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THE LAW OF LOVE 



.i. MARION REEDY 



... 



THE 



BEING-FANTASIES 
OF-5CIENCE-AND 



INKED-INTO-ENGLISH 

TOO1E.E.R-UPTME 

GLOOMSTER5- 




US-MARION-REEDY 



r. 4 ^ft>***^K7M 

^M^ 



13*1 



Copyright 1905 

by 
Elbert Hubbard 



CONTENTS 

THE LAW OF LOVE 1 

THE GREATEST WOMAN POET 17 

GINX S BABY 37 

THE TWO EAGLETS 61 

A GIPSY GENIUS 81 

BRICHANTEAU, ACTOR 107 

A GOLDEN BOOK 135 



M182181 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



VERS DORES 

O atheist man! are you the only one imbued 
With thought, on earth where everything with life s a-teem ? 
Though license give your forces fuller scope t would seem 
No Universe within your counsels you include. 

In every beast may st note a mind with thought indued; 
Each flower is a soul in Nature s ample scheme ; 
With mysteries of love her steely metals gleam ; 
"All things are sentient!" and your lesser powers elude. 

Behold within the sightless wall a watchful eye ! 
Somewhat of Trinity within all matter hides. . . 
To impious uses, therefore, turn it not awry ! 

Oft in the lowliest Earth-born, hidden, God abides; 
And like the nascent eye beneath the eyelid s fold, 
The stone s close sheath a spirit pure doth hold. 

Gerard de Nerval, translated by A. Lenalie. 




ROF. VON SCHROEN S 
recent, alleged discovery of 
life and sex in crystals need 
not startle the world. Man 
has felt that there was noth 
ing inanimate, from the be 
ginning of time. His intuition 
has always been in advance 
of his reason *< His poetry has led his science 
everywhere. The oneness of things is being dem 
onstrated in these days ; that is all. Matter and 
spirit are but manifestations of force. Some phi 
losophies have pushed this oneness of things to the 
end of maintaining that all matter is illusion and 
that our thoughts themselves are illusions and we 
ourselves but a dream within a mighty dream. 
Q Biology has resolved life back to the single cell, 
in which all the senses are converged & Physics 
have shown sight and touch and smell and hear 
ing to be but varying apprehensions of one force. 
Light, heat and sound are motion, swifter or 
slower. Sex is a differentiation of the single cell. 
Philologists assert that, originally, the name of God 
in every language was both masculine & feminine. 
Q Life is but force. Matter holds together by force. 
Matter, therefore, has life. This is a logic irref uta- 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



ble, to a mind in touch with the progress of study 
in all the sciences in this time. The star is brother 
to the clod; the moth is kin to the mastodon. 
Worlds are made to blossom in space as flowers 
are fructified by floating pollen. Mingling atoms 
make suns *< Cell seeks affinity with cell. Dust 
blown from the unimaginable outer rim of silence 
finds its fellow dust and, engaging in amorous 
whirl, a nebula is formed and from that nebula 
suns and systems of suns. Worlds in contact give 
birth to worlds. That crystals meet and kiss and 
mingle and produce other crystals is only "the 
way of a man with a maid." *& & & & ^ & & 
Love is the only law. Love is spirit, and matter is 
the child of spirit. All this any man who reads 
may know ^^^^^^^^^^^ ^ ^ 
Professor Von Schroen claims to be able to prove 
what Emanuel Swedenborg taught, of himself, 
of his insight of the spirit, revealing more than 
any microscope. Swedenborg taught what Gau 
tama taught before him. The child who, after 
stubbing his toe, scolds the obstacle to his pre 
carious progress, voices the implanted intuition 
that matter is a form of life. All personifications 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



