior physical and mental beauty of his ofispring. 

Unfortunately, Schopenhauer did not take any pains to veiiiy 
his theory by testing it by vulgar facts. There are plenty (^ 
unhappy marriages, but no one who will search his memory can 
fail to come to the conclusion that the vast m^ority of them are 
cases where money or rank and not Love supplied the motive of 
an unsympathetic union. Though Corgugal Affection consists of 
a different group of emotions from Romantic Love, yet there is an 
affinity between them ; and it is not likely that Coi^ugal Love 
will ever supervene where before marriage there wus an entire 
absence of sympathy and adoration. Even an imprudent Love- 
match which leads to poverty^is it not preferable to a maria^ 
de convenancf^ which leads to lifelong indifference and tnnmif 
Is it not better to have one month of ecstatic bliss in life than to 
live and die without ever knowing life's highest rapture \ 

Again, the French marry for money and social convenience, 
and their children are ugly ; the Americans marry for Love, and 
have the most l)eautiful children in the world. Is it not more 
conducive to conjugal hapinness to know that one has lovely 
children and that the race is increasing, than to have ugly children 
and to know that the race is dying out 1 

Love-matches would never end unhappily if the lovers woukl 
take proper care of their own happiness by transfusing the habits 
of Courtship into coigugal life, as elsewhere exphuned in this 
book. 

Schopenhauer's whole argument is vitiated by the fact that it 
is chiefly the physical complementary qualities that inspire Love, 
not the mental — the latter, in Csct, bein? barely noticed by him. 
Mental diverKciice might indeed oocasiunally lead to an unhafipy 
marriage, bui physical divergence — the fact that he is large aiid 



8ia ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

blond, she small and a bninette^-cannot possibly lead to matri- 
monial discord. This knocks the whole bottom out of Schopen- 
hauer's erotic pessimism. The only sense in which Love is nn 
illusion is in its Hyperbolic phase— the notion that the beloved is 
superior to all other mortals ; and that is a very harmless illusion. 

Schopenhauer's pessimism, it should be added, is greatly miti- 
gated by the poetic halo of martyrdom with which he invests the 
lover's head. Society and public opinion, he points out, applaud 
him for instinctively preferring the welfare of the next generation 
to his own comfort. " For is not the exact determination of the 
individualities of the next generation u much higher and nobler 
object than those ecstatic feelings of the lovers, and their super- 
sensual soap-bubbles r' It is this that invests Love with its 
poetic character. There is one thing only that justifies tears in a 
man, and that is the loss of his Love, for in that he bewails not 
his own loss but the loss of the species. 

Apart from the suggestive details of his essay, Schopenhauer's 
merit and originality lies, first, in his having pointed out that 
Love becomes more intense the more it is individualised ; secondly, 
in emphasising the fact that in match-making it is not the happiness 
of the to-be-married couple that should be chiefly consulted, but 
the consequences of their union to the offspring; thirdly, in 
dwelling on the important truth that Love is a cause of Beauty, 
because its aim always is either to perpetuate existing Beauty 
through hereditary transmission, or to create new Beauty by 
fusing two imperfect individuals into a being in whom their short- 
comings mutually neutralise one another. 

Love, however, is only one source of Personal Beauty. Per- 
sonal Beauty has four sources ; and these must now be considered 
in succession, in the order which roughly indicates their succes- 
sive evolution — Health, Crossing, Love, and Mental Refinement. 

The remainder of this work will be devoted exclusively to the 
subject of Personal Beauty, as it influences and is influenced by 
Romantic Love. And here, as in the preceding pages, I shall 
always cite the ipsissima verba of the greatest specialists who 
have written on any particular branch of this subject. 

FOUR SOURCES OF BEAUTY 

L — HEAXTH 

Plants^ Animals, Savages, — In two of the most exquisite 
passages, not only in his own works, but in all English literature, 




FOUR SOUBCES OF BEAUTY 811 

Mr. Buskin has emphasised the dependence of physical beaaty in 
plants on their healthy appearance, and the independence of this 
beaaty ou any idea of direct utility to man. 

'* It is a matter of easy demonstration," he says, " that, setting 
the ch&racters of typical beauty aside, the pleasure afforded by 
every organic form is in proportion to its appearance of healthy 
vital energy ; as in a rose-bush, setting asitle all considerations of 
gradated flushing of colour and fair folding of line, which it shares 
with the cloud or the snow-wreath, we find in and through all this 
certain signs pleasant and acceptable as signs of life and eigoyment 
in the particular individual plant itself. Every leaf and stalk is 
seen to have a function, to be constantly exercising that function, 
and, as it seems, toUly for the good and ei^oyment of the plant. 
It is true that reflection will show us that the plant is not living 
for itself alone, that its life is one of benefaction, that it gives as 
well as receives, but no sense of this whatever niingles with oar 
perception of physical beauty in its forms. Those forms which 
appear to be necessary to its health, the symmetry of its leaflets, 
the smoothness of its stalks, the vivid green of its shoots, are 
looked upon by us as signs of the plant's own happiness and per- 
fection ; they are useless to us, except as they give us pleasure in 
our sympathiidng with that of the plant, and if we see a leaf 
withered or shrunk or worm-eaten, we say it is ugly, and feel it 
to be most painful, not because it huru to, but because it seems 
to hurt the plant, and conveys to us an idea of pain and disease 
and failure of life in j^t" 

" The bending tree, waving to and fro in the wind above the 
waterfall, is beautiful because it is happy, though it is perfectly 
useless to us. The same trunk, hewn down and thrown across the 
stream, has lost its beauty. It serves as a bridge, — it has become 
useful ; it lives not for itself, and its beauty is gone, or what it 
retains is purely typical, dependent on its Unes and oolourt, not its 
functions. Saw it into plonks, and though now adapted to become 
permanently useful, its whole beauty is lost for ever, or to be 
regained only in part when decay and ruin shall have withdrawn 
it again from use, and left it to receive from the hand of Nature 
the velvet moss and varied lichen, which may again suggest ideas 
of inherent happiness, and tint its mouldering sides with hues of 
life.- 

In the animal world we find the some dependence of Beaaty 
upon Health. As Mr. Wallace has shown, " colour and onament 
ore strictly correlated with health, vigour, and general fitness to 
nrvive." It is the wasptxiox vitality, vigour, ood vivadtj d 



81S ROMANTIC LOVE AKD PEBSOKAL BEAUTS 

certain male animalB that leads the choicest females to prefer them 
to others less favoured ; and thus it happeus that, thanks to the 
dependence of Beauty on Health, animals have become more and 
more beautiM. Moreover, it is Love in its primitive form that 
urges animals to prefer those that are most healthy. And thus 
we have the three great agents acting and reacting upon one 
another. Health produces Beauty, and together they inspire Love; 
while Love selects Health, and thus preserves and multiplies 
Beauty. But this whole subject has been so fiilly discussed in the 
chapter on Love among Animals that it is needless to recapitulate 
the facts here. 

Conceming savages, there is a prevalent notion that, owing to 
their free and easy life in the forests, they are healthier on the 
average than civilised mankind. As a matter of fact, however, 
they are as inferior to us in Health as in Beauty. Their constant 
exposure and irregular feeding habits, their neglect and ignorance 
of every hygienic law, in coig'unction with their vidons lives, their 
arbitrary mutilations of various parts, and their selection of inferior 
forms, prevent their bodies from assuming the regular and delicate 
proportions which we regard as essential to Beauty. They arrive 
at maturity at an earlier age, and lose their vitality sooner than 
we do. ** Decrepitude," says Dr. Topinard, " shows itself sooner 
in some races than in others. The Austiaiiaus and Bosjesmans 
are old men at a period when the European is in the full enjoyment 
of his faculties, both physical and intellectual. The Japanese 
the same, according to Dr. Krishaber, physician to the Japanese 
embassy." 

Women everywhere pay less attention to the laws of Health 
than men. They have less exercise, less fresh air and sunshine 
than men. Hence, although the most beautiful women are more 
beautiful than the handsomest men, yet in probably every country 
of the world the average man is a more perfect specimen of 
masculine than the average woman of feminine Beauty. Conceming 
savages, Mr. Spencer says : " Very generally among the lower 
races the females are even more unattractive in aspect than the 
males. It is remarked of the Puttooahs, whose men are diminutive 
and whose women are still more so, that Hhe men are for from 
being handsome, but the palm of ugliness must be awarded to the 
women.' The latter are hard-vforked and apparently ill-fed" 
Again, of the inhabitants of the Corea Gutzlaif says : '* The females 
are very ugly, whilst the male sex is one of the best formed ot 
Asia. . . . Women are treated like beasts of burden/* Many 
aimilar cases are cited by Dr. Ploss in Das Weib, 




FOUR SOURCES OF BEAUTY 813 

Concerning modern drili^ nations a well-known art-critic baa 
given hifi testiinouy to the effect that *' Possibly owing to the fact 
that uien are freer to follow their normal lives, I have found that 
iu a majority of the countries I have visited there are more hand- 
some men than beautiful women. This is peculiarly the case with 
the modem Greek, and was, if antique sculpture could be accepted 
as witness, with the anctenf 

Greek Beauty. — In the preceding chapters of this work an 
ottempt has been made to show that there is a general connecticm 
between the growth of Liove and the growth of Beauty throu^ont 
the world. To some readers, no doubt, the thought has suggested 
itself, '* How, if this be true, did the loveless Greeks succeed in 
reaching such uncommon physical beauty — beauty which artists of 
all times have admired 1^' 

It roust be borne in mind, however, that we are very liable to 
exaggerate in our notions of Greek Beauty, because we are apt to 
generalise fr«>m the fine statues that have come down to us, anU 
to imagine that they represent the common type of Greek Beauty. 
But it is well known tliut the Greeks idealised their statues 
aoci>rding to certaiu physiognomic rules ; and, moreover, as 
Winckelmann remarks, " Beauty was not a general quality even 
among the Greeks, and Gotta in Cicero says that, among the great 
numbers of young persons at Athens, there were only a few possess- 
ing true beauty." 

Besides, it has not been claimed that Love is the cmly cause of 
Beauty. Taking into consideration the other sources of Beauty, it 
is easy enou^ to account for such physical attractiveness as the 
Greeks did possess. The intellectual culture which the men 
enjoyed gave them a great advantage over the women ; and equally 
important, if not more so, was tlie attention which the men (ami 
in some cases the women too) paid to Health. Their habitual life 
in the o|ien air, while the women were locked up at home, combined 
with their daily gymnastic exerci«es in making their complexion 
healthy, their eyes sparkling, their limbs supple, vigorous, and 
graceful 

Other causes that tended to keep up an average of healthy 
bodily development were the refusal to bring up sickly and deformed 
iufiints, and the existence of numerous slaves, who did ail the 
drudgery for the Greeks. 

It is most characteriiitic that the author of 'a very old Greek 
ode formulates his wishes in this order : First, health ; then, 
beauty ; thirdly, wealth honestly got ; fc»urth, the |irivilege of 
being gay and merry with his frienda 



8U BOMAKTIC LOVE AND PEBSOKAL BEAXTTT 

Fint, Health ; then, Beauty. There lies the secret, for they 
always go together; aad in aiming at one the Greeks got the 
other too. 

There was every reason why Greek parents should have striven 
eagerly to follow those laws of Health which ensure beautiful 
children. In ancient Greece Beauty was a possession which led 
to national fame. Some persons, Winckelmann informs us, were 
even characterised by a particular name, borrowed from some 
spedally fine feature. Thus Demetrius PoUorketes was named, 
from the beauty of his eyelids, x^P*''^P^4*^P^y ^-^ ^^ whose lids 
the graces dwell 

'*It appears, iudeed," the same writer continues, '^to have 
been a belief that the procreation of beautiful children might be 
promoted by the distribution of prizes for beauty, as there u reason 
to infer from the contests of beauty which were instituted in the 
remotest ages by Cypselus, King of Arcadia, in the time of the 
Heraclidue, on the Ixinks of the river Alpheus, in £1is ; and also 
from the fact that at the festival of the Piiilesian Apollo, a pn'ze 
for the most exquisite kiss was conferred on the youthfuL Its 
assignment was subject to the decision of a judge, as was probably 
also the case at Megara, at the tomb of Diocles. 

" At Spai-ta, and at Lesbos, in the temple of Juiio, and among 
the citizens of Parrhnsia, the women contended for the prize of 
beaaty. The regard for this quality was so strong that, as Oppian 
declares, the Sfmrtan women placed in their sleeping-rooms an 
Apollo, or Bacchus, or Nereus, or Narcissus, or Hyacinthus, or 
Castor and Pollux, in order that they might bear beautiful 
children." 

Some hint as to what the Greeks regarded as beautiful is given 
by the epithets Homer liestows on Helen — "the well-rmmded " 
** the white-anned,'' " fair-haired," " of the beautiful cheeks." 

Medicdval Ugliness. — This is a topic which might as well be 
introduced under any of the other Sources of Beauty, for it ib 
ditlicult to say which of these sources was most completely and 
deliberately choked up during the Dark Ages. 

It is a curious irony of language that makes asceticism almost 
identical with aestheticism, of which it is the deailly enemy. As 
diseases are transmitted from generation to genention, so it seems 
that the fear of Beauty born of mcdiceval asceticism has not yet 
died out completely; for it is related that some years ago a pious 
dame in Boston seriously nieilitated the duty of having some of 
her daughter's sound teeth pulle<l out, so as to mitigate her sinfid 
Beauty. 




FOUR SOURCES OF BEAX7T7 815 

If this worthy lady had followed St Jerome's ugtmction — "I 
entirely forbid a young lady to bathe " ; if the bad taught her that 
it ia uuladylike tOi have a healthy appetite ; if she had locked her 
up in a house rendered pestilential by defective drainage ; allowed 
her mind to rot in fallow idleness ; taught her that to be really 
s>iintly and virtuous she must be pale and hysterical ; or imitated 
the lady who was praised by a bishop in the fourth century for 
^ having brought upon herself a swarm of diseases which defi^ all 
medical skill to cure," — if the worthy Boston lady had but followed 
this medieval system, she would have succeeded in a short time 
in overcoming her daughter's sinful Beauty, and making her '* ugly 
as a mud-fence," as they say out West. 

That Personal Beauty cannot flourish where Health is regarded 
as a vice and Disease as a virtue is self-evident And one needs 
only to look at niedisval pictures to note how coarse and void 
of re&ned expression are the men, how hard and masculine the 
women. The faces of the numerous mediaeval women in Pianch^'a 
Cyclopcedia of Co$(umf have almost all an expression approaching 
imbecility, and feattu^es as if they had been chiseUed l^ a small 
boy trying his liand at sculpture for the first time. Thackeray 
doe* not hesitate to spenk even of " those simpering Madonnas of 
Rafael." Mr. G. A. Simcox remarks that in manuscripts of the 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries (like the Harleian Gospels and 
Maccabees) we meet with ** short, thickset figures, mostly with 
the long, square, horsey face, moving stifily in small groups, in 
heavy dresses ; and even the daughter of Heiodias dances upon 
her head [ste] in a gown that might have stood alone. On the 
other hand, the fiices are more set, more articulate, less flabl^, 
though they ore all mean, or almost all, and look askance out of 
the comers of their eyes" {Art Journal^ 1874, p. 68). 

There may be Oriental countries where woman is kept more 
closely under lock and key than she was in Europe during the 
Dark Ages ; but nowhere else has man so well succeed in reduc- 
ing the pursuit of unhappiness tu a science, in snubidng, scorning, 
abusing, maltreating woman. How all this must have tended to 
incrciisc Per^nal Beauty is well brought out in the following 
advice given by Mr. Kuskin : '* Do not think you con make a giri 
lovely if you do not make her happy. There is not one restraint 
you put on a good girl's nature — there is not one check you give 
to her instincts of afiection or of effort — which will not be inde- 
libly writtrn on her features, with a hardncM which is all the 
more painful because it takes away the brightness from the eyes 
of innocence, and the charm from the brow of virtue." 



«1« ROMANTIC LOVE AITO PERSONAL BEAUTY • 

Ifodem Hygiene, — Disease is Beauty's deadliest enemy. Yet 
for the sake of gratifying a silly vanity — for the sake of being 
distinguished from ordinary mortals — a certain pallor and hUui 
languor have loug been cousidered in certain iufluential circles as 
more distingue than nidily cheeks and robust health. Tet even 
if pale cheeks were more beautiful than rosy cheeks, would it be 
worth while to purchase them at the cost of premature decay— of 
the certainty that a few years of pale cheeks will be followed by 
nuxny years of sallow cheeks and lack-lustre eyes, deeply sunk into 
their orbits 1 

Though beauty is still of lamentably rare occurrence in eveiy 
country, there is infinitely more of it than during the Middle 
Ages ; and certainly not the least cause of this is the increased 
attention paid to Hygiene — public and personal The difference 
in this respect between us and our ancestors is well brought out 
by the statistics regarding the average length of life. In ancient 
Rome, it is stated, '* the average longevity among the most favoured 
classes was but thirty years, whereas to-day the average longevity 
among the corresponding class of people is fifty years. In the 
sixteenth century the avera<?e longevity in Geneva was 2 1 '21 
years. Between 18H and 1833 it was 40*68, and as large i» 
proportion now live to seventy as lived to forty-three three 
hundred years ago." Dr. Corfield, comparing the statistics of 
1842 with those of 1884, states that the mean duration of life in 
London has increased from twenty-nine to thirty-eight years. " In 
the reign of Queen Elizabeth the death-rate of the metropolis as it 
then was amounted to 40 per thousand. In the reign of Queen 
Victoria, almo.st entirely by the reduction of mortality by means 
of improved drainage, ventilation, and wat<ir, it has often touche<l 
15 and 14, and even fallen as low as 13 in the thousand," while 
"in many of the suburban districts, and in the fashionable region 
about Hyde Park it ranges from 11 to 12." 

In France, according to M. Topinard, the mean duration of 
life, which was twenty-nine at the close of the eighteenth century, 
and thirty-nine from 1817 to 1831, increased to forty from 1840 
1o 1859, thanks to the progi-essof sanitary science and civilisation. 

As Hydene is receiving more and more attention every year, it is 
l)08sible that in course of time Dr. W. B. Richardson's ideal will 
})e realised — a town ideally perfect in sanitary matters, having a 
death-rate of 9 per 1000, and 105 years the duration of a man's life. 

As decrepitude and premature old a<re means a premature loss 
of Beauty, personal attractiveness would be correspondingly pro- 
longed and increased with life it;^lf. 




FOUR SOUBCES OF BEAUTY 817 

Even at the present time not one houae in a thou^nd is do 
constructed that every room has good ventilation. Architects 
are, liowever, less to blame than the people who will persist in 
their absurd old superstition that dnmghts and night air are inju- 
rious. Professor Reclam, the distinguished hygienist, not long 
ago opened a crusade against the horror of night air and draughts 
which is especially prevalent among his countrymen. " Sleeping 
with open windows," he says, ''is most unjustly decried among the 
people, as well as night air in general But night air is injurious 
only in swampy regions, whereas on dry soil, in the mountains, and 
everywhere in the upper stories of a house it is more talubrioua 
iJtan day air, . . . Draughts are nut iivjurious unless we are in a 
glow. To healthy persons they ctmnot po$$ibly do so muck hara^ 
as iJie MtajnatU air in a doie room. The fear of draughts is en- 
tirely groundless, though it affects most people in a manner which 
is simply ludicrous." 

Electricity, no doubt, will in less than a decade abolish hones 
from our cities, and with them the dust, foul odours, and sleep- 
murdering noise. The gain to Health, and through it to Beauty, 
from this alone, will be enormous. Doubtless one of the reasons 
why there is so much Beauty, so many fresh and sparkling eyes, in 
Veuice, is because there are no horses in that dty, and the inhabi- 
tants are not roused and half-rousod from sleep every fifteen minutes 
during the night by a waggon rattling down the street 

It is not sufficiently kjown that street-noise may ii^ure the 
Health even of those whom it does not entirely wake up. The 
restorative value of sleep lies in its depth and the absence of dreams. 
A noisy waggon interferes with the depth of sleep and starts a 
current of dreams, thus depriving it of bdf its potency. 

''BeavtysUep'' is an expression which rests on a real physiological 
tidth. Sleep before midnight really is more health -giving and 
leuutifying than after midnight, for the reason that in all towns 
sud cities there is less noise in the early hoars of the night than 
after four in the morning, wherefore sleep is deeper between ten 
II nd twelve than between six and eight o*dock. The reason why 
so many more proposals (by dty folks) are made in the country 
tiian in the dty is not only because there are more frequent opportu- 
nities of meeting at a summer hotel, but because the young folks 
retire early, and appear in the rooming with an exuberance of 
Health, bom of fresh air and sound sleep, which cannot fail to 
inspire Love. 

Other matters of Hygiene will be discussed in connectaoo witk 
the organs which they specially concern. 




818 BOMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTT 



XL — 0BOS8INO 

Darwin has proyed experimentally that in the vegetable kingdom 
"cross-fertilisation is generally beneficial, and self- fertilisation 
iiyurioas. This is shown by the difference in height, weight, con- 
stitutional vigour, and fertility of the oflbpring from crossed and 
self-fertilised flowers, and in the number of seeids produced by the 
parent plants." He also showed that "the benefit finom cross- 
fertilisation depends on the plants which are crossed having been 
subjected during previous generations to somewhat diiferent con- 
ditions." 

Similarly, concerning animals, we read in Topinard, that 
" breeders who select their subjects with a definite object to breed 
in and in, that is to say, between near relations, rapidly obtain 
excellent results. They know, however, that fertility then dimin- 
ishes, and that it will cease altogether if they do not have recourse 
from time to time to crossing, in order to strengthen the raee.^* 

But both in the vegetable and the animal kingdom, as we have 
seen, superior Health also implies superior Beauty. 

The inference is natural that the human race also must be 
benefited by marriages of individuals of different races, or of the 
same race, but brought up under different conditions of life. And 
the facts are entirely in favour of this supposition, as are the best 
authorities in Anthropology. Dr. Topinard gives the following 
instances among many others: ^Immigration into the United 
States, which has taken so considerable a flight during the last 
thirty years, has already been enormous. Every variety of cross 
has been going on between English, Irish, Germans, Italians, 
French, etc, with the greatest possible success. We may also 
mention numberless Spaniards from the Peninsula, among whom 
are found the features of the Saracen invaders of the ninth cen- 
tury; then that population on the Barbary coast, called Moore, 
and which is a medley of races of every description, tlie Arab and 
Berber blood predominating. On tracing back the yellow races, 
we also discover a perfect eugenesis. . . . De Mas speaks in the 
highest terms of mixed breeds of Chinese and Mongolians, and 
MM. Mondi^res and Morice of those of Chinese and Annamites 
under the name of Minuongs. Dr. Bowring describes a race in 
the Philippine Islands, intermediate between the Malays and 
Chinese, as the principal agent of civilisation in these latitudes." 