of matter and force tell us that they are recog 
nized as kin to ourselves, and to our thoughts and 
feelings &<&<&&& 
Q Is all this dreaming? Was Thomas Huxley a 
dreamer? Listen to him: " In itself it is of little 
moment whether we express the phenomena of 
Matter in terms of Spirit or the phenomena of 
Spirit in terms of Matter." A confession of their 
ultimate indistinguishability * They are different 
effects upon our apprehension of the same force. 
Some have said that matter is mere resistance to 
force. "Without this resistance, Motion would have 
been without result, for its action would have 
been infinite/ says Balzac, and Herbert Spencer 
says, "Without resistance there can be merely 
empty extension." This is the maddest material 
ism, but Newton holds that it is absurd to suppose 
that mere " inanimate brute matter can operate 
upon and affect other matter without the media 
tion of something which is not material." & & & 
This mediating something is spirit or, as mystics 
say, the Word. Its manifestations are attraction, 
repulsion, gravitation *< All these are Motion. 
"Nowhere," says Balzac, "is motion sterile. Every- 



4 THE LAW OF LOVE 

where it engenders Number; but it may be neu 
tralized by a superior resistance, as in minerals." 
This neutralization, Professor Schroen s discovery 
disproves conclusively if he has made the dis 
covery. The motion is in the crystal itself; the in 
stinct whereby it seeks out its mate that it may 
"increase and multiply." & & & ^ & 
There is no rest Inert matter is in motion, accord 
ing to the newest science. The atoms of matter 
can make way for the X-ray itself material 
and unite again, as water unites after one has 
dipped his finger in it. Water is full of life. Min 
erals are, if we deceive not ourselves in recent 
discoveries, only a denser water. All is fluid in 
more or less tangible shape, and thought itself is 
fluid, according to the biologists. Here we have 
the thought of old Heraclitus, who preached "the 
flowing, flowing, flowing of the world," and all 
things in it ^ ^ &&&?&&&& 
Out of the single cell protoplasm, amebae, vor- 
ticella in combination, by its seeking its own, 
comes variation or number and, ultimately, Har 
mony. Thus we grasp the Platonic idea of Number 
and music the famous " music of the spheres," 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



which the uninitiate have laughed at evermore. 
Number through Motion resulting in Harmony 
gives us Law ^^^^^^^^^^ 
All this implies the operation of the " unseen." 
Our most materialistic sciences deal ever with the 
"unseen"; with the undulatory theory of light, of 
sound, of heat, with gravitation ,< They are all 
imponderable, invisible forces or substances. The 
atoms, themselves almost inconceivable, operate 
upon one another in the workings of these forces. 
The pollen from the flower finds its way to an 
other, miles away, and fecundates it as Schmid s 
father, born in Germany, found his mother, born 
in Australia, to the seemingly unimportant end 
that Schmid should come to be <& Surely those 
ancients were not far wrong in deeming the atoms 
themselves endowed with conscious intelligence. 
C There is life in everything and everywhere, 
and no life without love ^ As a man lies with a 
woman to perpetuate their kind, so do all things, 
infinkesimal and vast, through Nature, bed with 
each other. The phallus is a mightier symbol than 
the virtuous wot of. It is found even in the Cross. 
The sciences are a study of the universal lust. 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



Flower fecundates flower, though one sends its 
seed to another on the limbs of a wandering and 
uncertain bee. There is a rain of life between the 
planets. Collisions scatter world-fragments in the 
far furrows of space and the fragments are gath 
ered up by other planets and life transferred to 
them from systems that have ceased to be. In 
mathematics numbers cohabit and the results are 
glimpses of the secrets of Infinity. In chemistry 
fluids and solids mingle to make things new. In 
physics the savagery and the tenderness of force, 
in destruction or reproduction, produce power. 
Biology shows us the operation of the same affec 
tion to the development of life & Differentiation, 
selection, organization all these are processes 
of intelligent amorousness in matter ** This intel 
ligent amorousness is the spirit in matter the 
" love that makes the world go round," that " holds 
the universe ensphered." & & & & < & & 
But where does it end this intelligent amorous 
ness ? There is a limit to the finite. But the finite is 
part of the Infinite. It would seem that the pursuit 
of this law of love would bring one only to the 
Unknowable, pushing it only a little farther back. 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