On the other hand, '' it is undeniable that in Africa the Negro 
races do not cross to any great extent." Nor bos any one ever 




FOUK SOUBCES OF BEAUTY «19 

aocnsed the Negroes of an exceaaiye amount of Benoty. Whereas 
in Lima, which has the finest women in South America, ** there 
are twenty -three different names to desij^iate the varieties of 
mixed breeds of Spaniards, Peruvians, and Negroes." '* The num- 
ber of mongrels on the face of the globe has been estimated at 
twelve millions, of whom no fewer than eleven millions are in 
South America." South American women are already famous for 
their Beauty, and there is reason to believe that when the fusion 
of all these elements is complete the race will be one of the finest 
in the world. What Beauty it has now seems to be owing chiefly 
to the magic of Crossing ; for attention to Health there is little 
but what comes from life in the open air ; while Romantic Love is 
perhaps as rare as Mental Refinement, inasmuch as Courtship is 
not so free and easy a matter as in North America. All the more 
honour to the potency of Crossing. 

Take a few more cnses. The African Negroes, as just stated, 
do not mix much, and are an ugly type. Among the Polynesians, 
Dn the other hand, there are many very fine types of human 
beauty ; and it is therefore not surprising to read that to-day in 
Polynesia, ^ mixed breeds are so nimierous that it would be difficult 
to find among them any individuals of pure race." 

Again, concerning the Magyars or Hungarians, Schweiger- 
Lerchenfeld remarks that "they are a splendid race, physically 
and intellectually. . . . The girls and young women are of most 
piquant charm, models of health in mind and body." But these 
Magysrs, when they first came to Europe, were, as Waits states, 
" of a repulsive ugliness in the eyes of h11 their neighbours." That 
they have mixed with the Indo-Germanic type is shown by their 
appearance, as well as by peculiarities of their language. ** Where 
they have probably remained less mixed," Waits continues, " and 
at the same time less cultivated, in some remote regions, especially 
in the mountains, the ugly primitive t}'pe may be found to the 
present day ; in the plains may be found every transitional form 
from this to the nobler type ; at Szegedin both are found £soe to 
face." 

The Magyars, in turn, have, like the Slavo-Italians, Otecha, 
etc^ assisted the Austrians in evolving a superior type of Beauty 
by fusing with tliem. That there is very much more Beauty in 
Vifnna than in any purely German dty is an almost proverbial 
commonplace ; and the reason why may be found in the statistics : 
in Germany 31*80 |jer cent are blond, 14*05 brunet, 5415 mixed; 
in Austria' 19*59 per cent are blond, 23 17 brunet, and 6804 



820 ROMANTIO LOVE AND PERSONAL BEaUTT 

The European Turks have much nobler forms of the head and 
features than their Asiatic relatives ; and the inference seems in* 
evitable that they owe these improvements to intermarriage with 
Circassian women. 

A negative instance, 8howin<? the disadvantages of abstaining 
from Crossing, is given by the Jews. There are handsome Jews 
and, up to a certain age, very beautiful Jewesses. But the typiad 
Jew is certaiuly not a thing of beauty. The disadvantages of 
Jewish separatism are shown not only in the long, thick, crooked 
nose, the bloated lips, almost suggesting a negro, and the heavy 
lower eyelid, but in the fact that the Jews " have proportionately 
more insane, deaf mutes, blind, and colour-blind'' than other 
Europeans. From an intellectual and industrial point of view, the 
Jews are one of the finest races in the world, and their absorption 
by the natives of the countries in which they have settled could 
not but benefit both parties concerned. From this point of view 
there may be something said even in favour of the money-marriages, 
which are now so frequent between extravagant German officers 
and Jewish heiresses. Unfortunately, the Jews have kept apart 
so long from the rest of the world that they do not readily mix 
with non-Jews. Contrary to the general rule, mixed marriages of 
Jews and Christians are less fertile than pure Jewish unions. 

The precise manner in which a mixture of races improves phy- 
sical appearance is a question still open to debate. Professor 
Eollmann {Flasttsche Anatomie) thinks '* the residt of the cros9ing 
of two forms is comparable, not to a chemical, but to a mechanical 
mixture " ; and this agrees with the view of Mr. Herbert Spencer, 
who endeavours to trace to this fact the frequent want of corres- 
pondence between intellectual and phjrsical beauty. He believes, 
however, the time will come " when the present causes of incon- 
gruity will have worked themselves out," and intellectual beauty 
emerge in harmony with physical, in all details, as it no doubt 
exists in general 

There is no lack of facts supporting the view that sexual fusion 
is a mere mechanical mixture. The '^ Bourbon nose " seems to 
defy mitigating circumstances for generations ; and " M. de Quatre- 
fages knew a great-grandson of the bailiff of Sutfren who was 
a striking likeness of his ancestor after four generations, and who, 
nevertheless, bore no resemblance either to his fi\ther or his mother." 
A child may resemble its father, mother, aunt, uncle, grand- 
parents, or several of them at once ; and the i*esemblance may vary 
at different ages. 

More extraordinary are the following cases cited by Topinard : 




FOUR SOURCES OF BEAUTY S21 

''Sometimes the child poesesses altogether the cfaanicter of one 
or other parent : for example, the child of a European father and 
a Chinese mother, Dr. Scherzer Bays, is altogether a Europe^ or 
altogether a Chinese. A Berber with blue eyos and with the lobule 
of the ear absent, married to a dark Arab woman with a well- 
formed ear, had two children, one like himself, the other like hit 
wife. Ail English officer, £iur, with blue eyes and florid com- 
plexion, had several children by an Indian negress. Some were the 
image of the father, others exactly like the mother. ... A 
decided negro, having had a white among his ancestors, has unex- 
pectedly a child with a white skin by a negress.^ 

Yet all these are exceptional cases, which, like the winning 
number in a lottery, get a disproportionate amount of attention. 
Moreover, this " mechanical " form of assimilation seems to occur 
chiefly where very unrelated races are fused, and then especially in 
the first generation. In subsequent generations the union doubt- 
less tends to become more and more chemical — no longer a negro 
character floating on a white one, like oil on water, but a mixture, 
aa of wine and water. 

Take the American quadroons, for instance, famous for their 
beauty of form and features. They are mongrels of the third 
genention, having one-eighth black, seven-eighths white blood in 
their veins. Surely these characters are not " mechanically " 
mixed in such a woman, but " cheniically." . That is, you do not 
find her with the eyes and nose of a negro, the lips and ears of a 
white, one part of her sldn dark the other light : but in eTerything 
there is a fusion of the ancestral elements. Her nose is not flat 
like that of her ancestress, nor her lips swollen, but both are 
intermediate between those of her white and black ancestors. 
Her lip is still thicker than that of the whites, and that gives her 
a sensuous aspect, kis»-inviting. Her eyes, again, have lost the 
fierce glare and opnque blackness of the negro-^randmother, and 
assumed a more crysUiUine, tender lustre ; while their form and 
surroundings have become more refined and expressive. All this 
is hotnotreneous fusion, not " heterogeneous mixture." 

Fiuoliy, it is hardly correct to state dogmatically that a certain 
person resembles this or that ancestor. In nothing else do opinions 
Tary so constantly and so ludicrously. No one who has ever been 
'* trotted around " among his relatives in the *' old country,** can 
have (ailed to be amused at the countless resemblances to this and 
that uncle, aunt, or grand-parent discovered in him, until he came 
to the conclusion that he must be a veritable epitome of the whole 
genealogy. A man who at home is supposed to be absolutely n»- 

V 



323 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAU'lY 

like his brother, ia elsewhere mistaken for him and addressed as 
such ; while another man finds a friend who knew his father in 
his youth, and declares he is exactly like him ; though a second 
friend who knew only the mother, claims a similar hereditary 
influence for her. All of which tends to show that there is more 
of both parents in each person than is commonly supposed ; and 
that the reason why opinions differ^ so, is because the fusion 
is chemical rather than mechanical, which makes it difficult to put 
the finger on distinct points of resemblance. 

It is in the more closely allied races, like the English and Ger- 
man, or Italian and Spanish, that "chemicid" fusion is most 
readily attained, and Beauty most rapidly evolved. Such are the 
unions which take place on such a large scale in the United States 
and Canada ; and this miiy account for the fact that there is more 
Beauty in North America than in South America, where the races 
that intermingle are less related. There is a golden mean here as 
in everything else. 

nL — EOMANTIC LOVB 

What Crossing does on a national scale, Love continues with 
individuals, by fusing dissonant, but complementary, parental 
qualities into a harmonicas progeny. How this is done is sufficiently 
shown in the chapter on Schopenhauer. 

This, however, is only one of the ways in which Love increases 
the amount of Beauty in the world. There are several others. 

The second is that — apart from complementary considerations — 
Romantic Love always urges the choice of a mate who approaches 
nearest to the ideal type of Beauty. As Beauty is hereditary, and 
as a beautiful father and mother may have six or more beautiful 
children, this predilection for Beauty shown by Love necessarily 
preserves and multiplies it — 

" From fairest creatures we desire increase, 
That thereby Beauty's rose might never die,* 

says Shakspere, anticipating the modem theory of heredity. 

On this particular topic nothing more need be said here, because 
all the remain<ler of this book will be talcen up with a considera- 
tion of those features of Personal Beauty fur which the a»thetic 
taste which forms part of Romantic Love shows a decided prefer- 
ence. 

The third way in which Love promotes the cause of Beauty ia 
by the great attention it pays to Health in its choice. For though 




FOU& SOU&CES OF BEAUTY 829 

Health Is not always sjnoDTmoos with Beauty, it is the soD on 
whicli alone Beauty can germinate and flourish. 

The fourth way is through the elimination of udiness. Lore, 
says Plato, is devotion to Beauty : '* with the ugly Eros has no 
concern." 

From the esthetic point of riew, ugliness is disease. Now 
there ii a cast-iron Lykurgean law prevailing throughout Nature 
wliich eliminates the diseased and the ugly. It is a cruel agency, 
called Natural Selection, and has not the slightest regard for indi- 
viduals, but provides only for the weal of the species, as Schopen- 
hauer erroneously says is the case with Love. In a bed of plants, 
if there are more than can find sustenance, the stronger crowd out 
the weaker. Among animals, wherever there is competition, the 
'jest-developed, handsomest lion survives in combat, and the most 
fleet-footed, and consequently most graceful, deer escapes, while the 
clumsy, the ugly, and diseased perish miserably, inexorably. 
Savages leave the old and feeble to die, and weak or deformed 
children are either deliberately put out of the way or p'jrish from 
want of proper care. Nor among the ancient civilise nations were 
such methods unknown. Plato and Aristotle, ss/s Mr. Qrote, 
agree in this point : ** Both of them command thAt no child bom 
crippled or defonued shall be brought up^^ practice actually 
adopted at Sparta under the Lykun^ean Inr cautions, and even 
carried further, since no child was allowed t^t be brought up until 
it had been inspected and approved by th") public nurses." The 
Romans, too, were legally permitted to i^x^^mt dcfomietl children. 

Christianity, the religiou of pity and charity, abhors such 
pnurtices. Christianity is antagonistic ^o K&tuml Selection. One 
of its chief functions is the buildii^r; of hospitals in which the 
cripples, the insane, the incurably diseased, are gratuitously iind 
tenderly cared for, instead of being allowed to perish, as they 
would under the sway of Natural F^iection. 

This artificial preservation of disease and deformity, in and out 
of hosfiitals, due to Christian charity, might in the long run prove 
injurious to the welfare of the human race, were it not for the 
stepping in of M*Klem Love as a preserver of Health and Beauty. 
What formerly was lefl to the arency of Natural Selection is now 
done by Love, through Sexual Selection, on a vast scale. 

From a moral point of view, the subbtituiion of Sexual for 
Natural Selection is a great gain, in harmony with the spirit of 
Christianity. For Cupid does not kill those who do not oomo up 
to his standard of Health and Beauty, but simply ignores and 
soodemns them to a life of single-bleasednesa. 



tt4 SOMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 



IV. — ^MENTAL RKFimSMENT 

** After all," says Washington Irving, speaking of Spanish 
women, '' it is the ^vinity within which makes the divinity with- 
out : and I have been more fascinated by a woman of talent and 
intelligence, though deficient in personal charms, than I have been 
by the most regular beauty." 

It is one of the conunonest commonplaces of conversation that 
in moments of intellectual or emotional excitement the features of 
plain people assume an aspect of exquisite beauty. Love trans- 
fuses a homely girPs countenance with a glow of angelic loveliness ; 
and biographies are full of statements concerning the countennnces 
of men of genius, which, ordinarily unattractive, assumed an ex- 
pression of unearthly b^ty while their minds were active and 
electrified the facial muscles. 

*' There is not any virtue the exercise of which, even momen- 
tarily, will not impress a new fairness upon the features," says Mr. 
Ruskin ; and again, he speaks of *' the operation of the intellectual 
powers upon the features, in the fine cutting and chiselling of 
them, and removal from them of signs of sensuality and sloth, by 
which they are blunted and deadened, and substitution of energy 
and intensity for vacancy and insipidity (by which wants alone the 
faces of many fair women are utterly spoiled and rendered value- 
less) ; and by the keenness given to the eye and fine moulding and 
development to the brow, of which effects Sir Charles Bell has well 
noted the desirableness and opposition to brutal types." 

An English clergyman, the Rev. F. P. Lawson, diocesan inspector 
for Northamptonshire, issued a report not long ago concerning the 
results of his observations in 325 urban and rural schools diuing 
several years, regarding the effects of good education in improving 
the appearance of the children. "A school, thoroughly well 
taught, seldom failed to exhibit a considerable number of interest- 
ing little faces, and a striking absence of such faces might invari- 
ably be associated with poverty of tone and superficial instruction. 
Nothing struck him more forcibly in a school that has been 
suddenly lifted out of the mire by a firstrate teacher than the 
bright and thoughtful look which the children soon acquire." 

Negative evidence to the same effect might also be cited by the 
Tolume, but one case may suffice. *' It is unhappily a fact," says 
Mr. Galton, " that fairly distinct types of criminals hrttding tjtie 
to their kind have become established, and are one of the saddest 
disfigurements of modem civilisation." 




FOU& SOUUCES OF BEAUTY 825 

The oonnection between culture and a superior type of Beauty 
is ttrikiDgly revealed is the following remarks on the far-famed 
Georgian women of the Caucasus, made by a great connoisseur of 
feminine beauty, the poet Bodenstedt : ** In Europe the notion 
prevails that a Georgian woman is a tall, gracefid being, of luscious 
form, clothed in wide, rich garments, with dense black hair, long 
enough to enchain all masculine hearts, an open, noble forehead, 
and a pair of eyes which contain within their dork, mysterious, 
magic circle all the secrets of human delight that come through 
the soul or the senses. Her gait is rapture. Joy precedes, and 
admiration follows her. . . . With such notions in their heads, 
strangers generally arrive in Georgia, and find themselves wofull/ 
disappointed The tourists who come with such great expectations 
to visit this country, invested with the atmosphere of a fairyland 
by history and legend, either adhere stubbornly to their precoo- 
ceiveil notions, or else they instantly go over to the opposite 
extreme, and fijid everything dirty, ugly, disgusting, dreadful 

'* The truth lies between these extremes. The Georgians are, 
all in all, one of the handsomest nations on the earth. Bat 
although I am a great admirer of women, I am compeUed in this 
case to award the prize to the men instead of the women. This 
opinion U endorsed by all educated inhabitants of Georgia who 
have eyes, taste, and an impartial judgment 

*'I must add that of that higher beauty where heart and 
intellect and soul are mirrored in the eye, I found few traces in 
the whole Caucasus, either among men or women. I have seen 
the greater number of the beauties which Georgia boasts, but not 
one face have I seen that satisfied me conipletely, though the 
picturesque native costume does much to heighten the chums of 
the women. The face entirely lacks that refined mental expression 
which makes a beautiful European woman such a unique enchant- 
ress. 8uch a woman mny still inspire love and win hearts long 
after the time of her bloom ; whereas in a Georgian everything 
fades with youth. The eyes, which, notwithstanding their apparent 
fire, never expressed anything but calm and voluptuous indolenoe, 
lose their lustre; the noae, which even in its normal relations 
exceeds the limits of beauty, assumes, in consequence of the 
premative hollowneu of the cheeks, such abnormal dimensions 
that many people imagine that it actually continues to grow ; and 
the bosom, which the national costume makes no effort to conceal, 
prematurely loses its natural firmness — all of which phenomena 
are observed in European women much less frequently, and in a 
less exaggerated form. If you add to this the habit^ so prevalent 



326 BOMANTIC LOVE AISD PERSONAL BEAUTY 

# 

amoDg Georgians, yoang and old, of using white and red cofimetlcs, 
you will understand that such rude and innrtitic arts of the toilet 
can only add to the obseryer's sense of dissatisfaction." 

America affords many illustrations of the manner in which 
refinement of mind and manners increases Beauty in a single 
generation. There are in every city thousands of parents who 
began life as ordinary labourers, but soon got rich through industry 
or good luck. They bring np their children in houses where every 
attention is paid to sanitary rules ; they send them to school and 
college ; and when they come back you would hardly believe that 
those coarse-featured, clumsy-limbed, ungraceful persons could be 
their father and mother. ' The discrepancy is sometimes so great 
that when the young folks invite people of '' their set " to their 
house, the old birds keep out of the way discreetly, either of their 
own accord or by filial dictation, which in America appears to be 
displacing parental authority. 

But if there is such an intimate connection between culture aiid 
Beauty, how is it tliat we so often find plain features joined with 
a noble mind and fine features with a mean mind ? Mr. Spencer 
has endeavoured to explain this apparent discrepancy by assuming 
that in such cases plain features arc inherited severally and separ- 
ately from ancestors of diverse physiognomies, which being merely 
mechanically mixed, not fused, faiT to harmonise. There may be 
something in this, but a simpler explanation is at hand. 

Noble minds are often the result of individual effort, and 
persistence in it. Many men of genius have had humble parents 
not specially gifted. From these parents and their ancestors they 
inherited their plain faces. Now individual effort, in the short 
period of a lifetime, is insufficient to alter the proportions of a 
face, which depend on its bony parts ; but it does suffice to alter 
the ejcpresston, which depends on the movements of the soft, 
muscular parts. Hence every person, however plain-featured, 
may acquire a beautiful expression by cultivating his mind and 
refining his manners and temper. Whenever, therefore, we meet 
a man or woman whose features are less attractive at rest than 
when moved to expression of emotion, we may feel sure that they 
owe their mental refinement more to individual effort than to 
inherited capacity. 

The children of such persons will be more beautiful than they 
are themselves, because they will inherit the parents' habit of 
expressive muscular action of the features. And owing to the 
fact that all the bony parts of the body are modified in accordance 
with the action of the muscles attached to them, the bony parts. 




EVOLUTION OF TASTE »27 

the proportiouB, of the face will also be gradually modified and 
moulded into Dobler ahapes, through the continuance of refined 
emotional expression. 

It is in this manner that intellectual growth and emotional 
refinement haye gradually differentiated our features from thoae of 
our savage ancestors. Our lips haye l)ecome more delicate, our 
mouths smaller, our jaws less gigantic, ponden>us, and projecting, 
because civilisation has taught us to use the hands in preparing 
food, and to cut it instead of tearing it off the bone with the 
teeth, as savages and other wild animals do. 

Use increiises, disuse diminishes the sire of an organ. Hence 
for the same reason that our jaws have become less projecting and 
heavy, our forehead has lost its backward slope and become 
straight and noble, owing to the growth of the brain. And 
similarly with other peculiarities of the face, indicating the con- 
nection between mental refinement and physical beauty. *' Thus 
is it," says Mr. Spencer, ** with depression of the bridge of the 
nose, which is a characteristic both of barbarians and of our 
bab^ possessed by them in common with our higher quadrumana. 
Thuff, also, is it with that forward opening of the nostrils, which 
renders them conspicuous in a front view of the face, — a trait 
alike of infants, savages, and apea. And the same may be said 
of widespread al» to the nose, of great width between the eyes, of 
long mouth, of large mouth — indeed of all those leading 
tics of feature which are by general consent called ugly." 



EVOLUTION OF TASTE 

8AVA0X N0TI058 OF EEAXTTT 

In aD the preceding remarks concerning the connection be t wee n 
mental and physical beauty, the assumption has been made tacitly 
that what tor consider b^utiful is so in reality; and that our 
taste is a safe guide to follow. Yet this aasumption may be 
challenged, and has, indeed, been often challenged. Every nation, 
every savage tribe, has its own standard of Beauty ; what right^ 
therefore, have we to claim dogmatically that we are infallibla 
judges! 

Ask the devQ, says Voltaire, what is the meaning of to 
ffoA^K — the Beautiful — and he will tell you '* Le beau est naa 
paire de comes, quatre griffes, et une queue " — a couple of horDa» 
four dawsi and a taiL Aik a North American Indian, saya 



823 BOM ANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

Hearne, what Ib Beaaty, he will answer: ''A broad, flat face, 
small eyes, high cheek-bones, three or four broad black lines 
across ^tch cheek, a low forehead, a large, broad chin, a clunuiy 
hook-nose, a tawny hide, and breasts hanging down to the belt." 
In the Chinese empire '' those women are preferred who have . . . 
a broad &ce, high cheek-bones, very broad noses, and enormous 
ears." " One of the titles of the Zuln king," says Darwin (who 
gives many other instances d propos in chapter zix. of the Descent of 
J/tfii), " is ' You who are black.' Mr. Galton, in speaking to me 
about the natives of South Africa, remarked that their ideas of 
beauty seem very different from ours ; fur in one tribe two slim, 
slight, and pret^ girls were not admired by the natives." 

Darwin himself appears to have been staprgered and puzzled by 
this diversity of taste, and to have partly inclined to the theory 
that Beauty is relative to the human mind (though elsewhere he 
repudiates it) — a theory which Jeifrey has so boldly formulated in 
the assertion that ^ All tastes are equally just and true, in as far 
as concerns the individual whose taste is in question ; and what a 
man feels distinctly to be beautiful u beautiful to him, whatever 
other people may think of it." 

Fiddlesticks ! The Alison-Jeffrey school of Scotch aestbeticians, 
having been among the first iu the field, have done more to 
confuse the English mind on the subject of Beauty than several 
generations of other clever writers will be able to clear up again. 

There are about half a dozen sound, square, solid, scientifio 
reasons why we have a better right to our opinion concerning the 
nature of Beauty than a Hottentot or a North American Indian. 