Cf Love may follow whither love leads unto the 
essence of God even for God is love. The material 
aspect of love, dwelt on thus far, need not deter 
us from pushing "farther North." & To whoso 
believes in the oneness of Matter and Spirit, there 
is no Unknowable < The end of the law of Love, 
and of the spiritual faculties for its perception, 
can be the knowing of this Unknowable union 
with the Infinite. Let us make a flight! & & & 
Progress and increase must end, say the material 
ists. Evolution must cease somewhere, and when 
it does cease dissolution has begun. Attraction in 
matter rules for awhile. Concentration is the law. 
Repulsion comes into play predominantly. Disso 
lution is the law. The struggle is everlasting be 
tween Attraction and Repulsion. Dissolution is but 
a state in which further Evolution ferments. From 
the nebulae the systems come & Systems die and 
are scattered. They whirl, dark and dead through 
space. A planet rolls through the dust Friction 
fires the dust, melts it, sets it moving. The disturb 
ing globe or comet drops life upon the fragments 
now set in molten motion once again < Another 
nebula! ^ In course of time the cooling process 



8 THE LAW OF LOVE 

begins. Parts are cast off. Soon a sun and circling 
train of satellites! ** How often may the circle of 
systems from life, through death, to life again be 
made? The conclusion is that the Universe itself 
must complete a circle; must return whence it 
emanated &&&&&&&&&&& 
From the one cell life variegates in large as in 
small. The end of variety is the return to the one. 
The end is the beginning. "I am the Alpha and the 
Omega." We may fall back into our own sun, but 
that sun will, in time, fall back into a greater, and 
that again into another, until the primordial Sun 
is reached. Matter must fall back and back towards 
the origin thereof and end in the Absolute. Shall 
we say that it returns & returns and returns until 
all creation condenses into the mere thought of the 
Supreme Intelligence? & The number One is the 
original of all mathematics. Zero is but the figure 
one bent into a circle. All the figures are but vari 
ations of 1 and 0. All life is but variation of the 
life that is through Life and Death. The end of 
all number is return to Unity, to the one bent into 
"the perfect circle," symbol of quiet and comple 
tion Love conquers death even by death; for 



THE LAW OF LOVE 9 

Love is the spirit of which matter is a mere instru 
ment & When the circle is complete all things are 
absorbed in that whence they sprung or whence 
they differentiated. Matter has not destroyed itself. 
Through development, through the retort and 
alembic of change, it has purified itself and come 
back to the Supreme, all Spirit *< Matter is, as it 
were, volatilized; all the spirit in it is set free and, 
through indemnities of purification, the last ma 
teriality of matter is transmuted into spirit as the 
substance of a rose leaf into the odor thereof or, 
remoter still, into the thought of the odor of the 
rose and Matter is not annihilated, but only 
changed into its other self, Spirit & It is resolved 
back into the Idea in which alone it had existence. 
This is the idea of Nirvana & & <& <& & jfr & 
This is not a doctrine of Nothingness, and the end 
of this law of love, which the German savant is 
said to have found operating in crystals as hard 
as this inevitable law of love itself, is not the pan 
acea of " universal suicide." Death is love s attain 
ment of calm, after the mighty circle of struggle 
has been made. Q It would seem, of course, that, 
if the end of everything is to be annihilation, the 