NON-iESTHETIC ORNAMENTATION 

One of the things most coranionly forgotten by those who 
wonder at the strange *' taste " of savages is that many of their 
customs have nothing whatever to do with the sense of beauty. 
The habit of putting on " war-paint " originated not in a desire 
for ornamentation, but in the wish to make themselves frightful 
in appearance to the enemy. For the same reason heads are 
mutilated. As Waitz notes in speaking of Tahiti : ** A very ugly 
mutUation is that to which most of the boys had to subject tiiem- 
selves. Immediately after birth their mothers compressed their 
forehead and the back of the head, so that the former became 
narrow and high, the latter fiat ; this was done to make their 
aspect more terrible, and thus turn them into more formidable 
warriors." Tattooing, likewise, was originally intended to be an 




' EYOLUTIOK OF TASTE 820 

easy sign of recognitioD, or of social or reUgioos distinction, rather 
than an ornament of the body. And when we consider how prone 
the mind of our own fashionable ladies is to violate every canon 
of good taste in their wild effort to surpass one another in some 
novel extravagance just from Paris ; when we note that if a Fifth 
Avenue lady wears a gull on her hat, her coloured cook wiU invest 
in a turkey or ostrich for hers, we understand at once that numy 
of the mutilations approved by savages are the outcome of vanity 
and emulation, not of Aesthetic taste. 

P£BS0yAL BVAUTT AS A FINE AET 

Tet there are undoubtedly a number of physiognomic and other 
peculiarities which savages admire while we consider them ugly ; 
and some, again, which we admire and they dislike. Have we a 
ric:ht to consider them inferior to us in taste because they fail to 
admire what we adore T 

Certainly ; beyond the shadow of a doubt It takes genius to 
fully appreciate genius ; it takes a refined taste to appreciate 
refined bemuty. This is what the savage lacks. 

Look at any one of the fine arts. Why does the savage prefer 
his monotonous drumming and ear-pierciiig war-songs to a soft, 
beautiful, dreamy Chopin nocturne t Because he camnot wukr- 
ttand the nocturne. 

Why does he prefer his painted, clumsy, eoarse-featnred squaw 
to a civilised woman with delicate contours, refined featurea, 
graceful gait 7 Because he does wot umJemtand the bemuty of the 
latter. It is too subtle for his coarse nerves, his feeble imagin*- 
tion. The smiles and numifold expreasioiis that chase one another 
across her lovely features, like the subtly-interwoven melodies in 
a symphonic fioem, are the visible signs of thoughts and emotkma 
which he has never experienced, and therefore cannot understand. 
It is like giving him a \mgt of Sanskrit to read. 

It is tor this reason that a negro never falls in love with a 
white woman, and that a peasant prefers his plump, crude 
country-girl to the fair, delicate city visitor. He requires mote 
vigorous arms, broader features, than the dty girl possesses, to 
make an impression on his callous nerves of touch and sight 
And it is fortunate for the peasant girl that her lover doea ladL 
taste, else she would soon find him a fickle deserter. 

The savage, in a word, prefers his style of ** beauty** to ours for 
the same reitson that he prefers a piece of raw liver and a glass of 
oil to the subtle flavours of French cookerv and Freiieh winaa. 



880 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTT 

His senses are too coarse, his mind too vulgar, to perceive 
the poetry of refined features. Everything must be loud and 
exaggerated to make an impression on him — loud music, loud 
and glaring red and yellow colours, loud and coarse features. 

This doctrine that differences of taste are merely due to dif- 
ferences in the degree of aesthetic culture, and that there is such a 
thing as an absolute standard of human beauty, derives further 
support from the facts (1) that the ideal of beauty set up by the 
Aesthetic Greeks two thousand yeare tigo corresponds so remarkably 
with that of modem artistic minds; (2) that e,g, a Japanese 
student in the United States soon learns to prefer American female 
beauty to the Japanese variety ; (3) that an English, Italian, or 
American audience who at first admire Norma and find Lohengrin 
tiresome, can in a few seasons be so educated as to prefer 
Lohengrin and actually scorn Norma ; but not vice versd, in either 
case (2) or (3). 

Mr. Ruskiu takes a similar view regarding differences of taste 
when he says that " respecting what has l)een asserted of negro 
nations looking with disgust on the white face, no importance what- 
ever is to be attached to the opinions of races who have never 
received any ideas of beauty whatsoever (these ideas being only 
received by minds under some certain degree of cultivation), and 
whose disgust arises naturally from what they suppose to be a sign 
of weakness or ill-health." 

That this consideration of health does affect the negro's judg- 
ment re^Tirdinof the beauty of the white complexion, is also shown 
by what Mr. Wiuwood Reade told Mr. Darwin, namely, that the 
negro's " horror of whiteness may be attributed . . . partly to the 
belief held by most negroes that demons and spirits are white, and 
partly to their thinking it a sign of ill-health." 

But of all the theoretical truths emphasised in the Modem 
' Painters none is so important as this : " That not only changes of 
opinion take place in consequence of experience, but that those 
'changes are from variation ot opinion to unity of opinion, — that 
whatever may be the difference of estimate among unpractised or 
uncultivateii tastes, there will be unity of taste among the 
experienced ; and that, therefore, the result of repeated trial and 
experience is to arrive at principles of preference in some sort com- 
mon to all, and which are part of our nature." 

Let us now see what are those principles of Beauty tliat may 
be considere<l independent of a more or less crude and undeveloped 
tj^te. Some are negative, some positive. 




V£GATIY£ TESTS OF BEAUT7 811 



KZOATITB TESTS OF BEAX7TT 



(a) Animals, — " It has been argued, " says Darwin (by Schaff- 
hauaen), '* that ugliness consists in an approach to the structure of 
the lower animals, and no doubt this is partly true with the more 
ciTilised nations, in which intellect is highly appreciated; but 
this explanation will hardly apply to all forms of ugliness.'' 

Curiously enough, sayages themselves use animals as a negatiTe 
test of beiuity. Thus we read that 'Uhe Indians of Paraguay 
eradicate their eyebrows and eyelasiies, saying that they do not 
wiiih to be like horses." *' On the Eafitem coast, the negro boys, 
when they saw Burton, cried out, ' Look at the white man ; does 
he not l(K)k like a white ape V" **A man of Cochin China ' spoke 
with contempt of the wife of the English ambassador — that she 
had white teeth like a dog, and a rosy colour like that of potato- 
flowera.' " 

A few centuries ago it was a favourite pastime of physiognomists 
to draw elaborate parallels between men and animals. Thus, in 
1593, there appeared a work, De Humana Phydognomioy with 
numerous illustrations, in which always a human face was matched 
with some animal's head. Professor Wundt thus sums up the 
essence of this book : " A broad forehead, we are told, indicates 
fearfulness, because the ox with his broad head lacks courage. A 
long forehead, on the other hand, indicates erudition, as is shown 
by means of an intelligent dog who has the honour oi serving as a 
pendant to Plato's profile. Persons with shaggy hair are good* 
natiuied, as they resemble the lion. He whose eyebrows are 
turned inwards, towards the nose, is uncleanly like the pig, which 
this reseuiUes. The narrow chin of the ape signifies malice and 
envy. Long ears and thick hpe, such as the donkey possesses, are 
signs of stupidity. A person who has a nose crooked from the 
forehead inclines, like the raven, to theft, etc These animal* 
physiognomists appear to have favoure<l a thoroughly pessimistic 
view of man's capacities, inasmuch as for every creditable resem* 
blance they find at least ten discreditable ones." 

Apart from these puerilities, it is in most cases simply absurd 
to compare man with animals. Except in the case of apes there 
are no projier terms of comparison, because the types are so distinct ; 
and, moreover, from the point of view of its own ty])e, the average 
animal of any sfiedes is more lieautiful than the average man or 
woman from the human point of view. This assertion is indirectly 
eorroborated by Air. Gallon's testimony, that *' our human ctrilised 



8S2 ROMAKTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

stock Ib far more weakly through congenital imperfection than that 
of any other species of animals, whether wild or domestic" 

Schopenhauer considered animals beautiful in every way, and 
suggested that whenever we do find an animal ugly it is due to 
some irrelevant, inevitable association of ideas, as when a monkey 
suggests a man, or a toad mud. And Mr. Ruskin pertinently 
suggests that *' That mind only is fully disciplined in its theoretic 
power which, when it chooses, throwing off the sympathies and 
repugnancies with which the ideas of destructiveness or of inno- 
cence accustom us to regard the animal tribes, as well as those 
meaner likes and dislikes which arise, I think, fh)m the greater or 
less resemblance of animal powers to our own, can pursue the 
pleasures of typical beauty down to the scales of the alligator, the 
coils of the serpent, and the joints of the beetle." 

When Sir Charles Bell intimated that in Greek sculpture the 
guiding principle was remoteness from the animal type, he stated 
only one side of the truth, of wliich the other is thus noted by 
Winckelmann : among the Greeks, he says, " The study of artists 
in producing ideal beauties was directed to the nature of the nobler 
beasts, so that they not only instituted comparisons between the 
forms of the human countenance and the shape of the head of 
certain animals, but they even imdertook to adopt from animals 
the means of imparting greater majesty and elevation to their 
statues . . . especially in the heads of Hercules/' Jupiter's head 
** has the complete aspect of the lion, the king of beasts, not only 
in the large, round eyes, in the fulness of the prominent, and, as it 
were, swollen foreliead, and in the nose, but also in the liair, which 
hangs from bis head like the mane of the lion, first rising upward 
from the forehead, and then, parting on each side into a bow, again 
falling downward." 

So that we may safely reject the theory that ugliness consists 
in an approach to the structure of tlie lower animals, whatever 
savages and Chinamen may think on this subject. Coarse minds 
little suspect what exquisite beauty is to be found in the head of a 
cow or a donkey, a puppy or a lamb — beauty which, like a lovely 
melody, may bring tears to the eyes of one who ia sensitive to 
Aesthetic impressions. Objectively considered, even the destructive 
emotions do not appear ugly in an animal The ferocity of a lion 
does not make him appear vicious, because ferocity is his nature. 
He knows no better ; can only live by fighting. But a man is 
disfigured by ferocity because he does know better ; he can live 
without fighting ; and it is the consciousness of his selfish meanneu 
that puts the stamp of ugliness on his distorted features. 







KEOATIVE TESTS OF BEAUTY W3 

In apes aloDe does fierceness seem oglj and brutal instead of 
BuUime. For apes bear so much retteinblance to us, and have a 
brain so superior iu structure to that of other animals, that we feel 
justified in applying the human standard. Hence apes alone affonl 
us a negadve test of beauty. Their heads and faces are cast iu 
our mould, and therefore afford the means of direct comparison* 
In looking at their massive, brutal jaws, their receding foreheads, 
their undifferentiated hands and feet, their coarse, hairy skin, their 
clumsy, inexpressive, gigantic mouths, their flat noses and nostrils 
open to the view, we are justified in calling them ugly, compared 
with ourselves, and in feeUng proud that civilisation has gradually 
raised us so far above our country cousins, in beauty as in every- 
thing else, except the art of climbing trees. 

(6) Savage* are valuable as negative tests of beauty for the 
same reason : they enable us to see what progress we have made 
in refining our features into harmonious proportions, and making 
them susceptible of diverse emotional expression. It should be 
noted that Nature constantly endeavours to make primitive man* 
kind beautiful, as it does with all other animals. Tourists con- 
stantly note the occurrence of remarkable instances of Peraooal 
Beauty among the young in most tribes. But this natural Beauty 
is not appreciated by the vulgar taste of savages, as we saw a few 
pages back in a case mentioned by Mr. Galton. Beauty must be 
distorted and exaggerated before it pleases the savage's taste. 
Paint roust be laid on an inch thick, the nose perforated and 
'* adorned " with a ring, and ditto the abnormally lengthened lipa. 
This corrects the notion that savage hideousness is a product of 
Nature. Nature may blunder, but never so sadly as in the appear- 
ance nf a savage belle or warrior ; and in scorning these we do not 
therefore scorn Nature, but merely the artificial products of the 
vulgar taste of inimitive maa 

(c) Degraded Claues, — Poverty, suffering, want of leisure for 
mental culture, want of money for sanitary modes of living, have, 
unfortunately, produced in all countries a large class in whom 
Personal Beauty occurs only as an accident That such unhappj 
mortals afford a negative test of Beauty is seen by the fact tbat| 
just as savages are intermediate between monkeys and them, to 
they stand between savages and refined men in features and ex- 
pression. 

Poverty alone does not produce this vulgar type of personal 
appearance ; it is intellectual indoltrnoe, monil vice, and hygienie 
indifference that are responsible for it Hence this third ne^Uive 
test of Beauty is not at all difficult to find In any wpbim of 



834 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

flocietj, from the hod-carrier to the aristocrat with a pedigree of a 
hundred generations. In every scale of the social ladder may be 
found " features seamed by sickness, dimmed by sensuality, con- 
vulsed by passion, pinched by poverty, shadowed by sorrow, 
branded with remorse ; bodies consumed with sloth, "broken down 
by labour, tortured by disease, dishonoured in foul uses ; intellects 
without power, hearts without hope, minds earthly aud devilish " 
(Ruskin). 

((f) Agt and. Decrepitude, — It is not true, as a famous 
Frenchwoman has remarked, that age and beauty are incompatible 
terms. Even age and Love are not incompatible, as we saw in 
the chapter on Genius in Love; and Byron has remarked that 
Love, like the measles, is most dangerous when it comes late in 
life. 

There is a special variety of Beauty for every period of life, 
and the Beauty of old age certainly is not the least attractive of 
these varieties. What could be more majestic, more admirable, 
than the head of a Longfellow in his last days ? Provided health 
of mind and body has been maintained, even the folds in the 
cheeks, the wrinkles on the forehead of old age, are not unbeauti- 
fuL But when senility means decrepitude, brought on by a 
neglectful or otherwise vicious life, then it is positively ugly. The 
loveliest thing in the world is a fair and amiable maiden ; the 
ugliest a vicious old hag — savages and apes not excepted. 

(e) Disease. — Temperance preachers and other hygienic re- 
formers commonly dwell too exclusively on the dangers to health, 
domestic peace, moral progress, and refinement which the indul- 
gence in various vices entails. If they would insist with equal, 
or even greater, emphasis on the havoc which diseases brought on 
by intemperance and neglect of the laws of Health make on 
Personal Beauty, they would double their influence on their audi- 
ences or readers. For in woman's heart the desire to be beautiful 
is and always will be the strongest motive to action or non- 
action ; nor are men, as a rule, much less interested in the matter 
of preserving a handsome appearance. It may make some im- 
pression on a man to tell him that if he takes ice-water before 
breakfast, or "cock-tails" at various odd hours on an empty 
stomach, he will niin his digestion ; but the impression will be six 
times as deep if you can convince him that he will ere long look 
like that confirmed dyspeptic Jones, with lack-lustre eyes, sallow 
complexion, and a general expression of premature senility, which 
accounts for the fact that he has been twice already refused by the 
girl he adores. 







KEGATIVE TESTS OF BEAUTT 835 

Or take that girl over there who nerer' takes a walk, always 
Bleeps with her windows hermetically closed, and never allows a 
ray of sunbhioe to touch any part of her body. Tell her she is 
mining her health and she may be momentarily alarmed by this 
vagne warning, and walk half a mile for a week or so, until she 
has forgotten it Bnt make it clear to her what is the exact con* 
sequence of such neglect of the primal laws of health — namely, 
the premature loss of every trace of Personal Beauty and youthful . 
charm, with old-maidenhood inevitably staring her in Uie iaoe, 
owing to her apathetic appearance and gait, her sickly complexion, 
her features distorted by frequent headaches, brought on by lack 
of fresh, cool air^-each of which leaves its permanent trace in 
the fonn of an addition to a wrinkle or subtraction from the 
plumpness of her cheeks, — tell her all this, and that her eyes 
will soou sink into their sockets and have blue rings like 
those of an invalid, and a ghastly stare — and she will, perhaps, 
be sufficiently roused to save her Health for the sake of her 
Beauty. 

We are now confronted with the question, Why is it that dis- 
ease is a mark of ugliness, health a mark of Beauty t The old 
Scotch school of lestheticians think it is all a matter of assoda^ 
tion. We consider certain forms characteristic of health as 
beautiful simply because we associate with them various emotions 
of affection, the pleasures of love, etc., and conversely with 
disease and vice. According to Stendhal, *' La beaut^ n'est que 
la proroesse du bonheur/' or, in American, Beauty is simply the 
pnmise of a "good time." But it is Lord Jeffi*ey who, to use 
another appropriate American expression, '* goes the whole hog" 
in this matter, by practically denying the existence of such a 
thing as a pure, disinterested, esthetic sense. Suppose, he says, 
** that the smo^ith forehead, the firm cheek, and the full lip, which 
arv now so distinctly expressive to us of the gay and vigorous 
periods of youth — and the clear and blooming complexion, which 
indicates health and activity — had been, in fact, the forms and 
colours by which old age and sickness were characterii»od ; and 
that, insteo'i of being found united to those sources and seasons of 
enjoyment, they had been the badges by which Kature pointed 
out thut Ktatc of suffering and decay which is now signified to us 
by the livid and emaciated face of sickness, or the wrinkled front, 
the quiverin? li]), and hollow cheek of age ; if this were the 
funiluir law of our nature, can it be doubted that we should look 
upon theM appearances, not with rapture, but with aversion, and 
oonsiiJer it as absolutely ludicrous or disgusting to speak of the 




886 ROMANTIC LOYE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

heautj of what was interpreted bj every one as the lamented sign 
of pain and decrepitude t 

"Mr. Knight himself, though a firm believer in the intrinsio 
beauty of colours, is so much of this opinion that he thinks it 
entirely owing to those associations that we prefer the tame 
smoothness and comparatively poor colours of a youthful face 
to the richly finetted and variegated countenance oi a pimpled 
drunkard." 

Bosh ! and a hundred times bosh I One feels that these men 
lived at a time when port was drunk by the bottle, like clai-et, 
and when variegated noses were to a certain extent fashionable. 

Though eveiy reader feels the sophistry and absurdity of the 
above argumentation, it is not easy to refute it Professor Blockie 
declaims against it, Ruskin sneers at it, but nowhere have I been 
able to find a definite direct refutation of the thesis. The fol- 
lowing sug^tions may, therefore, be of some value. 

In the first place, Jeffrey's supposition is equivalent to saying 
that if bliick were white, white would be black. For if all the 
phenomena of human nature were reversed, our taste, being also 
a " phenomenon," would be reversed too. If health meant ema- 
ciation, theu a lover would not be happy unless he could kiss a 
pair of leathery lips and embrace a skeleton. Hence his sense of 
touch, like his sight, would have to be the reverse of what they 
are now ; and that being the case, aesthetic taste, which is based 
on the senses, would of course be reversed too. But that is 
simply saying that if you stand a man on his head his feet will be 
in the air. 

Secondly, Lord Jeffrey's argument involves the old fallacy that 
the useful and the beautiful are identical — that we only consider 
those things beautiful which afford ns some utilitarian gratification. 
If this theory were correct, a coal-boat would be more beautiful 
than a yacht ; a savage's big jaw-bone more beautiful than our 
delicate ones; a clumsy, dirty, coarse - featured labourer more 
beautiful than a society belle. 

No ; we have, thank heaven, an oBsthetic sense which enables 
us to see and admire beauty quite independently of any " associa- 
tions" which it may have with our utilitarian cravings. It is 
possible, however, and even probable, that the aesthetic sense was 
originally developed from utilitarian associations. Ou this subject 
Mr. Grant Allen has some exceedingly valuable remarks in bis 
interesting work on the Colour-Sense. He there eloquently sets 
forth the view that it was the bright tints of luscious fruits that 
first taught primitive man to derive pleasure from the sight of 







NEGATIVE TESTS OF BEAUTY U7 

coloured objecta This graduallj led to a " predilection for bril- 
liant dyes and glistening pebbles; till at last the whole series 
culminates in that intense and unselfish eigoyment of rich and 
pure tints which make civilised man linger so lovinglv over the 
hues of sunset and the myriad shades of autumn. • . . The disin- 
iertHed affection can only be reached by many preyious steps of 
utilitarian progress." But — and here lies the kernel of the argu- 
ment — *' fruit-eaters and flower-feeders derive pleasure from bril* 
liant colours . . . not because those colours have mental associa- 
tions with their .food^ but because the structures which perceive 
them have been continually exercised and strengthened by hered- 
itary use,*' until at last they formed a special nervous or cerebral 
i^iparatus which presides over impressions of beauty, and takes a 
special pleasure in its own activity, apart from all utilitarian 
considerations. 

Lord Jeffrey apparently lacked this special aesthetic sense, as 
shown by his whole argument, and by his inability, which he 
shared with Alison, of finding beauty in Nature, unless it was in 
some way associated with man's presence and man's mean utilities. 

How different this from the feeling of the man who of all 
writers on Beauty has the most highly developed aesthetic sense — 
Mr. Rnskin, who has just told us in his Aytobwffraphy that his 
love of Nature, ardent as it is, depends entirely on the wUdneu 
of the scenery, its remoteness from human influences and asso- 
ciations. 

It is this specially-developed aesthetic taste that would prevent 
man from calling flabby cheeks, sallow complexions, pimj^ed noses, 
and sunken eyes beautiful, if by some miracle they should be 
changed into signs of health. For this sense of beauty was first 
educated not by the sight of human beauty, but of beauty in 
Nature — fruits, pebbles, shells, lustrous metals, etc. ; and the 
notions of lieauty thus obtained have been gradually transferred 
to human beings as standards of attractiveness. It can be shown 
that what the best judges pronounce the highest human beauty, 
is so because it partakes of certain characteristics which we find 
beautiful throughout Nature. And conversely, what we consider 
ugly in the human form and features would also be called ugly in 
external objects ; in both cases, be it distinctly understood, with- 
out any direct refereni^e to utilitarian considerations, and some- 
times even in opposition to them, as in our admiration of a 
beautiful poisonous plant or snake, or a tiger. 

It is these universal cliaracteristics of Beauty, found in man as 
in animals, that we now have to consider. They are the potUim 

z 



888 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

criteria of Beauty, and may be regarded as a new set of "oyer> 
tones" or leading motives for the remainder of this volume^ 
although the old ones will occasionally reappear and combine with 
them. 

POSITIVE TESTS OF BSAUTT 

Of these there are at least eight — Symmetry, Curvature, 
Gradation, Smoothness, Delicacy, Colour, Lustre, Expression, 
including Variety and Individuality. 