10 THE LAW OF LOVE 

individual might take a short cut to the end, by 
means of "a tall tree and courage and a rope/ 
might hasten his arrival at the absorption. But the 
law of love is not the law of self. It is a law under 
stood best in the universal and reaching its full 
meaning only in bringing the universes and all 
that they inherit under its sway in utter cessation 
of strife and attrition; not in annihilation, but in a 
concentration of all in one perfect peace ^ 
Nirvana negatives nothing. It brings all discord 
ances and denials to a harmonious positive * It 
brings Resistance, which is Matter, to Rest, which 
is the Spirit to the Rest which is the completion 
of Motion s infinite circle & & & & < & & 
The end, then, is "the death of all desire," after the 
Universe s riot of desire, after its fulfilment of the 
law of love. The end, then, is what Schopenhauer 
suggests, "The denial of the will to live." But this 
is not a mere coprolalia, a foul necrophilism, a 
worship of decay and death suggestive of D An- 
nunzio s books. "The denial of the will to live" is 
not, necessarily, a denial of the law of love I have 
tried to explain. Schopenhauer is not the pessimist 
or nihilist he has been pictured & He conceives 



THELAWOFLOVE n 

of the Will as the life of the race. Will is his name 
for force & He pronounces it the " unconscious " 
origin of things, although we have seen rather that 
the persistence of life is conscious & He declares 
Will to be the Idea that "this whole world is only 
object in relation to subject, perception of a per- 
ceiver; in a word, idea." & This is the Hindu doc 
trine of reality as Maya, or illusion. The Idea, for 
him, is the eternal essence, the "ding ansich," the 
"thing-in-itself." All is but a mirror of a mighty 
Mind. " We are thoughts in the dream of Brahm." 
Q The attitude Schopenhauer would advise is res 
ignation, the resignation of the Christian saints. 
He teaches us not to seek nothingness, nor to 
evade the pains incident to the working out of the 
law of love. He insists that this world is nothing. 
The rest he would attain is not the annihilation of 
desire, but rather the harmonizing of desires as of 
"steeds thoroughly broken by the trainer," as a 
Sanscrit poem has it *^ This is a doctrine of self- 
controlled submission to the law, serene in faith 
that the Law, though in matter manifest as lust, 
is, in its ultimate, Love fulfilled, which is Peace. 
The satiety of the Spirit is his Nirvana; a satiety 



12 THELAWOFLOVE 

attainable only thro the sloughing off of Matter 
or its resolution into Spirit. "The denial of the will 
to live," is only the denial of the supremity of value 
of this life. It looks beyond to " the immitigable 
end" of effort, of action, of the all-informing Mo 
tion rest < And that is all our greatest Seer has 
promised. "He giveth his beloved Sleep." & & 
A far cry, say you, from the German professor 
and his discovery of life and sex in crystals ? Per 
haps *< But I had been reading Balzac s Louis 
Lambert the day the discovery was announced. 
Though the book was written in 1832, it main 
tained this thesis of life in everything and I thought 
to show how the French Shakespeare had fore 
stalled, by nearly seventy years, by mere genius, 
the myopic labors of the German savant who, as 
reported in the newspapers, wanted five hundred 
thousand dollars to develop his discovery into some 
usefulness for mankind ** Balzac gave it to us for 
nothing but his pleasure in giving &<&& 



THE GREATEST WOMAN POET 



Yea, gold is son of Zeus : no rust 

Its timeless light can stain ; 
The worm that brings man s flesh to dust 

Assaults its strength in vain: 
More gold than gold the love I sing, 
A hard, inviolable thing. 

Men say the passions should grow old 

With waning years; my heart 
Is incorruptible as gold, 

T is my immortal part : 
Nor is there any god can lay 
On love the finger of decay. 

Michael Field. 




HERE is a world of pity in 
the book of Henry Thorn 
ton Wharton about Sappho. 
It is a little book, but wistful 
and tristful in its endeavor 
to materialize from the haze 
and hoar of vanished time, 
this woman whose name is 
a synonym of shattered splendors of sublime song, 
and suggestive of strange sins *< All who have 
studied her broken music conclude with a poignant 
regret for the perfection hinted at in its incom 
pleteness. Its fragments are like the last, pathetic 
utterances of one dying, babbling misty memories 
o green fields & They are stray, ruined, broken, 
shreds of light, remembered of the golden morn 
ing of the world, and touched with the sadness of 
the decay whence they have been rescued ^ & 
Not more than four hundred lines are all we have 
of her. Not one perfect song. These fragments are 
culled from the commentaries of rhetoricians and 
grammarians, from an allusion, now and then, in 
some dry disquisition of the classic writers or the 
rapturous outburst of some of her singing brethren, 
half admiration, half despair, as when Sophocles 
exclaims, concerning her verse, "Oh gods, what 