(a) Symmetry, — " In all perfectly beautiful objects," says Mr. 
Ruskin, 'Hbere is found the opposition of one part to another, 
aiid a reciprocal balance obtained ; in animals the balance being 
commonly between opposite sides (note the disagreeableness occa- 
sioned by the exception in flat fish, havinj< the eyes on one side of 
the head) ; 'but in vegetables the opposition is less distinct, as in 
the boughs on opposite sides of tree^ and the leaves and sprays 
on each side of the boughs, and in dead matter less perfect still, 
often amounting only to a certain tendency towards a balance, as in 
the opposite sides of valleys and alternate windings of streams. 
In things in whicii perfect symmetry is, from their nature, impos- 
sible or improper, a balance must be at least in some measure 
expressed before they can be beheld with pleasure. . . . Symmetry 
is the opposition of equal quantities to each other. Proportion 
the connection of unequal quantities with each other. The pro- 
perty of a tree in sending out equal boughs on opposite sides is 
symmetrical Its sending out shorter and smaller towards the 
top, proportional In the human face its balance of opposite sides 
b symmetry, its division upwards, proportion.'* 

Mr. Darwin thus gives his testimony as to the preralefnce of 
symmetry in Nature : " If beautiful objects had been created 
solely for man's gratification, it ought to be shown that before 
man appeared there was less beauty on the face of the earth than 
since he came on the stage. Were the beautiful volute and cone 
shells of the Eocene epoch, and the gracefully sculptured ammon- 
ites of the Secondary period, created that man might ages after- 
wards admire them in his cabinet 1 Few objects are more beautiful 
than the minute silicious cases of the diatomacess : were they 
created that they might be examineil and admired under the 
higher powers of the microscope ] The beauty in this latter case, 
and in many others, is apparently wholly due to symmetry of 
growth" {Origin of Species^ chap, vl) 

In the floral world, again, the natural tendency is always 
towards symmetry. Wind-fertilised flowers are symmetrical in 




POSITIVE TESTS OF BEAUTY W9 

fonn; and "as Mr. Danrin hai obserred, therejdoci Dot appear 
to be a tingle instance of an irregular flower wliiaT is iiotf fertilised 
by insects or birds " (Lubl>ock), and therefore modified in form in 
the effort to adapt itself to useful insei^^aiki to exelude pirates. . 

Throughout the animal kingdom, inchi(liugnBaB^4ihM^ law4ef 
symmetry is true. Hence it is not likely that we should ever 
ailmire a lame leg, a crooked no^e, bent on one ^de, jjyes ,that are 
not mates, or a ikce several inches longer on one nde ^tbaiiC flie 
other, owing to paralysis — as beautiful, even if^ as Jeflfrey would 
have it, Miulame Nature should suddenly take it into her heail to 
associate such abnormalities with health instead of with disease. 

(6) Gradatunu — On this Uw of Nature Mr. Ruskiu again has 
spoken at once more scientifically and poetiTf^^b^^Uian any other 
writer on lesthetics : " What curvature is to lines, gradation is to 
shades and coloiu^ . . . For instances of the complete oUenu of 
gradation we must look to man's work, or to his dutase and 
decrtpiiude. Compare the grad^ited colours of the rainbow with 
the stripes of a target, and the gradual concentration of the youth- 
ful blooid in the cheek with an abrupt patch of rouge, or with the 
aharply-drawn veining of old age. 

** Graihition is so inseparable a quality of all natural shade and 
colour tliat the eye refuses in art to understand anything as either 
which appears without it ; while, on the other hand, nearly all 
the gradations of nature are so subtile, and between degrees of 
tint so slightly separated, that no human hand can in any wise 
equal, or do an>'thing more than suggest the idea of them.'' 

The following remarks which the same writer makes in another 
place concerning Gradation show at the same time how asinine it 
is for a savage or any other person of uncultivated taste to set 
himself up as a judge of Personal Beauty, as good as any one else, 
on the plea that it is all '^ a matter of taste " and de guttiimi nom 
ett di^ptUamlum .*— 

'' When the eye is quite uncultivated, it sees that a mao is a 
man, and a face is a face, but has no idea what shadowi or lighta 
fall upon the form or features. Cultivate it to some degree of 
artistic power, and it will then see shadows distinctly, but only 
the more vigorous of them. Cultivate it still further, and it will 
see lisrht within light, and shadow witliin shadow, and will eon- 
tinually refuse to rest in what it has already discovered, that it 
nay pursue what is more removed and more subtle, until at last 
ii oouies to give its chief attention and display its chief power oo 
gradaUomi ifAtcA to aj» tmtraimed faculty art partip mcUUn <^ 
imd*ffertne€ amd partlp trnpereepUhU." 




840 BOMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

The words italicised enable xm to appreciate what Sokrates 
must haye had in his mind when he distingtushed between that 
which is beautiful and that which only appean beautifuL 
.^thetic training enables us to see things as they are, instead of 
as they appear through inattention, through ignorance, or through 
clouds of national prejudice, or individual utilitarianism. 

The way in which esthetic training enables us to see gradations 
of beauty previously imperceptible can be most strikingly illus- 
trated in the case of music. There are thousands of intelligent 
folks who cannot tell the difference between a superb Steinway 
Grand, just tuned for a concert, and a harsh, clangy, mountain- 
hotel piano that has not been tuned for two years. But give 
these persons a thorough musical education, and they will soon be 
able to smile at Jeffrey's notion that the tone of the hotel-piano 
was quite as beautiful as that of the Steinway, because it seemed 
so to them. It is not only the imagination but the senses them- 
selves that require training. A Hottentot or any unmusical 
person cannot tell the difference between two consecutive tones on 
the piano, whereas a skilled musician can detect all the gradations 
from one tone to another, down to the sixty-fourth part of a 
semitone ! 

*' It is all a matter of taste ! " PreciBely. Of good taste and 
bad taste. 

Examples of g^tidation in the human form are the gradual 
tapering of the limbs and the fingers, the exquisite line from the 
female neck to the shoulders and the bosom, the blushes on the 
cheeks, so long as they do not assume the form of a hectic flush, 
and the delicate tints of the complexion in general, varying with 
emotional states, according as the veins and arteries ore more tn 
less filled with the vital fluid. 

Is it then " entirely owing to their associations " with health 
or disease that we prefer the complexion of a youthful face to the 
hideous daubs of red which Knight refers to as the " richly fretted 
and variegated countenance of a pimpled drunkard " ? Is it owing 
to such associations that we prefer the delicately gradated blushes 
of coloured marble to the richly bedaubed countenance of a pimpled 
brickbat t But it would be a waste of time to refer again to the 
crude anti-aesthetic notions of Messrs. Knight, Alison, and Jelfrey. 

One more exquisite illustration of subtle gradation in the 
human form divine may be cited from Winckelmann : — 

"The soul, though a simple existence, brings forth at once, 
and in an instant, many different ideas ; so it is with the beautiful 
youthful outline, which appears simple, and yet at the same time has 




» 



POSITIVE TESTS OF BEAUTY 841 

infinitely different Tariationn, and that soft tapering which is 
difficult of attainment in a column, is still more so in the diverse 
forms of the youthful body. Among the innumerable kinds of 
columns in Rome some appear pre-eminently elegant on account 
of this ver}' tai«ring ; of these I have particularly noted two of 
granite, wliich I am always studying anew : just so rare is a 
perfect form, even in the roost beautiful youth, which has a 
stationary point in our sex still less than in the female.** 

(c) CwTcUurf, — " That all forms of acknowled^jed beauty are 
composed exclusively of curves will," Mr. Ruskin believes, '' be at 
once allowed ; but that which there will be need more especially 
to prove, is the subtility and constancy of airvature in all natural 
forms whatsoever. I believe that, except in crystals, in certain 
mountain forms admitted for the sake of sublimity or contrast (as 
in the slope of debris), in rays of light, in the levels of calm water 
and alluvial land, and in some few organic developments, there are 
no lines or surfaces of nature without curvature, though, as we 
before saw in clouds, more esjiecially in their under lines towards 
the horizon, and in vast and extended plains, right lines are often 
su!nre<ted which are not actual. Without these we should not be 
sensible of the value of contrasting curves ; and while, therefore, 
for tbc roost part, the eye is fed in natural forms with a grace of 
curvature uhich no hand nor instrument can follow, other means 
are provided to give beauty to those surfaces which are admitted 
for contrast, as in waUr by iU rtjiedion of the grcuiatiotu ufkUk 
it ]Xk$$euf$ not ttulf," 

In a footnote to the Ust edition of the Modem Patnten he 
suds regarding the apparent exceptions named : " Crystals are 
iu«lec<l subject to rectilinear limitations, but their real surfaces are 
coctiuunlly curved ; the level of calm water is only right lined 
when it is shorelera.'' 

On the other hand, "Generally in all min and disease, and 
interference of one order of being with another (a) in the cattle 
line of park trees), the curves vanish, and violently opposed or 
broken and unmeaning lines take their place." I feel tempted to 
cite another most admirable passage on ciurature throughout 
Natures-even where it i^ least looked for, and the untrained eye 
cannot see it — in the shattereil walls and crests of mountains 
which "seem to rise in a gloomy contrast with the soft waves of 
bank and wood beneath." But it is too long to quote, and I can 
only advise the reader most earnestly to look it up in chapter 
xiv. vol. iv. 

" Straight lines," Professor Bain obserres, " are rendered artistic 




342 R0MA2n:iC LOTE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

only by associations of power, regularity, fitness, etc." '* In some 
situations straight lines are sDsthetic. ... In the human figure 
there underlies the curved outline a certain element of rigidity 
and straightness, indicating strength in the supporting limbs and 
spine. Whenever firmness is required, there must be a solid 
structure, and straightness of form is a frequent accompaniment 
of solidity. The straight nose and the flat brow are subsidiary to 
the movement and the stabilitv of the face." 

Yet even our straight limbs follow in their motions the law 
of curvature. And to this fact that they move more easily and 
naturally in a curved than in a straight line, which requires 
laborious adjustment, Bain traces part of our superio** pleasure in 
rounded lines. 

What infinite subtlety and variety Curvature is capable of ia 
vividly brought before the eyes by Winckelmann : " The forms of 
a beautiful body are determined by lines the centre of which is 
constantly changing, and which, if continued, would never describe 
circles. They are, consequently, more simple, but also more com- 
plex, than a circle, which, however large or small it may be, 
always has the same centre, and either includes others or is in- 
cluded in others. This diversity was sought after by the Greeks 
in works of all kinds; and their discernment of its beauty led 
them to introduce the same system even into the form of their 
utensils and vases, whose e&sy and elegant outline is drawn after 
the same rule, that is, by a line which must be found by means of 
several circles, for all these works have an elliptical figure, and 
herein consists their beauty. The greater unity there is in the 
jun(;tion of the forms, and in the flowins^ of one out of another, so 
much the greater is the beauty of the whole." 

Masculine and Feminine Beauty, — The universality of curva- 
ture as a form of l>eautiful objects throughout nature and art is 
of importance in helping us to determine the question which is the 
more beautiful form, a perfect man or a perfect woman — an Apollo 
or a Venus ] A Venus, no doubt. In those qualities which are 
subsumed under the terms of the sublime or the characteristic — 
in strength, manly dignity, intellectual power, majesty — the mas- 
culine type, no doubt, is superior to the feminine. But in Beauty 
proper — in the roundness and delicacy of contours, in the smooth- 
ness of complexion and its subtle grailations of colour, in the 
symmetrical roundness and lustrous expressiveness of the eyf»s — 
the feminine type is pre-eminent. 

" Woman," says Professor Kollraann, " is smaller, more delicate, 
but also softer and more graceful {schwungvoller) in form, in her 







POSITIVE TESTS OF BEAUTY M8 

breasts, bip9, tliighs, and calves. No line on ber body is short 
and sharply angular; they all swell, or vault themselves in a 
gentle curve. . . The neck and the rounded shoulders are con- 
nected by gracefully curved lines, whereas a man's neck is ]>laced 
more at a right angle to the more straight and ongulor shoulders. 
. . . The hair is softer, the skin more tender aud trans|)areut. 
All the forms are more covered over with adipose tissue, and 
connected by those gradual transitions which produce the gently 
mundeil outlines ; whereas in a man everything — muscles, sinews, 
blotnl-ves^els, bones — is more conspicuous." 

Scho|»cnliauer, accordingly, was clearly in the wrong when he 
endeavoured to make out that man is vastly superior to woman in 
phjrsical beauty, — a notion which Profe»sor Huxley, too, does not 
appear to disapf^rove of very violently. At the same time it is, 
no doubt, true that there are more good sjiecimens of masculine 
beauty in root»t countries than of feminine beauty; true also that 
man 8 beauty lasts much longer than woman's. A boy is more 
beautiful than a girl under sixteen, for the very reason that his 
form '\b more like that of an adult woman than a girFs is. From 
eighteen to twenty-five woman is more beautiful tlian man ; while 
after thirty, owing to the almost universal neglect of the laws of 
health — women are apt to become either too rotund, which ruins 
their grace ahd delicacy, or too angular — more angular than a man 
under fiftr. 

{(f) Delicacy and Grace. — The difference between masculine 
and feminine beauty and the superiority of the latter is also in- 
directly brougiit out in Burke's remarks on Delicacy, which, 
though open to criticism in one or two points, are on the whole 
admirable and exhaustive : — 

*' An air of robustness and strength is very pr^udicial to beauty. 
An appearance of delicacy, and even of fragility, is almost essential 
to if. Whoever examines the vegetable or animal creation will 
find this observation to be founded in nature. It is not the oak, 
the ash, or the elm, or any of the r>bust trees of the forest which 
we consider as lieautiful ; they arc awful and majestic, they inspire 
a sort of reverence. It is the delicat« myrtle, it is the orange, it 
is the almond, it ii the jasmine, it is the vine, which we look on 
as vegetable beauties. It is the flowery species, so remarkable for 
iu weakness and momentary duration, that gives us the liveliest 
idea of beauty and elegance. Among animals the greyhound i^ 
more beautiful than the mastiff^ and the delicacy of a jennet, a 
barb, or an Arabian hone is much more amiable than the strength 
and stability of some hones of war or carriage. 




Ui ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

**I need here say little of the fair sex, where I believe the 
point will be easily allowed me. The beauty of women is con- 
siderably owing to their weakness or delicacy, and is even enhanced 
by their timidity, a quality of mind analogous to it. I would not 
here be understood to say that weakness betraying very bad health 
has any share in beauty; but the ill effect of this is not because 
it is wciikness, but because the ill state of health, which produces 
such weakness, alters the other conditions of benuty; the parts in 
such a case collapse, the bright colour, the lunien purpurenm 
juventce is gone, and the fine variation is lost in wrinkles, sudden 
breaks, and right line/*." 

Delicacy is a quality closely related to grace, or beauty in 
motion and attitude. *' Grace/' says Dr. J. A. Symonds, ''is a 
striking illustration of the union of the two principles of t>imilarity 
and variety. For the secret of gracefitl action is that the sym- 
metry is preserved through all the varieties of position." This is 
well put ; but the^r«^ condition and essence of grace is that there 
must be an exact correspondence' between the work done and the 
limb which does it. The attitude of an oak-tnmk, with nothin*^ 
on the top but a geranium bush, however symmetrical, would 
always be ungracefid, owing to the ludicrous disproportion between 
the support and the thing supported. Conversely, a weak fern- 
stiilk, trying to support a branch of heavy cactus leaves, would be 
equally ungraceful ; for there must be neither a waste of energy 
nor a sense of effort. Part of this feeling may perhaps be traced, 
to sympathy — thus showing how various emotions enter into our 
Aesthetic judj^nents, sometimes weakening, sometimes strengthening 
them. As Professor Bain remarks, d propos : " We love to have 
remtwed from our sight every aspect of suffering, and none more 
so than the suffering of toil." 

Grace is almost as powerful to inspire Love as Beauty itself. 
Women know this instinctively, and in order to acquire the 
Delicacy which leads to grace, they deprive their bodies of air and 
sunshine and strengthening sleep, hoping thereby to acquire arti- 
ficially, through ill-health, what Nature has denied them. Fortu- 
nately such violations of the laws of health always fnistrate their 
object. Delicacy conjoined with Health inspires Love, but delicacy 
born of disease inspires only pity — a feeling whi«;h may inspire in 
a woman what she imagines is Love, but in a man never, 

(e) Smoothiess is another attribute of Beauty on whiiih Burke 
was the first to place proper emphasis : It is, he says, " a 
quality so essential to beauty that I do not recollect nnything^ 
bciuuiful that is not smooth. In trees and flowers, smooth leaves 




POSITIVE TESTS OF BEAUTY 845 

are l^eantiful ; tmooth slopes of earth in gordeDS ; smooth streams 
in the landscape; smootlt coats of l»irds and beasts in animal 
beauties ; in fiue women, smooth skins ; and in seTeral sorts of 
ornamental furniture, smooth and polished surfaces. . . . Any 
rug^^edness, any sudden projection, any sharp angle, is in tht 
highest degree contrary to the idea of Ijeauty." 

Though there are exceptions to this rule of smoothness — indod- 
ing such a marvel of b«iuty as tlie moss-rose, as veil as varioiis 
leaves covered with down, etc. — yet, on the whole, Burke is right 
Certainly the smooth white hand of a delicate lady is more beauti- 
ful than the rough, homy *' paws" of a bricklayer ; and the inferior 
beauty of a man's arm is owing as much to its rough scattered 
hairs as to the prominence of the muscles, in contrast to the smooth 
and rounded arm of woman. In animals, however, hairs on the 
limbs are not unbeautiful, because they are dense enough to over- 
lap, and thus fonn a hairy surface admirable alike lor its soft 
smoothness, its gloss, and its colour. 

(/) Luitre and Colour. — Lustrous, sparkling eyes, glossy hair, 
pearly teeth, — where wotdd hiunan beauty l>e without them — 
without the delii^ate tints and blushes of the skin, the brown or bhio 
iris, the golden or chestnut locks, the ebony eyebrows and lashes t 

Yet the greatest urt-critics incline to the opinion that, on the 
whole, colour is a less essential iugreflient of beauty than form. 
*' Colour assists beauty,'' says Winckelmann, but *' the essence of 
beiuity consists not in colour but in shape." ** A negro might be 
called liandsome when the conformation of his face is handsome." 
*' The colour of bronze and of the black and greenish basalt does not 
detract from the beauty of the antique headtf," heni*e '* we possess 
a knowle«l^ of the betiutlful, although in an imreal dress and of 
a disagreeable colour." 

Similarly Mr. Rti»kin, who remarks of colour that it *' is richly 
liestoweil on the highest works of creation, and the eminent $um 
nml teal of prrfectwn in them ; being aasociated with life in the 
human form, with lioht in the sky, with purity and hardness in 
the earth. — death, night, and pollution of all kinds being colotv- 
lesA. And although it form and colour lie brought into complete 
opf)osition. K> that it should be put to us as a stem choice whether 
we siiould have a work of art all of form, without coloiu* (as an 
AU»ert Diirei's engraving), or all of colour, without fonn (as an 
imitation of mother-of-pearl), form is beyond all comparison the 
more predotM of the two ... yet if colour be introduced at all, 
it is necessary that, whatever else may be wrong, that shoidd be 
right," etc 




84« ROMANTIC LOVE AITD PERSONAL BEAUTY 

Again : " An oak is an oak, whether green with spi-ing or red 
with winter ; a dahlia is a dahlia, whether it be yellow or crimson; 
and if some monster-hunting botanist should ever frighten tlie 
flower blue, still it will be a dahlia ; but let one curve of the 
petals— one groove of the stamens— be wanting, and the flower 
ceases to be tlie same. Let the roughness of the bark and the 
angles of the boughs be smoothed or diminished, and the oak ceases 
to be an oak ; but let it retain its inward structure and outward 
form, and though its leaves grew white, or pink, or blue, or tri- 
colour, it would be a white oak, or a pink oak, or a republican oak, 
but an oak still.'' 

" If we look at Nature carefully, we shall find that her colours 
are in a state of perpetual confusion and indistinctness, while her 
forms, as told by light and shade, are invariably clear, distinct, 
and speaking. The stones and gravel of the bank catch green 
reflections from the boughs above ; the bushes receive grays and 
yellows from tlie ground ; every hairbreadth of polished surface 
gives a little bit of the blue of the sky, or the gold of the sun, like 
a star upon the local colour; this local colour, changeful and 
uncertain in itself, is again disguised and modified by the hue of 
the light or quenched in the gray of the shadow ; and the confusion 
and blending of tint is altogether so great that were we left to find 
out what objects were by their colours only, we would scarcely in 
place distinguish the boughs of a tree from the air beyond them or 
the ground beneath them. I know that people unpractised in 
art will not believe this at first ; but if they iiave accurate powers 
of ol)servation, they may soon ascertain it for themselves ; they 
will find that, while they can scarcely ever determine the exact hue 
of anything, except'when it occurs in large masses, as in a green 
field or the blue sky, the form, as told by light and shade, is 
always decided and evident, and the source of the chief chaiucter 
of every object." 

Professor Bain remarks on this topic that " Among the several 
kinds of beauty, the eye takes most delight in colour. . . . For 
this reason we find the poets borrowing more of their epithets from 
colours than from any other topic." 

This view seems to be confirmeil by the fact that lovers in 
expatiating on the beauty of their Dulcineas seem to have much 
more to say about their brown or golden locks, their light or dark 
complexion, their blue or black eyes, than about the shape of tlieir 
features. This, however, partly finds its explanation in the fact 
that colour, being a sensuous quality, is more easily and more 
directly appreciated than forui, the perception of which is a much 







POSITIVE TESTS OP BEAUTY U7 

more complicated matter, being a tranalatioii into inteUecttial tenna 
of remembered impresnons of touch, associated with certain colour^ 
ligiits, and shades which recall them ; and portlv in the greater 
case with which peculiarities of colour are referred to than peculi- 
arities of form. In the days of ancient Greece the nomenclature 
of colours was equally undeveloped, and is so vague in Homer that 
Gladstone and Greiger actually set up the theory that Homer's 
colour-sense was imperfect, and that that sense has been gradually 
developed within historic times, — a theory which I have confute«l 
on anatomical grounds in Macmillan's Magcuine^ Dea 1879. 

That as regards human beauty colour is of less importance than 
form is shown, moreover, in this, that a girl with regular features 
and a freckled complexion will much sooner find a lover than one 
with the most delicately-coloured complexion, conjoined with a big 
mouth, irregular nose, or sunken clieeks. And a beautifully-shaped 
eye is stve to be admired by all, no matter whether blue, gray, or 
brown ; whereiis an eye that is too small or otherwise defective in 
form can never be redeemed \sj the most beautiful colour or 
brilliancy. 

On iht other hand, there are several things to be said in favour 
of colour that will mitigate our judgment on this point In the 
first place, colour is more perfect in iu way than form, so that it 
is impossible ever to improve on it by idealising, as it is often with 
foroL As Mr. Riiskin remarks, " Form may be attained in per- 
fection by painters, who, in their course of study, are continually 
altering or idealising it; but only the sternest fidelity will retch 
colouring. Idealise or alter in that, and you are lost Whether 
you alter by debasing or exaggerating, by glare or by decline, one fate 
is for you — ruin. . . • Colour is sacred in that you must keep to 
facts. Hence the apparent anomaly that the only schools of colour 
are the schools of realism." 