is THE LA WOF LOVE 

love, what yearning, contributed to this." & & 
In this little book (London, David Stott, 1885, 
1887; John Lane, 1895,) are all these fragments 
gathered, just as found, and shown, small as they 
are, to have inspired many a fancy in the greatest 
poets who have followed, unto our own day. For 
she is the poet of the poets, their patroness saint 
Her song, all faintly heard though it be, rings, a 
delicate echo, through numberless lovely lyrics, 
and the piteously brief, but immortally bright, 
gleams of the glory of her muse illuminate and 
warm the colder utterances of more material times. 
Q This is what an eminent critic, and himself a 
poet, thinks of her: "Never before these songs 
were sung, and never since, did the human soul, 
in the grip of a fiery passion, utter a cry like hers; 
and, from the executive point of view, in direct 
ness, in lucidity, in that high, imperious, verbal 
economy which only Nature can teach the artist, 
she has no equal, and none worthy to take the 
place of second/ *< So, Mr. Theodore Watts, the 
friend of the one poet of this day who has caught 
most of the Sapphic melody and fire Algernon 
Charles Swinburne &&&&&&&&& 



THELAWOFLOVE 19 

Twenty-five centuries ago, in the phrase of Lord 
Byron, "Burning Sappho loved and sung." "During 
her lifetime Jeremiah began to prophesy, Daniel 
was carried away to Babylon; Nebuchadnezzar 
besieged and captured Jerusalem; Solon was legis 
lating at Athens, and Tarquinius Priscus, the fifth 
king, is said to have been reigning over Rome. 
She lived before the birth of Gautama, the founder 
of Buddhism, the religion now professed by, per 
haps, almost a third of the whole population of 
the globe." The fragments of her writings reveal 
but the faintest adumbrations of her personality. 
All certainly known of her is that she loved, and 
told, matchlessly, the woe thereof. She is little 
more than a sigh suspiring through and adown the 
centuries ** Psappha, as she called herself, is a 
vaguer entity than Shakespeare. She was the one 
great woman poet of the world, as he is the great 
man poet &&&&&&&&&&&& 
Athenaeus, writing about the end of the third 
century of our era, says that the writings of Sappho 
were preserved intact, for he says he has "learned 
completely all the songs, breathing of love, which 
sweetest Sappho sang." It is almost unaccountable 



20 THE LAWOF LOVE 

that poetry held in such high esteem by the high 
est authorities should have perished utterly, but 
Christianity destroyed much that it can never 
replace; even though it claims to have given us 
better things. One writer says the works of Sappho 
were burned in the year 1073, at Constantinople 
and Rome, by Pope Gregory VII., while another 
maintains they were destroyed by the Byzantine 
emperors and the poems of Gregory Nazianzen 
circulated in their stead j* But Sappho s name is 
still sweet on the lips of men, and Gregory Nazi 
anzen is remembered, outside of Roman Catholic 
hagiography, only for this rumor jfi Most of her 
verses are gone with "the laurel, the palms and the 
paean, the breasts of the nymphs in the brake." 
Q Dear old Herodotus tells us that Sappho s father 
was named Scamandronymus; but the Father of 
History was one hundred and fifty years after her 
and well, it is preferable to believe Herodotus 
than to worry and weary ourselves over the seven 
other names of her father, given in a lexicon of the 
eleventh century. Seven cities warred for Homer, 
" the poet." Sappho s seven supposed fathers are, 
perhaps, merely a little bit of "balance" contrived 