Again, looking at Nature with an artist*s eye, Ruskin di s cov e red 
and frequently alludes to the '* apparent connection of brilliancy 
of colour with vigour of life," and Mr. Wallace, looking at Nature 
with a naturalist's eye, established tliis '^ apparent connection " as 
a scientific fact The passage in which he sums up his views has 
been once alrea<ly quoted ; but it is of such extreme importance iu 
enforcing the IcMon that beauty is impossible without health, that 
it mar be quoted ojrain : — 

^ The colours of an animal usually fade during disease or weak- 
Bees, while robun health and vigour adds to its intensity. ... In 
all quadrupeds a ' dull coat ' is indicative of ill-health or low con- 
dition ; while a glo«y coat and q)arkling eye are the invariable 




848 KOMANTIC LOYE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

accompaniments of health and energy. The same rale applies to 
the feathers of birds, whose colours are only seen in their purity 
during perfect health ; and a similar phenomenon occurs even 
among insects, for the bright hues of caterpillars begin to fade as 
soon as they become inactive, preparatory to their undergoing 
transformatioo. Even in the Vegetable Kingdom we see the same 
thing; for the tints of foliage are deepest, and the colours of 
flowers and fruits richest, on those plants which are in the most 
healthy and vigorous condition. '* 

(g) Expression^ Variety, Individuality, — Besides the circum- 
stances that colour is more uniformly perfect in Nature than form, 
and that it is always associated with Health, without which Beauty 
is impossible, another peculiarity may be mentioned in its favour. 
The complexion is a kaleidoscope whose delicate blushes and 
constant changes of tint, from the ashen pallor of despair to the 
rosy flush of delight, are the fascinating signs of emotional expres- 
sion. And herein lies the superior beauty of the human complexion 
over all other tinted objects : it reflects not only the hues of 
surrounding external bodies, but all the moods of the soul within. 

Form without colour is form without expression. But fonn 
without expressiou soon ceases to fascinate, for we constantly crave 
novelty and variety ; and form is one, while expression is intinitely 
varied and ever new. Herein lies the extreme iraportance of ex- 
pression as a test of Beauty. Colour, of course, is only one phase 
of expression. The soul not only changes the tints of the com- 
plexion, but liquifies the facial muscles so that they can be readily 
moulded into forms characteristic of joy, sadness, hope, fear, adora- 
tion, hatred, anger, affection, etc. 

Why is the portrait-painter so infinitely superior to the photo- 
grapher? Because the photographer — paradoxical as this may 
seem — gives you a less realistic picture of yourself than the artist. 
He only gives you the fixed form, or at most a transient expression 
which, being fixed permanently, loses its essence, which is motion 
— and thus becomes a caricature — an exa;zgeration in duration. 
But the artist studies you by the hour, makes you talk, notes the 
habitual forms of expression most characteristic of your iudiWdu- 
ality ; and, blending these into a sort of '* typical portrait " of yoiu: 
various individual traits, makes a picture which reveals all the 
advantages of art over mere solar mechanism or pliotoirrapliy. 

This explains why some of the most charming persons we know 
never appear well in a photograph, while others much less charm- 
ing do. The beauty of the latter lies in form, of the former in 
expression. But expression is much more potent to inspire admi- 







POSITIVE TESTS OF BEAUTY 849 

ration and Lore than mere beauty of features ; and not without 
reason, for beautiful features, bein^: a lucky inheritance, may be 
conjoined with unamiable individual trait% whereas lieautiful ex- 
pression is the infullible index of a beautiful mind and character; 
and promises, moreover, beautiful sous and daughters, because 
** expression is feature in the making." It is by such subtle signs 
aud promises that Love is nncon&ciously and instinctively guided 
in its choice. 

Formal Beauty alone is external and cold. It is those slight 
Tariations in Beauty and expression which we call individuality 
and character that excite emotion : so much so that Love, as we 
have seen, is dependent on individuality, and a man who warmly 
admires all beautiful women is in love with none. 

Speaking of the Greeks, Sir Charles Bell says : " In high art 
it ap|)ears to have been the rule of the sculptor to divest the form 
()f expression. ... In the Venus, the form is exquisite* aud the 
face perfect, but there is no expression there ; it has no hunmn 
softness, nothing to love.*' '*A11 individuality was studiously 
avoided by the ancient sculptors in the representation of divinity ; 
they maintained tiie beauty of form and proportion, but without ex- 
pression, which, in their system, belonged exclusively to huuianity." 

Hut inasmuch as the Greeks attributed to their deities all the 
various emotions which agitate man, why did they refuse them tb* 
signs of expression t One cannot but suspect that the Greeks did 
not sufficiently a]>preciate the beauty of expression. Had thcj 
valued it more they would not have allowed their women to vege- 
tate in ignorance like flowers, one like the other, but would have 
educAted them and given them the individuality and expressioii 
which alone can inspire Love. 

A;niin, if the Greeks had been susceptible to the superior charms 
of emotional expression, is it likely that they would have been io 
com]ilote)y ub<«rbed in the two least expressive and emotional of 
the arts — architecture and sculpture 1 

\\> cannot avoid the conclusion that the Greeks were as indif* 
ferent to the charms of individual expression as to Homantic Love^ 
which is doftpudent on it In their statues, as Dr. Max Sciinsler 
remarks, a mouth or eye has no more significance as a mark of 
beauty than a woU- shaped leg. Whereas in m'^iem, aud even 
sometimes in medieval art, what a world of exprest»ion in a mouth, 
a pair of eyes ! 

Leaving; individual exceptions (like Homer) aside, it may be 
■aid that the arts have been successively developed to a climax in 
the order of their capacity for emotional expression, rix. — Arch^ 




850 BOICANTIO LOVE AlTD PERSONAL BEAUTY 

tectore, Sculpture, Paintiog^ Poetry, and Music Poetry precedes 
music, because though its emotional scope is wider, it is less 
intense. To-day music is the most popular and uniyersal of all 
the arts because it stirs most deeply our feelings. And just as the 
discovery of harmony, by individualising the melodies, has increased 
the power and variety of music a thousandfold ; so the individual!- 
sation of Beauty and character through modem culture has made 
Romantic Love a blessing accessible to all — the most prevalent 
form of modem affection. 

Individuality is of such extreme importance in Love that a 
slight blemish is not only pardoned but actually adored if it in- 
creases the individuality. Bacon evidently had this in his mind 
wlien he said that *' there is no excellent beauty which has not some 
strangeness in its proportion." Seneca, as well as Ovid, noted the 
attractiveness of slight short-comings ; aud the following anecdote 
shows that though the Persians, as a nation, have ever been 
strangers to Romantic Love, their greatest poet, Hifiz, understood 
the psychology of the subject in its subtlest details : — 

^ One day Timur (fourteenth century) sent for Hdfiz and asked 
angrily : ' Aj*t thou he who was so bold as to offer my two great 
cities Samarkand and Bokhara for the black mole on thy mistress's 
cheek 1 ' alluding to a well-known verse in one of his odes. * Yes, 
sire,' replied Hdfiz, 'and it is by such 'acts of generosity that I 
have brought myself to such a state of destitution that I have now 
to solicit your bounty.' Timur was so pleased with the ready wit 
displayed in this answer that he dismissed the poet with a hand- 
some present" 

To sum up : the reason why 

** The rose that lives its little hour 
Is prized beyond the sculptured flower * 

is not, as Bryant implies, the transitoriness of the rose, but the fact 
that the marble flower, like the wax-flower, is dead and unchange- 
able, while the short-lived rose beams with the expression of happy 
vitality after a shower, or sadly droops and hangs its head in a 
drouth. It has life and expression, subtle gradations of colour, 
and light and shade, which are the signs of its vitality and moods, 
varying every day, every hour. And so with all the higher forms 
of life, those always being most beautiful and highly prized which 
are most capable of expressing subtle variations of health, happi- 
ness, and mental refinement. 

There is no part of the human body which docs not serve as a 
nuurk of expression-— 




THE FEET 851 

** In m&iij's looks the false heart's history 
Is writ in moods and frowns and wrinkles strange.** 

•* There's langnage in her eye, her cheek, her lip, 
A ay, hcrjoot speaks.'* — Shakspebe. 

It will not do, therefore, to neglect any part of the body. As it 
is the last straw which breaks the comers back, so Cupid's capri- 
cious choice is often determined by some minor point of perfection, 
when t))e balance is otherwise equal. Suppose there are two sisters 
whose faces, figures, and mental attractions are about equal ; then 
it is possible that one of them will die an old maid simply because 
the other had a smaller foot, a more graceful gait, or longer eye- 
lashes. 

But though erery organ has its own beauty, there is an esthetic 
scale of lower and higher which corresponds pretty accurately with 
the physical scale from down upwards — from the foot to the eye and 
forehead. It is in this order, accordingly, that we shall now pro- 
ceed to consider the various parts of the human form, and those 
peculiarities in them which are considered most beautiful and mott 
liable to inspire Romantic Love. 



THE FEET 

am 

There is hardly anything concerning which rain people are so 
ien«iitire as their feet To liare lar^ feet is considered one of the 
greatest misfortunes that can befall a woman. Mathematically 
stated, the length of a woman's skirts is directly proportional to 
the size of her feet ; and women with large feet are always shocked 
at the frivolity of those who have neat ankles and ooquettishly 
allow them to lie seen on occasion ; nor do they see any beauty in 
Sir John Suckling's lines — 

" Her feet lieneath her pttticoat 
Like httle mice stole in and out, 
A» if they feared the light" 

Nor are men, at a rule, sufficiently free from pedal vanity to poae 
as satirists. Byron found a mark of aristocracy in small fret, and 
he was rendered almost as miserable by the morbid consciousness 
of bis own defects as Mme. de Stael (who had very ugly feet, yet 
OQoe ventured to assume the rdU, in private theatricals, of a statue) 
was oflfended by Talleyrand's witticism, that he recognised her by 
the pied de StaiL 




852 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

There is a hen trowUo^ if not true, story of a clever wife who 
objected to her husbamra habit of spendini^ his evenings away from 
home, and wiio reformed him by utilising his vanity. By insisting 
that bis boots were too lar^e, she repeatedly induced him to buy 
smaller ones, which finally tortured him so much that he was only 
too glad to stay at home and wear his slippers. 

FASHIONABLE UGLINESS 

How universal is the desire to have, or appear to have, small 
feet is shown by the fact that every bo<Iy blactkcns his shoes or 
boots; for, owing to a peculiar optical delusion, black objects 
always appear smaller than white ones ; which is also the reason 
why too slim and delicate ladies never appear to such advantage in 
winter as they do in summer, when they exchange their dark for 
light dresses. 

To a certain point the admiration of small feet is in accordance 
with the cauoiis of good Taste, as will be presently shown. But 
Taste has a disease which is called Fashion. It is a sort of 
microbe which has the etfect of diitorting and exagfjcratlng every- 
thing it takes hold of. Fashion is not satisfie<l with small feet ; 
it wants them very small, unntiturally small, at the cost of beauty, 
health, grace, comfort, and happiness. Heuce for many genera- 
tions shoemakers have l>een compelled to manufacture instruments 
of torture so ruinous to the constitution of man and woman, that 
an Austrian military surgeon has seriously counselled the enact- 
ment of legal fines to be imposed on the makers of noxiously- 
shaped shoes, similar to those imposed on food-adulterators. 

Most \\%\y and vulgir fashions come from Franco ; but as re- 
gards crippled feet the first prize has to be yielded to the Chinese, 
even by the Parisians. The normal size of the human foot varies, 
for men, from 9.V to 13 : for women, from 5i to 9 inches, man's 
feet being lon:rer proportionately to the greater Icni^th of his lower 
limbs. In China the men value the normal healthy contlitiou of 
their own feet enough to have introduced certain features of elas- 
ticity in their shoes which we might copy with advantage ; but the 
women are treated verv ditVerentlv. *' The fashional>le Icnirth for 
a Chinese foot," says Dr. Jainieson, *^is between 3^ and 4 inches, 
but comparatively few parents succeed in arresting growth so com- 
pletely." When girls are five years old their feet are tightly 
wrapped up in bandages, which on successive ocriisions are tightened 
more and more, till the surface ulcerates, and some of the fiesh, 
skin, and sometimes even a toe or two come otf. " During the first 







THE FEET 858 

year,'' Bays Professor Flower, ''the pain is bo inteiiBe that the 
sufferer can do nothing but lie and cry and moan. For about two 
yeaiA the foot aches continually, and is subject to a constant pain, 
like the pricking of sharp needles." Finally the foot Wcomcs 
reduced to a shapeless ma«s, void of sensibility, which *' has now 
the appearance of the hoof of some animal rather than a human 
fot>t, and affords a very insufficient organ of supjiort, as the peculiar 
tottering gait of those possessing it clearly shows/' 

The difference between the Chinese belle and the Parisian is 
one of degree merely. The former has her torturing done once 
fi»r all m'hile a child, whereas the latter allows her tight, high- 
heeled shoes to torture her throughout life. The English are the 
only nation that have recognised the iujuriousness and vulgarity of 
the French shoe, and substituted one made on hygienic principles ; 
and as England has in almost ever>'thin;: else displaced France at 
the leader in moilem fashion, it is reasonable to hope that ere 
Inng other nations will follow her in this reft>rm. American girls 
aie, as a rule, much less seuHible in tlii^ matter than their English 
sisters ; one need only ask a clerk in a shoe store to tiud out 
how most of them endeavour to squeeze their small feet iniu 
shoes too small by a number. 

Fa<»hion3 are always followed blindly, without deliberation. 
But would it not be worth while for French, American, and Ger- 
man women —anil many men too — to ask themselves what they 
gain and what they lose by trying to make their feet appear 
smaller than they are Y The disadvantages outweigh the advan- 
tages to an almoet ludicrous extent. 

On the one side there itt absolutely nothicg but the gratifica- 
tion of vanity derived from the fact that a few ocqnaintanoet 
admire one's *' pretty feet " ; and even this advantage is problem- 
atical, because a person who wears too tight shoes can hardly 
conceal them from an observer, and is therefore apt to get pity 
for her vain weakness in place of admiration. 

On the other hand are th<' following disadvantages : — 

(1) The c nstaiit U^rture of pressure (not to mention the result- 
ing corns and bunions), which alone must surely outweigh a hundred 
times the pleasure of gratified vu» ity at bavin/; a Chiueiie foot 

(2) Th'* nnonaciouf diJ^toitloc of the features and furrowing of 
the fureheod in the effort to eni'.ore and repreas the pain, — and 
wrinkles, be it remcmbrred, wbec onoe formad are ineradicable. 

(S) Tlie discouragemeot of wnlking and other exercise, involT- 
ing a general lofwerine of ritality. sickly pallor and premature I 
of the bloom of youth. 



856 RO^IANTIC LOVE AND F^BSOXAL BEAUT7 

bused, by comparing a negro's foot with that of civilised man : 
*' The foot of the negro, says Bitnneister, produces a dis^igreeable 
impre^'sioii. Everything in it is ugly ; the flatness, the projecting 
heel, the thick, fatty cushion in the inner cavity, the spreading 
toes. . • . The character of the human foot lies mainly in its 
arched structure, in the predominance of the metataraus, the 
shortening and equal direction of the tues, among which the great 
toe is remarkably long, but not, like tlie thumb, opposable. . . . 
Tlie toes iu standing leave no mark, but do so in progression. 
The whole middle part of the foot does not touch the ground. 
Persons with flat feet, in whom the middle of the sole touches 
ground, are bad peilestrians, and are rejected m recruits. . . • 
The negro is a decided flat foot . . . the fut cushion on the sole 
not only fills up the whole cavity, but projects beyond the sur- 
face." 

Inasmuch as it is the custom among all civilised peoples to 
cover the foot entirely, many of its aspects of beauty are reudere<l 
invisible permanently, so tlmt it is perhaps not to be wondered at 
that in their almence Fashion should have so eagerly fixed on the 
two visible featiu*es — 8ize and archetl instep — and emleavouretl to 
exa<?'4erate them by Procrustean dimensions and stilt -like high 
heels. Yet in this matter even modem Parisians reprcscait a 
progress over the metliseval Venetian ladies, who, according to 
Moriuello, at one time wore soles and heels over a foot iu height, 
80 that on going out they had to be accompanied by several 
servants to prevent them from falling. Mais que wniiez vouif 
Fashion is fashion, and women are women. 

By the ancient Groeks the feet were frequently exposed to 
view; hence, sajrs Wiuckelniann, ''in descriptions of beautiful 
persons, as Polyxena and Aspasio, even their beautiful feet are 
mentioned." Possibly in some future age, when Health and 
Beauty will be more worshipped than vulgar Fashion fetishes, a 
clever Yankee will invent an elastic, tough, and leathery, but 
transparent siilntauce that will protect the foot while fitting it 
like a glove u^i showing its outlines. This would put an end to 
the mutilations resorted to from vanity, guide<l by kul taste, and 
would add one more feature to Pei-soual Beauty. And the foot, 
as Bunneister insists, has or.e advantage over every other part of 
the Ixxly. Beauty iu all these other features depends on health 
and a certain muscular roundness. But the foot's beauty is 
independent of such variiitions, as it lies mainly in its pcrmaneut 
bony contours and in its fat cushion, which alone of all adipose 
layers resists the ravages of disease and old age. Hence a 







THE FEET 855 

Those who believe that human beauty consists in the dcgi^ 
of remoteness from animal types, will derive satisfaction from the 
fact that apes have feet that ore lar^r than ours. Topinanl gives 
these figures showing the relative sizes: roan, 16*96; gorilla, 
20*69; chimpanzee, 21*00; orang, 25. But why should nuin 
feel a special pride in the fact that his feet are somewhat smaller 
than those of his nearest relatives, whom, until recently, he did 
not even acknowledge as such t 

It is, moreover, unscientific to compare man's foot with the ape's 
too closely, beaiuse they have difiereut functions — being used by 
man for walking, by the ope for climbing — antl therefore require 
different characteristics. It is only in tliose organs that have a 
like function — as the jawp, teeth, nose, eyes, and forehead — that a 
direct comparison is permissible, and a progress noted in our 
favour. 

Again, as M. Topinard tells us, " The hand and the foit of 
man, although shorter than those of the anthropoid ape, do not 
vary among races according to their order of superiority, as we 
should have supposed. A long hand orfttU ii not a charaderiMtie 
of inferiority** 

The same is true among individuals of the same race. Ume. 
de Staei was one of the most intelligent women the world has ever 
seen, yet her feet were very large ; and conversely, some of our 
silliest girls have the smallest feet 

Since, then, there is no obvious connection between small feet 
and superior culture, it follows that the beauty of a foot is not to 
be determined by so simple a matter nB its length. There are other 
peculiarities, of greater importance, in which the laws of Beauty 
manifest themseires. First, in the arched instep, which is not 
only attractive because it introduces the beauty-curve in place of 
the straight, flat line of the sole, but which is of the utmost im- 
portance in increasing the fnot's capacity for carrying its burden, 
just as architects build arches under bridges, etc, for the sake of 
the greater strength and more equable distribution of pressure thus 
obtained. Secondly, in the symmetrical correspondence of the toes 
and contours of one foot with those of its partner ; in the gradation 
of the rcgukrly shorten^ toes, from the first to the fifth ; in the 
delicate tints of the skin which, moreover, is smooth and not (as 
in apes) covered with stragsrling hairs and deep furrows, which 
would have concealed the delicate Teins that variegate the surface, 
and give it the colour of life. 

Professor Carl Vogt, in his Lecturtt on J/iezii, vividly illustrates 
the principles oo which our judgment regarding beauty in feet is 




8W ROMANTIC LOVE AND P^BSONAL BEAUTY 

bnsed, by comparing a negroes foot with that of ciyOised maD : 
*' Tiie foot of the ne^ro, says Burmeister, produces a Jisiigreeable 
impression. Everytiiing in it is ugly ; the flatness, the projecting 
heel, the thick, fatty cushion in the inner cavity, the spreading 
toes. ... The character of the human foot lies mainly iu its 
arched structure, in the predominance of the metatarsus, the 
shortening and equal direction of the toes, among which the great 
toe is remarkably long, but not, like the thumb, opposable. . . . 
The toes iu standing leave no mark, but do so in progression. 
The whole middle part of the foot does not touch the ground. 
Persons with flat feet, in whom the middle of the sole touches 
giouud, are bad petlestrians, and are rejected as recriuts. . . • 
The negro is a decided flat foot . . . the fut cushion on tlie sole 
not only fills up the whole cavity, but projects beyond the sur- 
face." 

Ina<«much as it is the custom among all civilised peoples to 
cover the foot entirely, many of its aspects of beauty are reudere<l 
invisible permanently, so tliat it is perhaps not to be wondered at 
that in their al)sence Fashion shoidd have so eai^crly fixed on the 
two visible featmes — size an<l arche<l instep — and endeavoureil to 
exas„'crate them by Procmstcan dimensions and stilt -like high 
heels. Yet iu this matter even modem Parisians reprcseoit a 
progress over the mediaeval Venetian ladies, who, according to 
Marinello, at one time wore soles and heels over a foot iu height, 
so that on going out they had to be accompanied by several 
servants to prevent them from falling. MaU que voulez voust 
Fashion is fashion, and women are women. 

By the ancient Greeks the feet were frequently exposed to 
view; hence, says Winckelniann, "in descriptions of beantiful 
pei-sons, as Polyxena and Aspasia, even their beautiful feet are 
mentioned." Possibly in some future age, when Health and 
Beauty will be more worshii)i>ed than vulirar Fashion fetishes, a 
clover Yankee w^ill invent an elastic, touiih, and leathery, but 
transparent substance that will protect the foot while fitting it 
like a pjlove u_i showing its outlines. This would put an end to 
the mutilations resorted to from vanity, guitletl by bad taste, and 
would add one more feature to Pei'sonal Beauty. And the foot, 
as Bunneister insists, has o:^e advantage over every other part of 
the l)ody. Beauty in all these other features depends on health 
and a certain muscular roundness. But the foot's beauty is 
independent of such variations, as it lies mainly in its permaueut 
bony contoiurs and in its fat cushion, which alone of all adipose 
layers resists the ravages of disease and old age. Hence a 




THE FEET 857 

beautiful foot is a thing of beauty and a joy for ever, long after 
all other youthful charms have faded and fled. 

▲ OBACEFITL QUT 

So lon^ as the foot remnina entirely covered, its beauty is, on 
the whole, of less importance than the grace of its movements. 
Grace, under all circumstances, is as |)otent a love-charm as 
Beauty itself— of which, in fact, it is only a phase ; and if young 
men and women could be made to realise how much they could 
add to their fascinations by cultivating a graceful gait and 
attitudes, hygienic shoemakers, dancing-masters, and gymnasiums 
would enjoy as great and sudden a popularity as skating-rinks, 
and a much more permanent popularity toa 

It is the laws of Grace that chiefly determine the most admir- 
able characteristics of the foot The arched instep is beautiful 
because of its curved outlines ; but its gnuitest value lies in the 
superior elasticity and grace it imparts to the gait The habitual 
carrying of heavy loads tends to make the feet flat and to ruin 
Grace ; hence the clumsy gait of most working people, and, on 
the other hand, the graceful walk of the '* aristocratic " classes. 

The proper size of the foot, again, is most ea9ily determined 
with reference to the principles of Grace. Motion is graceful 
when it does not involve any waste of energy, and when it is in 
accordance with the lines of Beauty. There must be no dispro- 
portion between the machinery and the work done — no locomotive 
to pull a baby-carriage. Too large feet are ugly because they 
appear to have been mode for carrying a giant ; too small ones 
are ugly because seemingly belonging to a dwarf What are the 
exact proportions lying between ** too large " and " too small " can 
only be determined by those who have educated their taste by the 
study of the laws of Beauty and Grace throughout Nature 

From this point of view Grace is synonymous with functional 
fitnfu. A monkey's foot is less beautiful than a man's, but in 
dimUnff it is more graceful ; whei<;as in walking man's is 
infinitely more graceful. Apes rarely assume an erect position, 
and when they do so they never walk on the fiat sole. '* When 
the orang-ouung lakes to the ground," says Mr. E. B. Tylor, " he 
aharobles ctumsiiy along, geneiidly putting down the outer edge of 
the foot and the bent knuckles of the hand/' 

I have italicised the word *' cliunsily " becnuse it touches the 
vital fK)int of the question. Man owes his intellectual superiority 
largely to the lact that he does not need his hands for walking or 




858 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTT 

climbing, but uses them as argans of delicate touch and as took. 
To acquire this iudependence of the hands he needed feet, which 
enabled him to stand erect aod walk along, not '' clumsily," but 
finnly, naturally, and therefore gracefully. Hence in couise of 
time, through the effects of constant use, there was developed the 
callous cushion of the heel and toes ; while, through discontinu- 
ance of the habit of climbing, the toes became reduced in size. 
In the ape's foot, it is well known, the toes are almost as long as 
the fingers of the hand : a fact which led Blumenboch and Cuvier 
to classify apes as quadruniana or four-handed animals. But 
Professor Huxley showed that this ckssification was based on 
erroneous reasoning. The resemblance between the hands and 
feet of apes is merely pkysiologuxU or functional — because hands 
and feet are used alike for climbing. But anatomically^ in its 
bones and muscles, etc, the monkey's apparent bind '* hand " is a 
true foot no less than man's. If the physiological function, ue, 
the opposability of the thumb to the other fingers, were taken as 
a ground of classification, then birds, who have such toes, would 
have no feet at all but only wings and hands. ' 

There is a limit, however, beyond which the size of man's toes 
cannot be reduced without injurino^ the foot's usefulness and the 
grace of gait. The front part of the foot is distinguished for its 
yielding or elastic character. Hence, says Professor Humphrey, 
''in descending from a height, as from a chair or in walking 
downstairs, we alight upon the balls of the toes. If we alight 
upon the heels — for instance, if we walk downstairs on the heels 
— we find it an uncomfortable and rather jarring procetlure. In 
walking and jumpinj^, it is true, the heels come first in contact 
with the ground, but the weight then falls obliquely upon them, 
and is not fuUy borne by the foot till the toes also are upon the 
ground," 

One of the reasons why Grace is more rare even than Beauty 
on this planet is that the toes are cramped or even turned out of 
their natural position by tight, pointed, fashionable shoes, and 
are thus prevented from giving elasticity to the step. Instances 
are not rare (and by no means only in China) where the great toe 
is almost at right angles to the length of the foot. In walking, 
says Professor Flower, " the heel is first lifted from the ground, 
and the weight of the body gradually transferred through the 
middle to the anterior end of the foot, and the final push or 
impulse given with the great toe. It is necessary then that aU 
these parts should be in a straight line with one another." 

It is a mooted question whether the toes should be slightly 







THE FEET 859 

tmned ontwnnl, as danciDg-masters insist, or placed in straight 
parallel lines, as some physiolosrists liold. For the reason 
indicated in the last paragraph, pliysiologists are clearlj right. 
With parallel or almost parallel great toes, a graceful walk is 
more easily attained than by turning out the toes. Even in 
standing, Dr. T. S. Ellis argues, the parallel position is preferable : 
*' When a body stands on four points I know of no reason why it 
should stand more firmly if those points be unequally disponed. 
The tendency to fall forwards would seem to be even increased by 
widening the distance between the points in front, and it is in 
tlus direction that falls most coounouly occur.** 

EVOLUTION OF THE GREAT TOE 

Perhaps the most striking difference between the feet of men 
and apes lies in the relative size of the first and second toes. In 
the ape's foot the second toe is longer than the first, whereas in 
modem civilised man's f(X)t the first or great toe is almost always 
the longer. Not so, however, with savages, who are intermediate 
in this as in other respects between man and ape ; and there are 
rarious other facts which seem to indicate that the evolution of 
the great toe, like that of the other extreme of the body— the 
bead and brain — is still in progress. 

There is a notion very prevalent among artists that the second 
toe should be longer than the first This idea. Professor Flower 
thinks, Lb derived from the Greek canon, which in its turn was 
copied from the Egyptian, and probably originally derived from 
the negro. It certainly does not represent what is most usual in 
our race and time. *' Among hundreds of bore, and therefore 
iindeformed, feet of children I lately examined in Perthshire, I 
was not able to find one in whicii the second toe was the longest. 
Since in all apes — in fact, in all other animals — the first toe is 
considcrubly shorter than the second, a long first toe is a specially 
human attribute ; and instead of being despised by artists, it 
should be looked upon as a mark of elevatiou in the scale of 
organised beings." 

Mr. J. P. Harrison, after a careful cxxmiination of the nnrestored 
feet of Greek and Itoman statues in various museums and art 
galleries, wrote an article in the Journal of tJte AnthropJitfrical 
Itutilute of Great Britain (vol. xiiu 1884), in which he sutes that 
be was '* led to the conviction that it was from Italy and not 
Greece that the long second toe affected by many English artists 
bad been imported." Among the Italians a longer aecood toe ia 




360 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

common, as also among Alsatians ; in England so rarely that its 
occurrenoe probably indicates foreign blood. Professor Flower, as 
we have seen, foun<l no cases at all ; Paget examined twenty-seven 
EngMdb males, in twenty-four of whom the great toe was the longer. 
^* III the case of the female feet, in ten out of twenty-three subjects 
the first or great toe was longest, and in ten females it was 
s/torter than the second toe. In the remaining three instances the 
first an<l second toes were of equal length." 

Bear these last sentences in mind a moment, till we have seen 
what is the case with savages. Says Dr. Bruner: ''A slight 
shortening of the great toe undoubtedly exists, not merely amongst 
the Negro tribes, but also in ancient ami modem Egyptians, and even 
in some of the most beautiful races of CtxyiCBuiaa females" And Mr. 
Hanison found this to be, with a few exceptions, a general trait of 
savages. The great toe was shorter than the second in skeletons 
of Peruvians, Taliitians, New Hebrideans, Savage islanders, Ainos, 
New Caledonians. 

Must we therefore agree with Carl Vogt wlien he says, " We 
may be sure that, whenever we perceive an approach to tlie animal 
type, the female is nearer to it than the raale"1 

Perhaps, however, we can find a solution of the problem some- 
wliat less insulting to women than this statement of the ungallant 
German professor. 

It is Fashion^ the handmaid of ugliness, that has thus ap- 
parently caused almost half tlie women to approximate the simian 
tvpe of the foot ; Fashion, which, by inducing women for centuries 
to thrust their tender feet into Spanish boots of torture, has taken 
from their toes tlie freedom of action requisite for that free develop- 
ment and growth which is to be noticed iu almost all the men. 

Considering? the great difference between the left nnd the right 
foot, it appears almost incredible, but is a sober fact, that until 
about halt* a century ago " rights and left^ " were not made even 
for the men, who now always wear them. But even to-day " they 
are not, it is believed, made use of by women, except in a shape 
that is little etticacious," says Mr. Harrisou ; and concerning the 
Austrians Dr. Schatfer remarks, similarly, that ** the like shoe for 
the left and right foot is still in use in the vast majority of cuses." 
No wonder women are so averse to taking exercise, and therefore 
lose their beauty at a time when it onght to be still in full bloom. 
For to walk in such shoes must be a torture forbidding all unneces- 
sary movement. 

Once more be it said — it is Fashion, the handmaid of ugliness, 
that is responsible for the inferior beauty of the average female 




THE FEET 8C1 

foot, by preTenting the free development and play of tlie toes 
irbich are absolutely necessary for a graceful walk. 

To wbac an extent the woful rarity of a (n^aceful gait is due to 
the shape of " fashionable " shoes is vividly brought out iu a passage 
concerning the natives of Martinique, which api^eared in a letter in 
tbe New York Evtning PoU : '* Many of the quadroons are hand- 
some, even beautiful, in their youth, and all the women of pure 
black and mixed blood walk with a lightness of step and a graceful 
freedom of motion that is very noticeable and pleasant to see. I 
say all the women ; but I must confine this description to those 
who go shoeless, for when a negresfs crams her feet into even the 
liest-fittiiig pair of shoes her ^'ait becomes as awkward as the 
waddle of an Indian squaw, or of a black swan on dry land, and she 
luinces and totters in such danger of falling forward that one feels 
constrained to.go to her and sa3% ' Mam'selle Eb^ne or Koirette, do, 
I beseech you, i>ut your shoes where you carry everything else, 
namely, on the top of your well-balantred head, and do let me see 
you walk barefoot again, for I do assure you that neither your 
Chinese cousins nor your European mistresses can ever bo|>e to 
imitate your goddess-like gait until they practise the art of walk- 
ing with their high-heeled, tiny boots nicely balanced on their 
Leads, as you so often are pleased to do."' 

There is another lesson to be leamefl from this discussion, 
namely, that in trying to establish tbe principles of Beauty, it in 
better to fuUow one's own taste than adhere blindly to Greek 
canons, and what are supposed to be Greek canons. The 
Innger second toe, as we have seen, is not a characteristic of 
Greek art, but due apparently to restorations made in Italy 
where this peculiarity prevails. The Greeks, indeed, never 
hesitated to idealise and improve Mature if caught napping; 
and there can be little doubt that if in their own feet the first toe 
bad been shorter than the second, they would have made it longer 
ail tbe same in their statues, following the laws of gradation and 
curvature which a longer second toe would interrupt. For it is 
undeniable that, as Mr. Harrison remarks, *'a model for^t, accord- 
ing to Flaxman, is one in which the toes follow each other imper- 
cefHibly in a graceful curve from the first or great toe to the fifth." 

KATIOXIX DIFFXnuyCES 

The statement made alx)ve regarding the prevalence among 
Italians of a longer secrmd toe ennbles us also to qualify the 
remark made in the WeitmifitUr Ilevie%e (lb64), that **£ven 
at tlio present di^ it is a fact well known to all Kulptoia that 




802 BOMAKTIC LOVE AUD PERSONAL BEAUT7 

Italy poBsesses the finest modek as regards the female hands and 
feet in any part of Europe ; and that to the eye of an Italian the 
wrists and ankles of most English women would not senre as a 
study even for those revivalisms of the antique which are to be 
purchaFed in our streets for a few shillings." Whatever may be 
true of wrists and ankles, the toes must be excepted, at least if a 
larger percentage of Italian than of English women have the second 
toe louger. 

Although in matters where so many individual differences exist 
it is hazardous to generalise, the following remarks on national 
peculiarities in feet, made by a reviewer of Zachariae's JHsecuei of 
tlie Human Foot, may be cited for what they are worth : " The 
French foot is mengre, narrow, and bony; the Spanish foot u 
small and elegantly curved, thanks to its Moorish blood. . . . The 
Arab foot is proverbial for its high arch ; ' a stream can run under 
his foot,' is a description of its form. The foot of the Scotch is 
large and thick — that of the Irish flat and square — the English 
short and fleshy. The American foot is apt to be disproportionately 
amalL" 

BEAUTIFYINO HYGIENB 

Walking, running, and dancing are the most potent cosmetics 
for producing a foot beautiful in form and graceful in movement. 
It is possible that much walking doe^ slightly increase the size of 
the foot, but not enough to become perceptible in the life of an 
individual ; and it has Ijeen sufficiently shown that the standard of 
Beauty in a foot is not sinallness but cuiTed outlines, litheness, and 
grace of gait, these qualities being a thousand times more powerful 
"love-charms" than the pmallest Chinese foot. Moi*eover, it is 
probable that (jraceful walking has no tendency to enlarge the foot 
as a whole, but only the great toe ; and a well-developed great toe 
is a distinctive sign of higher evolution. 

It is useless for any one to try to walk or dance gracefully in 
shoes which do not allow the toes to spread and act like two sets 
of elastic springs. One of the most curious aberrations of modem 
taste is the notion that the shape of the natural foot is not bean- 
tiful — that it will look better if made narrowest in front instead 
of widest Even were this so, it would not pay to sacrifice all 
grace to a sligiit gain in Beauty. ' But it is not sa It is only 
habit, which blunts perception, that makes us indifferent to the 
ugliness of the pointed shoes in our shop-windows, or even in many 
cases prefer them to naturally-shaped shoes. Were we once accus- 
tomed to properly-shaped hygienic boots, in which no part of the 







THE FEET 803 

foot is cramped, our present shoes, with their unnatural curves 
where there siiould be none, and the absence of curvets where they 
should be (''rights and lefts"), would seem as ''awful" and 
"horrid" as the old crinoline docs to the eyes of the present 
generation. As Professor Flower remarks : " The fact that the 
excessively pointed, elongated toes of the time of Richard II., for 
instance, were superseded by the broad, round-toed, almost ele- 
phantine, but most comfortable shoes seen in the portraits of Henry 
VIIL and his contemporaries, shows that there is nothing in the 
former essential to the gratification of the aesthetic instincts of 
mankind. Each form wus, doubtless, equally admired iu the time 
of its prevalence." 

The Germans claim that it was one of their countrymen, Petnis 
Camper, who first called attention, about a hundred years ago, to 
another objectionable peculiarity of the modem shoe — its high 
heels — ruinous alike to comfort, grace, and health (a numl^er of 
female diseases being caused by them) ; yet they admit that Cam- 
per's advice was hardly heeded by the Germans, and that it there- 
fore sen-es them right that quite recently the modem hygienic 
aboe, with low, broad heels, has been introduced in Gemiauy as 
the "English form," the English having proved themselves less 
obtuse and conservative in this matter. 

The heel is, however, capable of still further improvement It 
it not elastic like the cushion of the heel, after which it should be 
modelled ; and Dr. Schafi'ers suggestion that an elastic mechanism 
should be introduced in the heel is certainly worthy of trial 
Everybody knows how much more lightly, gracefuUy, as well as 
noiselessly, he can walk in mbbers than in leather shoes ; and this 
gain is owing to the superior elasticity of the heel and the middle 
part of the shoe, covering the arch, which should be especially 
elastic It is pleasanter to walk in a meadow than on a stone 
pavement ; but if we wear soles that are both soft and elastic we 
need never walk on a hard surface ; for then, as Dr. Schaffer 
remarks, " we have the meadow in our boots." 

A« the left foot always differs considerably from the right, it is 
not sufficient to have one measure taken. Tlie fact that shoemakers 
do take but one measure shows what clumsy bunglers most of 
them are. As a mle, it \b easier to get a fit from a large stock of 
ready-made boots than at a shoemaker's. 

The stockings, as well as the shoes, often cramp and deform 
tlie foot ; and Professor Flower suggests that they should never 
be made with pointed toes, or similar forms for both sides. 
Digitated stockings, however, are a nuisance, for they hamper the 




864 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEBSONAL BEAUTY 

finee and elastic action of the toes. Woollen stockings are the best 
both for summer aud winter use. No one who has ever experi- 
enced the comfort of wearing woollen socks (and underclothes in 
general), will ever dream of reverting to silk, cotton, or any other 
material 

Soaking the feet in water in which a handful of salt has been 
dissolred, several times a week, is an excellent way of keeping the 
skin in sound condition. For perfect cleanliness it does not suffice 
to change the socks frequently. As the author of the Ugly Girl 
PapfTM remarks, ^'The time will come when we will find it as 
shockinjs: to our ideas to wear out a pair of boots without putting 
in new Uning as we think the habits of George the First's timej 
when maids of honour went without washing their faces for a 
week, an«l people wore out their linen without the aid of a 
laundress.* 

DANCIKO AND GBACB 

Among the ancients dancing included graceful gestures and 
poses of all parts of the body, as well as facial expression. lu 
Oriental dancing of the present day, likewise, graceful movements 
of the arms and upper part of the body play a more important roU' 
than the lower limbs. Modern dancing, on the contrary, is chietly 
an affair of the lower extremities. It is pre-eminently an exercise 
of the toes ; and herein lies its hygienic and beautifying value, for, 
OS we have seen, grace of gait depends chiefly on the firm litiieness 
and springiness of the toes, especially the i^reat toe. By their 
grace of gait one can almost alwajrs distinguish persons who have 
enjoyed the privilege of dancing-lessons, which have strcn^hened 
their toes and, by implication, many other muscles, not forgetting 
those of the arm, which has to hold the partner. 

There are thousands of young women who have no opportunities 
for prolonged and exhilarating exercise except in ballrooms. In 
the majority of cases, unfortunately, Fashion, the handmaid of 
Ugliness and Disease, frustrates the advantages which would 
result from dancing by prescribing for ballrooms not only the 
smallest shoes, but the tightest corsets and the lowest dresses, 
which render it impossible or irapmdent to breathe fresh air, 
without which exercise is of no hygienic value, and may even be 
injurious. But what are such trifling sacrifices as Health, 
Beauty, and Grace compared to the glorious consciousness of 
being fashionable ! 




9 



THE i'EET 865 



DANCING AND COURTSHIP 



The ballroom is Cupid's camping ground, not only because it 
facilitates the acquisition of that grace by which he is so easily 
enamoured, but because it afibrds such excellent opportunities for 
Courtship and Sexual Selection. And this applies not only to the 
era of modem Romantic Love, but, from its most primitive mani- 
festations in the animal world, dancing, like song, has been 
connected with love and courtship. 

Darwin devotes several pages to a description of the love-antics 
and dances of birds. Some of them, as tiie black African weaver, 
perform their love-anti(» on the wing, *^ gliding through the air 
with quivering wings, which make a rapid whirring sound like a 
child's rattle " others remain on the ground, like the English 
white-tlfroat, which " flutters with a fitful and fantastic motion ;** 
or the English bustard, who ** throws himself iuto indescribably 
odd attitudes whilst courting the female •" and a third class, the 
famous B'twcr-birds, perform their love-antics in bowers specially 
oonstrurteil and adorned with leaves, shells, and feathers. These 
are the earliest baUroonu known in natural history ; and it i^ 
quite proper to call them so, for, as Darwin remarks, they ^ are 
built on the ground for the sole purpose of courtship, for their 
nests arc formed in trees." 

Fussing on to primitive roan, we again find him inferior to 
anim;ds in not knowing tliat the sole proper function of dancing ia 
in the service of Love, courtship, and grace. Savages have three 
classes of dance, two being performed by the men alone, the third 
by men and women. First come the war-dances, in which the 
grotesquely painted warriors brandish their spears and utter un- 
eartlily howls, to excite themselves for an approaching contest. 
Second, the Hunter's Dances, in which the game is imi»ersonated 
by some of the men and chased about, wiiich leads to many comic 
scenes ; though tiiere is a serious undercurrent of superstition, for 
they believe that such dances — a sort of saltatorial prayer — bring 
on good luck in the subsequent real chase. Third, the dance of 
Love, practised e.g, by the Brazilian Indians, with wliom " men 
and women dance a rude courting dance, advancing in lines with 
a kicd of primitive polka step'' (Tylor.) That there is as httle 
refinement and idealism in the savage's dances as in his love-afiain 
in general is self-evident 

The civilised nations of antiquity, a^ we have seen, had no 
prolonged Courtship, and therefore no Romantic Love. Sinoi 




Seo ROMAHmC love AJSU) PERSONiX BEAUTY 

yonng men and women were not allowed to meet freely, dandbg 
was of course not esteemed as a high social accomplishment It 
was therefore commonly relegated to a special class of women (or 
slaves), such as the Bayaderes of India and the Greek flute girls. 
Notwithstanding that even tbe Greek gods are sometimes repre- 
sented as dancing, yet this art came to be considered a sign of 
effeminacy in men who indulged in it ; and as for the Komans, their 
view is indicated in Cicero's anathema : ** No man who is sober 
dances, unless he is out of his mind, either when alone or in decent 
society, for dancing is the companion of wantoH conviviality, 
dissoluteness, and luxury." 

In ancient Egypt, too, the upper classes were not allowed to 
learn dancing. And herein, as in so many things in which women 
are concerned, the modem Oriental is the direct descendant of the 
ancients. ^ In the eyes of the Chinese," says M. Letoumeau, 
''dancing is a ridiculous amusement by which a man compromises 
his dignity." 

Plato appears to have been the first who recognised the import- 
ance of dancing as affording opportimities for Courtship and 
pre-matrimonial acquaintance. But his advice remained unheeded 
by his countrymen. A view regarding dancing similar to Plato's 
was announced by an uncommonly Ul)eral theologian of the sixteenth 
century in the words, as quoted by Scherr, that " Dancing had 
been originally arranged and permitted with tbe respectable 
purpose of teaching manners to the young in the presence of many 
people, and enabling 3'oung men and maidens to form honest 
attachments. For in the dance it was easy to observe and note 
the habits and peculiarities of the yotmg." 

Thus we see that, with the exception of the savage's war-dances 
and hunting pantomimes, the art of dancing has at all times and 
everywhere been bom of love ; even the ancient religious dances 
having commonly been but a veil concealing other purposes, as 
among the Greeks. But all ceremonial dancing, like ceremonial 
kissing, has been from the beginning doomed to be absorbed and 
annihilated by the all-engrossing modern passion of Romantic Love. 

Tme, as a miser mistakes tiie means for the end and loves gold 
for its own sake, so we sometimes see girls dance alone — possibly 
with a vaguely coy intention of giving the men to understand that 
they can get along without them. But their heart is not in it, and 
they never do it when there are men enough to go round. As for 
the men, they are too open and frank ever to veil their sentiments. 
They never dance except with a woman. 

To-day our fashion and society papers are etemally complaining 




THE FEET 867 

of the fact that the young men — especially the desirable young 
men — seem to have lost idl interest in dancing. But who is to 
blame for this? Certainly not the men. It is FaMon again, 
and the mothers who sacrifice the matrimonial prospects of their 
daughters — as well as their Health, Beauty, and Individuality — 
to this hideous fetish. It is the late hours of the dance, prescribed 
by Fashion, that are responsible for the apparent loss of masculine 
interest in this art. Formerly, when aristocracy meant briness 
and stupidity, the habit of turning night into day was harmless 
or even useful, because it helped to rid the world prematurely of a 
lot of fools. But to-day the leading men of the community are 
also the busiest. Aristocracy implies activity, intellectual and 
otherwise. Hence there are few men in the higher ranks who 
have not their re<]^l ir work to do during the day. To ask them 
after a day's hard lubaur to go to a dance beginning at midnight 
and ending at four or five is to ask them to commit suicide. 
Sensible men do not believe iu slow suicide, hence they avoid 
dancing-parties as if such parties were held iu small-pox hospitals. 

Let society women throw their stupid conservatism to the 
winds. Let them arrange balls to begin at eight or nine and end 
at midnight or one, and '' desirable " men will be only too eager 
to flock to assemblies wiiich they now shun. The result will be a 
audi leu and startling diminution in the number of old maids and 
bachelors. 

It is the moral duty of mothers who have marriageable daugh- 
ters to encourage this reform. Maternal love does not merely 
imply solicitude for the first twenty year^ of a daughter's life, but 
careful provision for the remainder of her life, covering twice tluU 
period, by enabling her to meet and choose a husband after Lir 
own heart. 

XTOLUnOK OF DANCE KUSIO 

Did space permit, it woidd be interesting to study in detail the 
dances of various epochs and countries, coloured, like the Love 
which originated them, by national peculiarities — the Polish 
mazourka and polonaise, the Spanish fandango, the Viennese 
waltz, the Parisian cancan, etc Sutfice it to note the great 
diflerenoe between the dances of a few generati<tns ago and those 
of to-day, as shown most vividly in the evolution of dance-music 

The earliest dance-tunes are vocal, and were sung by the (p^^ 
fessional; dancers themselves, in the duys when the yontu; were 
not yet allowed to meet, converse, and flirt and danc. Subse- 
queotly, the trmntferenoe of dmnce-muaic to instruments |ilayed hf 



368 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PESSONAL BEAUTY 

others gave the dancers opportunity to perform more complicated 
figures, and made it possible to converse. But even as late as the 
eighteenth century dancing and dance-music were characterised by 
a stately reserve, slowness, and pompons dignity wiiich showed at 
once that they hail nothing to do with Romantic Love. It was 
not the fiery, passionate youths who dance* I tiiese solemnly stupid 
minuets, gavottes, sarabandes, and allemandes, but the older folks, 
whose perruques, and collars, and frills, and bloated clothes would 
not have enabled them to execute rapid movements even if the 
warm blood of youth had coiu^ed in their veins. 

How all this artificiality an<l snail-like pomp has been brushed 
away by triumphant Romantic Love, which has seciured for modem 
lovers the privilege of dancing together before they are marrietl 
and cease to care for it ! True, we still have the monotonous 
soporific quadrille, as if to remind us of bygone tiroes ; but the 
true modern dance is the round dance, which differs from the 
stately mediaeval dance as a jolly rural picnic does from a formal 
morning call. 

The (liiference between the medieval and the modern dance is 
thus indicated by F. Bremer : — 

" Peculiar to modem dunce-music is the round dance, especially 
the waltz ; and it is in consequence warmer than the older dance- 
music, more passionate in expression, in rhythm and modulatiou 
more sharply accented. As its creator we must regard Carl Maria 
von Weber, who, in his Invitation to Dance, stmck the keynote 
through which subsequently, in the music of Chopin, Lanner, 
Strauss, Musard, etc., utterance was given to the whole gamut 
of dreamy, languishing, sentimental, ardent passion. The con- 
sequence was the displacement of the stately, measured dances 
by impetuous, chivalrous forms ; and in place of the former nnive 
sentimentality and childish mirth, it is the rapture of Love that 
constitutes the spirit of modem dance-music.'' 

Not to speak of more primitive dance-tunes, what a diff*erence 
there is between the slow and dreaiy monotony of eighteenth cen- 
tury dances and a Viennese waltz of to-day ! The vast superiority 
of a Strauss waltz lies in this — that it is no longer a mere rhythmic 
noise calculated to guide the steps, and skips, and bows, and evolu- 
tions of the dancers, but tJie sympJionic accompaniment to the first 
act in the drama of Romxintic Love, It recognises the fact that 
Courtship is the prime object of the dance. Hence, though still 
boimd by the inevitable dance rhythm, Strauss is ever tr>ing to 
break loose from it, to secure that freedom and variety of rhythm 
which is needed to give full utterance to passion. Note the slow, 




THE F££T M9 

pathetic introdnctions ; the signs in the score indicating an acoel- 
cmtcd or retanletl tempo when the waltz is played at a concert, 
where the unilortnity of ballro^im movement is not called for ; note 
wliat subtle use he makes of all the other means of expressing 
amorous feeling — the wide melodic intervals, the piquant, stirring 
harmonies, the exquisitely melancholy flashes of instnunentid 
colouring, alternating with cheerful moments, showing a subtle 
l>!$ychologic art of translating the Mixed Moods of Love into the 
language of tones. 

In the waltzes, mazourkas, and polonaises of Chopin we see still 
more strikingly that the true function of dance-music is amorous. 
Even as Dante*s Love for Beatrice was too sui)er-sensua1, too 
ethereal for this world, so Chopin's dance-])ieces are too subtle, 
too full of delicate nuances of tempo and Love episodes, to be 
adapted to a balhroom ^nth ordinary mort'Us. Graceful fairies 
alone could dance a Chopin waltz ; mortals are too heavy, too 
clumsy. They can follow an amorous Chopin waltz with the 
imagination alone, whii:h is the alxnle of Komantic Love. To a 
Strauss waltz a hundred couples may make love at once, hence be 
writes for the orchestra ; but Chopin wrote for the parlour piano, 
because the feelings he utters are too deep to be realiseil by more 
than two at a time— one who plays and one who listens, till their 
souls dance together in an ecstatic embrace of Mutual Sympathy. 

TBS DAXCE OP LOT! 

It is at Vienna, which has more feminine grace and beauty to 
the square mile than any other city in the world, that the art of 
dancing is to be seen in its greatest perfection. Ko wonder tliat 
it is the home of t)ie Waltz King, Johann Strauss; and that a 
Viennese feuilletonist has shown the deepest insight into the 
psychology of the dance in an article from which the following 
cxccqits are taken : — 

"The waltz has a creative, a rcyuvenatinjj power, which no 
other dance possesses. The skipping f)olkii 19 chanicteriseil by a 
ccitaiu stiffness and angularity, a rhytiim rather sol)cr and old- 
fa^^hioned. Tlie galop is a wild hurricane, which moves along 
rudely and threatens to bh»w over everything that comes in iU 
way; it is the most brutal of all dances, an enemy of all tender 
and refined feelings, a bacchnnaliiiu rui»hing up aud ilowxi, . . . 

"The waltx, therefore, remains as the only tnu* and real dance. 
Waltzing is not walking, skipping, jumping, rushing, raving ; it is 
a gentle floating and flying ; from the heaviest men it soeuii to 

2b 



870 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

take away some of their materiality, to raise the most massive 
women fh)m the ground into the air. True, the Viennese alono 
know how to dance it, as they alone know how to play it . . . 

*' The waltz insUts on a perj$onal monopoly, on being loved for 
its own sake, and permits no vapid side-remarks regarding the fine 
weather, the hot room, the toilets of the kdies; the couple glide 
along hardly speaking a word ; except that she may beg for a 
pause, or he, indefatigable, insatiable, intoxicated by the music 
and motion, the fragrance of flowers and ladies, invites her to a 
new flight aronnd the halL And yet is tiiis mute dance the most 
eloquent, the most expressive and emotional, the most sensuous 
that could be imagined ; and if the dancer has anything to say to 
his partner, let him mutely confide it to her in the sweet whirl 
of a waltz, for then the music is his advocate, then every bar 
pleads for him, every note is a bilUt-doiiXy every breath a declara- 
tion of love. Jealous husbands do not allow their wives to waltz 
with another man. They are right, for the waltz is the Dance of 
Love." 

SALLET-DANCTXa 

There is one more form of dancing which may be briefly alluded 
to, because it illustrates the hypocrisy of the avera*;:e mortal as 
well OS the rarity of true aesthetic taste. Solo ballet-dancing is 
admired not only by the bald-heodcil old men in the parquet, but 
there are critics who seriously di^icuss sucii dancing as if it were a 
fine art ; generally lamenting the good old times of the great and 
graceful ballet-dancers. The truth is that ballet -dancing never 
can be graceful^ as now practised. To secure graceful movement 
it is absolutely necessary to muke use of the elasticity of the toes 
— to touch the ground at the place where the toes articulate with 
the middle foot, and to give the last push with the yielding great 
toe. Ballet-dancers, however, walk on the tips of their stiffened 
toes, the result of which is, as the anatomist. Professor Kollmann, 
remarks, that " their gait is deprived of all elasticity and becomes 
stiff, as in going on stilts." 

It speaks well for the growing sensibility of mankind that this 
form of dancing is gradually losing favour. Like the vocal tight- 
rope dancing of the operatic yrime donne with whom bixllet- 
dajiccrs are associated, their art is a mere circus-trick, gaped at 
as a difficult tour de force, but appealing in no sense to lesthetic 
sentiments. 

These strictures, of course, apply merely to solo -dancing on 
tiptoe. The spectacular ballet, which delights the eye with kalei- 




THE LOWER LIMBS 871 

doscopic colonre and groupiDgs, ib quite another thing, and may be 
made highly artistic. 

THE LOWER LIMBS 

MUSCUULB D£VXLOrMENT 

The aasninption by man of an erect attitude has modified and 
improved the ap))earance of his leg and thigh quite as marvellously 
as his feet " In walking," says Professor KoUmann, " the weight 
of the body is alternately transferred from one foot to the other. 
Each one \b obliged in locomotion to take its turn in supporting 
the whole body, which explains the great size of the muscles which 
make up man's calf. The ape's calf is smaller for the reason that 
these animals commonly go on all fours." Prufessor Carl Vogt 
gives these details : " No ape has such a cylindrical, gradually 
dtminUang thigh ; and we are justified in saying that roan alone 
possesses thighs. The muscles of the leg are in man so accumu- 
lated as to form a calf, wliile in the ape they are more equally dis- 
tributed ; still, transitions are not wanting, since one of the greatest 
characteristics of the negro consists in liis calfless leg." And 
again : *' Man possesses, as contrasted with the ape, a distinctive 
character in the strength, rot%i$ulity^ and length of the lower limb ; 
especially in the thighs, which in most animals are shortened in 
proportion to the leg." 

The words here italicisecl call attention to two of the qualities 
of Beauty — gradation and the curve of rotundity — which the lower 
limbs in their evolution are thus seen to be gradually approximat- 
ing. Other improvements are seennn the greater smoothness, the 
more graceful and expressive gait resulting from the rounded but 
straight knee, etc. 

The imphcation that savages are in the mnsctdar development 
of their limhs intermediate between apes and civilised men calls 
for further testimony and explanation. Waitz states that ''in 
regard to muscular power Indians are commonly inferior to 
Europeans " ; and ]ilr. Herbert Spencer has collected much evi- 
dence of a similar nature. The Ostyaks have "thin and slender 
legs " ; the Kamtchatlales " short and slender legs " ; those of the 
Chinooks are ''»mall and crooked"; and the African Akka have 
** short and bandy legs." The legs of Australians are ** inferior in 
mass of muscle " ; the gigantic Patagonians have Lmbs " neither 
so muscular nor so large-boned as their height and apparent bulk 
would induce one to suppose." Spencer likoirise calls attention to 
the £ict that relatively-inferior legs are " a trait which, remotely 



S72 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

simian, is also repeated by the child of the ciTilised man" — ^nvhich 
thus iudiyidualiy passes through the several stages of developmeut 
that have successively characterised its ancestors. 

Numerous exceptions are of coiu*se to be foimd to the rule that 
the muscular rotuudity and plumpnc^fS of uhe limbs increases witli 
civilisation. The lank shins which may be seen by the liundred 
nmong the bathers at our sea-coast resorts contrast disadvantages- 
ously with many photographs of savages ; and tourists in Africa 
and among South American Indians and elsewhere have often 
enough noted the occurrence of individuals and tribes who would 
have furnished admirable models for sculptors. But this only 
proves, on the one hand, that "civilised" persons who are uncivil- 
ised in their neglect of the laws of Health, inevitably lose certain 
traits of Beauty which exercise alone can give ; while, on the other 
hanil, those " savages '' who lead an active and healthy life are in 
80 far civilised, and therefore enjoy tlje superior attractions bestowed 
by civilisation. Moreover, as Mr. Spencer suggests, " In combat, 
the power exercised by arm and tnmk is limited by the power of 
the legs to withstand the strain thrown on them. Hence, apart 
from advantages in locomotion, the stronger-legged nations have 
tended to become, other things equal, dominant races." 

** Ren 2:ger," says Darwin, "attributes the thin legs and thick 
arms of the Payaguas Indians to successive generations having 
pairsed nearly their whole lives in cr.noes, with their lower extremi- 
ties motionless. Other writers have come to a similar conclusion 
in analogous cases." 

Although savages have to hunt for a living and occasionally go 
to war, they are essentially a lazy crew, taking no more exercise 
than necessary : which accounts for the fact that, with the excep- 
tions noted, their muscular development is inferior to that of higher 
races. 

BgAUTIFYlNG EXERCISE 

One of the most discouraging aspects of modern life is the 
gi'owiug tendency toward concentration of the population in large 
cities. I^ot only is the air less saluljrious in cities than in the 
country, but the numerous cheap facilities for riding discourage the 
habit of walking. London is one of the healthiest cities, and the 
English the most vigorous race, in the world ; yet it is said tliat it 
is difficult to trace a London family down througii five generations. 
Few Paris families can, it is said, be traced even througli tliree 
generations. Without constant rural accessions cities would tend 
to become depopulated. 




THE LOWER LIMBS 873 

The enormous importance of ezerdse for Health and Beauty, 
vhich are impossible without it, is vividly brought out in ibis 
statemcut of KoUiuanu's : *' Muscles which arc thorouglily exer- 
cised do not only retain tlieir strength, but increase in circumference 
and ix>wer, in man as in animals. The flesh is then firm, and 
coloui-ed intensely red. In a paralysed arm the muscles are 
degenerated, and have lost a portion of one of their most important 
constituents — albumen. Repeated contractions strengthen a muscle, 
because motion accelerates the circulation of the blood and the 
nutrition of the tissuea What a great influence this has on the 
whole body may be inferred from the fact that the organs of 
locomotion — the skeleton and muscles — make up more than 82 
per cent of the substance of the body. With this enormous pro- 
{jortion of bone and muscle, it is obvious that exercise is essential 
to bodily health." 

Exercise in a gymnasium is useful but monotonous ; and too 
often the benefits are neutralised by the insufficient provision for 
fresh air, without which exercise is worse than useless. Hence the 
superiority of open-air games — base -ball, tennis, rowing, riding, 
swimming, etc., to the addiction to which the English owe so much 
of their superior physique. Tourists in Canada invariably notice 
the wonderful figures of the women, which they owe largely to 
their fondness for skating. ** Beyond question," says the Lancet^ 
'* skating is one of the finest sports, especially for ladies. It is 
graceful, healthy, stimulating to the muscleis, and it develops in a 
very high degree the important faculty of balancing the body and 
jirescrving perfect control over the whole of the muscular system, 
while bringing certain muscles into action at will Moreover, there 
is this alK)Ut it which is of especial value : it trains by exercise the 
)K)wer of intentionally inducing and maintaining a cnntinnous con- 
traction of the muscles of the lower extremity. The joints, hip, 
knee, and ankle are firmly fixed or rather kept steadily under 
control, while the limbs are so set bj their muscular apparatus 
that the)' form, as it were, jiart of the skate tliat glides over the 
smooth siu-facc. To skate well and gracefidly is a very high 
accomplishment indeed, and perhaps one of the very best exercises 
in which voung women and girls can engage with a view to health- 
ful development." 

For the acqui-ition of a graceful gait women need such exercise 
more even than men ; and while engaged in it ihoy should pay 
especial attention to exerciAinj: the left side of the body. On this 
jioint Sir Charles Dell has made the following sugsrestive remarks: — 

*' We sec that opera-dancers execute their more difficult feftts 



374 i:o^iA:rric love and personal beauty 

on the right foot, but their preparatory exercises better evinre tho 
natural weakness of the left limb ; in order to avoid awkwardness 
in the public exhibitions, thcj are obliged to give double practice 
to the left leg ; and if they neglect to do so on ungraceful prefer- 
once to the right side will be remarked. In walking behind a 
person we seldom see an equalised motion of the body ; the tread 
is not so firm upon the left foot, the toe is not so much turned ont, 
and a greater push is made with the right From the peculiar 
form of woman, and from the elasticity of her step, resulting from 
the motion of the ankle rather than of the haunches, the defect of 
the left foot, when it exists, is more apparent in her gaif* 

Those who wish to acquire a gracefid gait will find seyend 
useful hints in this extract from Professor KoUmann's Plastiscke 
AncUomie, p. 506 : — 

" Human gait, it is well known, is subject to individual varia- 
tions. Diiferences are to be noted not only in rapidity of motion, 
but as regards the position of the trunk and the movements of tho 
limbs, within certain limits. For instance, the gait of very fat 
persons is somewhat vacillating ; other persons acquire a certain 
dignity of gait by bending and stretching their limbs as little as 
possible while taking long steps ; and others still bend their knees 
very much, which gives a slovenly character to their gait. And 
as regards the attitude of the trunk, a different effect is given 
according as it is inclined backwards or forwards, or executes 
supei-fiuous movements in the same direction or to the sides. All 
these peculiarities make an impression on our eyes, while our ears 
are impressed at the same time by the differences in rapidity of 
movement, so that we learn to recognise our friends by the sound 
of their walk as we do by the quality of their voice." 

Bell states that "upwards of fifty muscles of the arm and 
hand may be demonstrated, which must all consent to the 
simplest action." Walking is a no less complicated aff*air, to 
which the attention of men of science has been only quite recently 
ilirccted. The new process of instantaneous photography has 
l>een found very useful, but much remains to be done before the 
mystery of a graceful gait can be considered solved. If some 
skilled photographer would go to Spain and take a number of 
instantaneous pictures of Andalasian girls, the most graceful 
beings in the world, in every variety of attitude and motion, he 
might render most valuable service to the cause of personal 
resthetics. 

The time will come, no doubt, when dancing masters and 
mistresses will consider the teaching of the waltz and the lancers 




THE LOWER LIMDS 875 

only the crudest and easiest part of their work, and when they 
will have a<lvanced classes who will be instructed in the refiiie- 
ueuts of movement as carefully and as intelligently as professors 
of music t&ich their jnipils the proper use of the parts and miiscloH 
of tiiv huiid, to attain a delicate and varied touch. The majority 
of women might make much more progress in the art of graceful- 
Dcss than they ever will in music; and is not the poetry of 
motion as noble and desirable an object of study as any other 
fine art I 

FASHIONABLE UGUXE8S 

It is the essence of fashion to exaggerate everything to the 
point of ugliness. Instead of tr}'ing to remedy the disadvantages 
to their gait resultiu;; from anatomical peculiarities (just referred 
to in a quotation from Bell), women frequently take pains to 
deliberately exaggerate them. As Alexander Walker remarks : 
'* The largeness of the pelvis and fhc approximation of the knees 
influence the gait of woman, and render it vacilluiing and unsteady. 
Conscious of this, women, in countries where the nutritive system 
in general and the fielvis in particular are large, affect a greater 
degree of this vacillating unsteadiness. An example of this is 
seen in the lateral and rotator}* motion which is given to the 
pelvis in walking by certain cla&ses of the wf»nien in London." 

The Egyptians and Arabians consider this ludicrous rotatory 
motion a great fascination, and have a special name for it — 
Ohung. 

But Fashion, the handmaid of ughness, is not content with 
aping the bad taste of Arabians and Egyptians. It goes several 
steps lower than that, down to the Hottentots. The latest hideous 
craze of Fashion, against which not one woman in a hundred 
had taste or courage enough to revolt — the bustle or ** dress- 
improver "(!) — was simply the milliners substitute for an ana- 
tomical peculiarity natural to some African savages. 

**It is well known," snys Darwin, "that with many Hottentot 
women the posterior part of the body projects in a wonderful 
manner ; they are stcatopygous ; and Sir Andrew Smith i*' certain 
that ihis pcadiarity is greatly admired by the men. He once 
taw a woman who was considered a beauty, and she was to 
immensely developed behind, that when seated on level ground 
ahe could not rise, and had to pUMli herself along until she came to 
a slope Some of the w.»men in various negro tril^es have the 
ftaroe peculiarity ; and, according t4> Burton, the Somal men ' are 
said to choose their wives by ranging them in a hue, and hj 



876 COMANTIC LOVE AIH) PERSONAL BEAUT7 

picking her out who projects fiirthest a Orgo. Nothing can be 
more hateful to a negro than the opposite form.' " 

Evidently *' ciyilised " and savage women do not differ as 
regards Fashion, the handmaid of ugliness. But the men do. 
While the male Hottentots admire the natural steatopyga of their 
women, ciyiUsed men, without exception, detest the artificial 
imitation of it, which makes a woman look and walk like a 
deformed dromedary. 

THE CBUfOLnnB CSAZB 

The bustle is not only objectionable in itself as a hideous 
deformity and a revival of Hottentot taste, but still more as a 
probable forerunner of that most unutterably vulgar article of 
dress ever invented by Fashion — the crinoline. For we read that 
when, in 1856, the crinoline came in again, it was preceded by 
the '^ inelegant bustle in the upper part of the skirt " ; and it is a 
notorious feust that cunning milliners are making strenuous efforts 
every year to reintroduce the crinoline. 

In their abhorrence of the crinoline men do not stand alone. 
There ore several refined women to-day who would absolutely 
refuse to submit to the tyranny of Fashion if it should again 
prescribe the crinoline. One of these is evidently Mrs. Haweis, 
who in The Art of Beaut jj remarks that ''The crinoline superseded 
all our attention to posture; whilst our long trains, which can 
hardly look inelegant [?] even on clumsy persons, make small 
ankles or thick ones a matter of little moment. We have become 
inexpressibly slovenly. We no longer study how to walk, perhaps 
the most difficult of all actions to do gracefully. Our fashionable 
women stride and loll in open defiance of elegance," etc. And 
again : ** This gown in outline simply looks lile a very tils/taped 
wine-gla^ss upside down. The wide crinoline entirely conceals 
every natural grace of attilude,^^ 

Another lady, wiiting in the Atlantic Monthly {\^b^\ remarks 
concerning the crinoline : " A woman in this rig hangs in her 
skirts like a clapper in a hell ; and I never meet one without 
being tempted to take her by the neck and ring her." 

Alx)ut 1710, says a writer in the Encyclopa:dia BritannicOy 
''as if resolved that their figures should rival their heads in 
extravagance, they introduced the hooped petticoat, at first worn 
in such a manner as to give to the person of the wearer below her 
very tightly-laced waist a contour resembling t/ie letter V inverted 
— \. The hooped dresses, thus introduced, about 1740 attained 
to an enormous expansion ; and being worn at theii full ciicum- 




THE LOWER LIMBS 877 

fercnce immediatelj below the waist, they in many ways emulated 
the inoBt outrageous of the fardingales of the Elizabethan period." 

*' About 1744 hoops are mentioned as so extravagant," says 
Chambers's Encyclopaedia^ " that a woman occupied the space oj 
six men.^' George IV. had the good taste to abolish them by 
royal command, but they were revive<l in 1856. The newspapers 
of two decades ago daily contained accounts of accidents due to 
the idiotic crinoline. '*The Spectator dealt out much cutting, 
though playful, radllery at the hoops of his day, but apparently 
with little effect ; ami equally unavailing are the satires of Punch 
and other (uii ii-atmists of the present time ngainst the hideous 
fashion of crinoline. . . . Owing to its prevalence, church-pews 
that formerly held seven are now let for six, and yet feel rather 
crowded. The hoops are soiuetimes made with a circumference of 
four or even five yards" 

It is universally admitted that the human form, in its perfec- 
tion, is Nature*s clief d^ctuvre — the most finished specimen of her 
workmanship. Yet the accounts of savage taste given by travellers 
and anthropologists show that the savage is never satisfied with 
the human outlines as God made them, but constantly mars and 
mutilates them by altering the shnpe of the head, piercing the 
nose, filing or colouring the teeth, enlarging the lips to enormous 
dimensions, favouring an adipjse bustle, etc. This is precisely 
what modem Fashion, the handmaid of ugliness, does. We have 
just seen how fashionable women, unable to comprehend the 
beauty of the human foim, have for several generations en- 
deavoured to give it the shape of **a very ill-shaped wine-glass, 
upside down," " a clapper in a bell," or " the letter V inverted." 
And concerning Queen Elizabeth the Atlantic writer already 
quoted says very pithily: "What with stomachers and pointed 
waist and fardingale, and sticking in here and sticking out there, 
and ruffs and cufi's, and ouches and jewels and puckeris, she looks 
like a hideous flying insect with exiianded wings, seen through a 
microscope — not at all like a woman." 

Fortunately, for the moment, the crinoline, like the fardingale, 
18 not ** in fashion." But, as already stated, there is considerable 
danger of a new invasion every year ; and, should Fashion pro- 
claim its edict, no doubt the vast majority of women would follow, 
as they did a decade or two ago. In the interest of good taste, 
as of common sense, it is therefore necessary to speak with brutal 
frankness on this subject. There is good evidence to show that 
the crinoline originated in the desire of an aristocratic dame of 
low moral principles to conceal the evidences of a crime. Hence 



878 BOMANTIC LOVE AND VEBSG^AL BEAUTY 

the original French name for the crinoline — Caclte-Bdtard, Will 
re8|)octab]e and refined women consent once more to Laye the 
fiiAhion set for them by a courtesan ? 



THE WAIST 

THE BEAUTY CUHVB 

In a well-shaped waist, as in every other part of the body, the 
curved line of Beauty, with its (k'licate gradations, exercises a 
g:reat ciiarm. Examination of a Greek stitue of the best period, 
male or female, or of the goddess of l^ctiuty in the Pagoda at 
Bangalur, India, shows a slight inward ciurve at the waist, whereas 
in early Greek and Egyptian art this curve is absent. The waist, 
therefore, like the feet and limbs, appears to have been gradually 
moulded into accordance with the line of Beauty — a notion which 
is also supported by the following remarks in Tylor's Anthropology: 
*'If fairly chosen photographs of Kaffirs be compared witii a 
classic model such as the Apollo, it will be noticed that the tnink 
of the African has a somewhat wall-sided straightness, wanting in 
the inward slope which gives fineness to the waist, and in the 
expansion below, which gives breadth across the hips, these being 
two of the most noticeable points in the cUissic model which our 
painters recognise as an ideal of maidy beauty." 

lu woman, owing to the greater dimensions of her pelvis, this 
curvatui^ is more pronounced than in man ; yet even in woman it 
must be slight if the kiws of Health and Beauty are to suffer no 
violation. " Moderation " is the one word which Mr. Ruskin says 
he woidil have inscribed in golden letters over the door of every 
school of art For " the least appearance of violence or extrava- 
gance, of the want of moderation and restraint, is,'' as he remarks, 
"destructive of all beauty whatsoever in everything — colour, form, 
motion, language, or thought — giving rise to that which in colour 
we call glaring, in form inelegant, in motion ungraceful, in language 
coarse, in thought undisciplined, in all imchastcned ; which quali- 
ties are in everything most painful, because the signs of disobedient 
and irregular operation. And herein we at last tind the reason of 
that which has been so often noted respecting the subtility and 
almost invisibility of natural curves and colour?, an«l why it is that 
we look on those lines as least beautiftd which fall into wide and 
far license of curvature, and as most beautiful which approach 
nearest (so that the curvilinear character be distinctly asserted) to 




THE WAIST 879 

the government of the right line, as in the pnie and aevere curveB 
of the draperies of the rd^gious painters," etc. 



THE WASP-WAIST MANIA 

But Fashion, the handmaid of ugliness, too vulgar to appreciate 
the exquisite beauty of slight and subtle curvature, makes woman's 
waist the most maltreated and deformed part of her body. There 
is not one woman in a hundred who docs not deliberately destroy 
twenty per cent of her Peisonal Beatity by the way in which she 
reduces the natural dimensions of her waist There is, indeed, 
ground to believe that the main reiison why the bustle, and even 
the crinoline, are not looked on with abhorrence by all vromen is 
because they aid tlie corset in making the waist look smaller by 
contrast. Tije Wasp-waist Mania is therefore the disease which 
most imperatively calls for cure. But the task seems almost 
hopeless ; for, as a female writer remarks, it is almost as difficult 
to cure a woman of the corset habit as a man of intemperance in 
drink. 

'*Tbe injurious custom of tight lacing,*' says Planch^ in his 
Cyelopctdia of Costumes^ *' * a custom fertile in disease and death,' 
appears to have been introduced by the Normans as early as the 
twelfth century ; and the romances of the Middle Ages teem with 
allusions to and laudations of the wo^plike waists of the dames 
and demoiselles of the ])eriod. . • • Chaucer, describing the car- 
penter's wife, says her body was ' gentyll and small as a weasel ' ; 
and the depraved taste extended to Scotland. Dunbar, in The 
TliUtle and the Hose, describing some beautiful women, observes — 

*' ' Their middles were as small as wands.' 

And to make their middles as small as possible has been ever 
since an unfortunate mania with tlie genendity of the fuir sex, to 
the detriment of their health and the distortion of their forms." 

Ever since 1 602, when Felix Plater raised his voice against the 
corset, physicinns have written against tight lacing. But not only 
has it been found impossible to cure this mania, even its causes 
have remained a mystery to the present day. Certainly no man 
can understand the problem. Is it simply the average woman's 
lack of taste that urges her thus to mutilate her Personal Beauty t 
Is it the admiration of a few vulgar " mashers " and barber's pets 
— since educated men detest wasp-waists t Or is it simply the 
proverbial feminine craze for emulating one another and arousing 
envy by excelling in some extravagance of dress, no matter at what 



880 ROMANTIC LOVE A^TD PERSONAL BEAUTY 

cost? Tliis last snggcstion is probably the tme solution of tbo 
problem. The only satisfaction a woman can ^t from having & 
wasp-waist is the envy of other silly women. What a glorious 
recompense for her aesthetic suicide, her invalidism, and her humil- 
iating confession that she considers the nntund shape of Crod'a 
mosterwork — the female body — inferior in beauty to the contours 
of the lowly wasp ! 

With this ignoble pleasure derived from the envy of silly women 
and the admiration of vulgar men, compare a few of tlie disadvan- 
tages resulting from tight lacing. They are of two kinds — ^hygienic 
and oesthetia 

Hygienic Disadvantages, — Surely no woman can look without a 
shudder at a fashionable Parisian figure placed side by side with 
the Venus of Milo in Professor Flower's Fashion in Deformity^ in 
Mrs. Hawcis's Art of Beauty y or in Behnke and Brown's Voice^ 
Song, and Speech ; or look without horror at the skeletons show- 
ing the excessive compression of the lower rihs brought about by 
fashionable lacing, and the injurious displacement, in consequence, 
of some of the most important vital organs. Nor can any young 
man who does not desire to marry a foredoomed invalid, and raise 
sickly children, fail to be cured for ever of liis love for any wasp- 
waisted girl if he will take the trouble to read the account of the 
terrible female maladies resulting from lacing, pven in Dr. Gaillanl 
Thomas's famous treatise on the Diseases of Women^ in the chapter 
on " Improprieties in Dress," To cite only one sentence : Women, 
he says, subject their waist to a " constriction which, in autopsy, 
will sometimes be foimd to have left tlie impress of tlu rihs upon 
the liver i producing dep)'€ssions corresponding to them,'' 

Says Dr. J. J. Pope : " The Geiman physiologist, Summering, 
has enumerated no fewer than ninety-tico diseases resulting from 
tight lacing. ... * But I do not lace tightly,' every lady is ready 
to answer. No woman ever did, if we accept her own statement 
Yet stay. Why does your corset unclasp with a snap ? And why 
do you involuntarily take a deep breath directly it is loosened ? '' 
Young ladies who imagine they do not wear too tight stays, inas- 
much as they can still insert tiieir hand, will find the fallacy and 
danger of this reasoning exposed in Mr. B. Hoth's Dress: its 
Sanitary Aspect 

The last line which I have italicised is of extreme signi6cance. 
Perhaps the greatest of all evils rcsidting from tight hieing is that it 
discoiu-ages or prevents deep breathing, which is so absolutely essen- 
tial to the maintenance of health and beauty. The *' heaving 
bosom " of a maiden may be a fine poetic expression, bvt it indi- 




THE WAIST 881 

Gate's that the maiden wears stays and breathes at the wron;;; (upper) 
end of her lungs. '* The fact of a patient breathing in this manner 
IS noted by a physician as a grave symptom, because it indicates 
mischief of a vital nature in lungs, heart, or other important organ." 
Healthy breathing should be chiefly costal or abdominal ; but this 
is made impossible by the corset^ which compresses the lower ribs, 
till, instead of being widely apart below, they meet in the middle, 
and thus prevent the lungs from expanding and receiving the 
normal share of oxygen, the only true elixir of life, youth, and 
beauty. 

This wrong breathing, due to tight lacing, also causes " conges- 
tion of the vessels of the neck and throat • • . gasping, jerking, 
and fatigue in inspiration, and unevenness, trembling, and undue 
vibration in the production and emission of vocal tone." 

Further, as the Lancet points out, *' tight stays are a common 
cause of so-called ' weak ' spine, due to weakness of muscles of the - 
back." Lacing prevents the abdominal muscles from exercising 
their natural functions — alternate relaxation and contraction : '^ A 
tight-laced pair of stays acts precisely as a splint to the trunk, and 
prevents or greatly impedes the action of the chief back muscles, 
which therefore become weakened. The unfortunate wearer feels 
her spine weaken, thinks she wants more support, so laces herself 
still tighter ; she no doubt does get some support in this way, but 
at what a terrible cost ! " 

In regard to tight corsets, as another physician has aptly re- 
marked, women are like the victims of the opium habit, who also 
daily feel the need of a larger dose of their stimulant, every incre- 
ment of which adds a year to their age, and brings them a few 
steps nearer disease and ugly decrepitude. 

jEsthetic Disadvantages, — Among the aesthetic disadvantages 
restdting from the Wasp-waist Mania, the following may be men- 
tioned, besides the loss of a dear, mellow, musical voice already 
referred to: — 

(1) A stiff, inflexible waist, with a coarsely exaggerated contour, 
in place of the sliglit and subtle curvature so becoming to woman. 
In other words, a violation of the first law of personal aesthetics — 
imposing the shape of a vulgar garment on the human form, in- 
stead of making the dress follow the outlines of the body. 

(2) A sickly, sallow complexion, pale lips, a red nose, lack of 
buoyancy, general feebleness, lassitude, apathy, and stupidity, 
resulting from the fact that the compression of the waist induces 
an oxygen-famine. The eyes lose their sparkle and love-inspiring 
magic, the features are perceptibly distorted, the brow is prema- J 



882 ROMANTIC LOTS AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

turely wrinkled, and tbe ezprcsaion and temper are soured by the 
constant discomfort that has to be silently endured. 

(3) Ugly shoulders. A woman's shoulders should be sloping 
and well rounded, like every other part of her body. Re^nuxliug 
the common feminine deformity of square shoulders, Drs. Brinton 
and Napheys remark, in their work on Personal Beauty^ that " in 
four cases out of five it has been brought about by too close-fitting 
corsets, which press the shoulder-blades behind, and collar-bones in 
front, too far upwards, and thus ruin the appearance of the 
shoulders." 

(4) An ugly bust. Tight lacing " flattens and displaces the 
breasts." 

(5) Clumsiness. The corset is ruinous to grace. *' Almost 
daily," says Dr. Alice B. Stockham {2'o]cology\ "women come to 
my otfice [in Chicago] burdened with bands and heavy clothing, 
every vital organ restricted by dress. It is not unusual to count 
from sixteen to eigliteen thicknesses of cloth worn tightly about the 
pliable structure of the waist." And Dr. Lennox Browne advances 
the following crushing argumerUum ad feminam : — 

" It is impossible for the stiffly-corseted girl to be other than 
inelegant and ungraceful in her movements. Her imprisoned 
waist, with its flabby muscles, has no chance of performing beauti- 
ful undulatory movements. In the ballroom the ungraceful motions 
of our stiff- figured ladies are bad enougli ; there is no possibility for 
poetry of motion ; but nowhere is this more ludicrously and, to the 
thoughtful, painfully manifest than in the tennis et>urt. Let any 
one watch the movements of ladies as compared with those of male 
players, and the absolute ugliness of the female figure, with its 
stiff, unyielding, deformeil, round waist, will at once be seen. 
Ladies can only bend the body from the hip-joint. All that won- 
derfully contrived set of hinges, with their connected muscle?, in 
the elastic column of the spine, is unable to act from the shoulders 
downwards ; and their figures remind one of the old-fashioned 
modern Dutch dolL" 

CORPULENCE AND LEANNESS 

Many women consider the corset necessary as a figure improver, 
especially if they suffer from excessive fiUness. They will be sur- 
prised to hear that the corset is one of the ])rincipal causes of their 
corpulence. Says Professor M. Williams : " There is one horror 
which no lady can bear to contemplate, viz. fat. What is fat? 
It is an accumulation of unbumt body-fuse. How can we get rid 




THE WAIST 8S3 

of it when accumulated in excess t Simply bj buruing it awaj — 
this burning being done by means of the oxygen inhaled by the 
lungs. Iff as Mr. Lennox Browne has shown, a lady with normal 
lung capacity of 125 cubic inches, reduces this to 78 inches by 
means of her stays, and attains 118 inches all at once on leaving 
thein off, it is certain that her prospects of becoming fat and flabby 
as she advances towards middle age are greatly incieased by tight 
lacing, and the consequent suppression of natural respiration.'' 

Thus corpulence may be put down as a sixth — or rather 
seventh — cesthetic disadvantage residting from the use of 
corsets. 

The reason why women, although inferior to men in muscular 
development, have softer and rounder forms, is because there is a 
greater natural tendency in women than in men towards the ac- 
cumulation of fatty tissue under the skin. The least excess of this 
adipose tissue is, however, as fatal as emaciation to that admiration 
of Personal Beauty which constitutes the essence of Love. Lean- 
ness repels the ficstiietico-amorous sense because it obliterates the 
round contours of beauty, exposes the sinews and bones, and thus 
suggests old a^e and disease. Corpulence repels it because it 
destroys all delicacy of form, all grace of movement, and in its 
exaggerated forms may indeed be looked upon as a real disease 
imperatively calling for medical treatment; as Dr. Oscar Maas 
shows most clearly and concisely in his pamphlet on the '^ Schwen- 
ninger Cure,'' which should be read by all who suffer from obesity. 

Although the very '* father of mediciije," Hippokrates, studied 
the subject of corpulence, and formulated rules for curing it, doctors 
still disagree regarding some of tlie details of its treatment Some 
forbid all fatty food, others prescribe it in small quantities, and Dr. 
Ebstein specially recommends fat viands and sauces as preventives ; 
but the preponderance of the best medical opinion is against him. 
Dr. Say recommends the drinking of very large quantities of tea, 
while Professor Oertel urges the diminution of fluids in the body, 
first by drinkinir little, and secondly by inducing copious perspira- 
tion, either arti'l-ially (by hot air and steam baths, etc.), or, what 
is much better, by brisk daily -exercise. Dr. Schwenninger, who 
secured so much fame by reducing Bismarck's weight about 40 
pounds, forbids the taking of liquids during or within an hour or 
two of meal-time ; in other words, he counsels his patients not to 
eat and driuk at the same time. 

On the two most important points all authorities are practically 
agreed. They are that the patient must avoid food which contains 
large quantities of starch and sugar (such as cake, pastry, potatoes, 



n84 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY 

bread, padding, honey, synip, etc); and secondly, that he mtiHt take 
as much exercise as possible in the open air, because during walking 
the bodily fat is consumed as fuel, to keep the machine going. 

The notorious Mr. Banting, who reduced his weight in a year 
from 202 to 150 pounds, "lived on beef, mutton, fish, bacon, dry 
toast and biscuit, poultry, game, tea, coffee, claret, and sherry in 
small quantities, and a ni.i;lit-cap of gin, whisky, bmndy, or wine. 
He ahstaiiied from the following articles : pork, veal, salmon, eels, 
herrings, sugar, milk, and all sorts of vegetables grown under- 
ground, and nearly all fatty and farinaceous substances. He daily 
drank 43 ounces of liquids. On this diet he kept himself for seven 
years at 150 pounds. He found, what other expeiieiice confirms, 
that mgar was tlu most powerful of all fatteners" (Dr. G. M. 
Beard, in Eating and DrinJcin^j a most entertaining and useful 
little volume). 

Lean persons wishing to increase their weight need only reverse 
the directions here given as regards the choice or avoidance of 
certain articles of food. Not so, however, with regard to exercise. 
If you wish to reduce your corpulence, take exercise ; if you wish 
to increnfle your weight, again take exercise. The apparent para- 
dox lurking in this rule is easily explained. If you are too fat and 
walk a great denl, you burn np the suj)erlluou3 fat and lo<e weight. 
If you arc too leau and walk a great deal you increase the bulk of 
your muscles, and thus gain weight. jMoreover, you greatly stimu- 
late your appetite, and become able to eat larger quantities of 
sweet and starchy food — more than enough to counteract the wear 
and tear caused by the exercise. 

Muscle is the plastic material of beauty. Fat should only be 
present in sufficient quantity to prevent the irregular outlines of 
the muscles from being too conspicuously indicated, at the expense 
of rounded smoothness. What the ancient Greeks thought on this 
subject is vividly shown in the following remarks by Dr. Maas : 
"According to the unanimous testimony of Thukydides, Plato, 
Xenophou, the gymnastic exercises to which the Greeks were so 
passionately addicted, and which constituted, as is well known, a 
very essential part of the public education of the young, had for 
their avowed object the prevention of undue corpulence, since an 
excessive paunch did not only offend the liighly-devoloped aesthetic 
sense of this talented nation, but was justly rc.i^arded as an impedi- 
ment to bodily activity. In order, therefore, to make the youths 
not only beautiful, but also vigorous and able to resist hardship, 
and thus more capable of serving their couutiy, they were, from 
their childhood, and uninterruptedly, exercised daily in running, 




iMa^ — 



THE WAIST 885 

wrestling, throwing the discus, etc. ; so that the prevention of cor- 
pulence was practically raised to a formal state-maxim, and as such 
enforced occasionally with unyielding persistence." 

The ruinous consequences of an exaggerated abdomen to the 
harmonious propoitions of the body, and to grace of attitude and 
gait, are so universally known that it would be superfluous to 
apply any of our negative tests of Beauty — such as the facts that 
apes and savages are commonly characterised by protuberant 
bellies, and that intemperance and gluttony have the same disas- 
trous effect on Personal Beauty. In civilised communities, indolence 
and beer-drinking are the chief causes predisposing to corpiUence. 
In Bavaria, where enormous quantities of beer are consumed, 
almost all the men are deformed by obesity ; but in other coun- 
tries, as a nde, women suffer niore from this anomaly than men, 
because they lead a less active life. 

It may be stated as a general rule that girls under eighteen are 
too slight and women over thirty too heavy — "fat and forty." 
This calamity is commonly looked on as one of the inevitable 
disjiensations of Providence, whereas it is simply a result of 
indolence and ignorance. With a little care in dieting, and two or 
three hours a day devoted to walking, rowing, tennis, swimming, 
dancing, etc., any young lady can add ten to tifteen pounds to her 
weight in \)ne summer, or re<luce it by that amount, as may be 
desired. But as the consumption of enormous quantities of fresh 
air by the unimprisoned lungs is the absolute condition of success 
in this beautifying process, it is useless to attempt it without 
laying aside the corset. 

The plea that corsets are needed to hold up the heavy clothing 
is of no moment. Women, like men, should wear their clothing 
suspended from the shoulder, which is a great deal more conducive 
to health, comfort, and gracefulness than the clumsy fashion of 
attaching everything to the waist 

Still less weight can be attached to the monstrous ailment 
that women need stays for support What an insiUting proposi- 
tion to assert that civilised woman is so imperfectly constructed 
that she alone of all created beings needs artificial surgical support 
to keep her body in position ! If there are any women so very 
corpulent or so very lean that they need a corset as a figure-im- 
prover or a support, then let them have it fur heaven's sake, and 
look up<m themselves as subjects ripe for medical treatment 
What is objected to here is that strong, healthy, well-shaped girls 
should deform themselves deliberately by wearing tight, unshapely 
corsets, rankly offensive to the sssthetic sense. 

2c 



8S6 ROMANTIC LOVE AND PEESONAL BEAUTY 



TUB FASHION FETISH ANALYSED 

Once more the question must he asked, " Why do women wear 
such hideous things as crinolines, bustles, and corsets, so univer- 
sally al>horred by men 1" Is it because they are inferior to men 
in (esthetic taste t Is Schopcnliauer nght when he says that 
** women are and remain, on the whole, the most absolute and in- 
curable Philistines 1 " They are deficient in objectivity, he adds : 
" hence they have no retil intelligence or appreciation for music or 
poetry, or the plastic arts ; and if they make any pretences of 
this sort, it is only apish atfectation to gratify their vanity. Hence 
it would be more correct to call them the uncest/ietic than the 
beautiful sex." 

The pessimistic wom:in-hatcr no doubt exaggerates. Yet — 
without alluding to the paucity of women who have distinguishc<l 
themselves in the fine arts — is it credible that the average woman 
would 80 readily submit to a repulsive fashion like the bustle, t>r a 
hat " adorned " with the corpse of a murdered bird, if she liad 
even a trace of aesthetic feeling ? If women had the refined 
aesthetic t;\ste with wliich they are commonly credited, is it con- 
ceivable that they would vohmtarily adopt the African bustl