THELAWOFLOVE 21 

by old writers for the story of "the poetess." Her 
mother s name was Cleis, of whom nothing more 
is known & She had two brothers, Charaxus and 
Larichus. There was a mainly mythical third one, 
Eurygius, of whom nothing is known & Larichus 
was cup-bearer at Mitylene and, as this was a post 
attainable only by youths of noble lineage, it is 
supposed that Sappho was an aristocrat & & j* 
Anent Charaxus there is a story that delights the 
hearts of little children to this day, in its modern 
form of Cinderella *< So closely, after all, we are 
knit to the olden time. Charaxus, carrying Lesbian 
wine to Naucratis, in Egypt, met Doricha, or Rho- 
dopis and ransomed her, because of her beauty, 
from slavery, for a great sum of money. Rhodopis, 
or "Rosy-cheek," is likewise, a bone of contention 
among commentators <& But I prefer the story of 
"Rosy-cheek" that is most fitting to one related to 
the first "poetess of passion." & & & & & <s* 
One day Rhodopis was bathing at Naucratis < An 
eagle, swooping, snatched one of her sandals from 
the hands of a waiting- woman and bore it away to 
Memphis. There, King Psammetichus was adminis 
tering justice, & the flying eagle let fall the sandal. 



22 THELAWOFLOVE 

It fell into the King s lap. The beauty of the sandal 
and its strange arrival caused the King to have 
quest made over all the earth to discover the san 
dal s owner. Rhodopis was found at Naucratis and 
brought to the King ** He married her and, when 
she died, erected to her memory the third pyra 
mid. There are historians who say this is false. It 
is better than true. It is "ben trovato." ^ J* & 
It has also been said that Sappho was married, 
her husband being one Cercolas, a man of great 
wealth, who sailed from Andros, and that she had 
a daughter by him, named Cleis ** This is a story 
invented, probably, by the comic poets, who were 
wont to satirize the poetess, just as we, to-day, 
satirize the New Woman. It is certain that allusions 
to Sappho s husband are most satirical, conveying 
an indelicate, not to say obscene, inuendo because 
of her fondness for poetical-amorous omniverous- 
ness, so to speak. Amid many conjectures as to 
the exact age in which she lived, Mr. Wharton 
inclines to prefer the period between 611 and 592 
B. C., as most probable, in view, particularly, of 
some lines of her own in answer to the poet Alcaeus, 
who addressed her: "Violet- weaving, pure, soft- 



THE LAW OF LOVE 23 

smiling Sappho, I want to say something, but shame 
deters me." &&J>jfiJ>j*&J.j*&& 
Another legend is that the poetess was beloved by 
Anacreon, the poet of love & the grape, centuries 
before the time of Omar Khayyam. Other lovers, 
too, she is said to have had among them Archi- 
lochus and Hipponax but it is believed that the 
statement was made as an aspersion upon the men 
so mentioned. The husband of a passionate poetess, 
to-day, is the butt of ridicule *> Anacreon, Mr. 
Wharton thinks, lived many long years after her 
and never set eyes upon her & & & & & j* 
How long were her days, or how brief, is not known. 
In one place she applies to herself the epithet 
"somewhat old/ but this is understood to be used 
in a sense relative rather than specific. Herodotus 
would make it appear that she lived to be fifty, 
but some chronologists have maintained, from all 
the scant evidence, that she was little more than 
nineteen j*J>&&&&&J>jt>j jt>& 
She lived at Mitylene, the chief city of the island 
of Lesbos, in the Aegean Sea, & some historians, 
to evade the odium of extreme moral decadence 
in the singer, have invented another Sappho, a 



24 THELAWOFLOVE 

courtesan, to bear the burden of unique infamy 
attaching to the poetess name, and even Alcaeus, 
as we have seen, speaks of her with undisguised 
belief in her virtue. Lesbos is only known because 
of her; known to poets and readers of poetry and, 
shame to say, to specialists in moral degeneration, 
as distinguishing certain perversities that flourish 
only in highly civilized communities jfi & & & 
"Lesbos," says J. Addington Symonds, "the center 
of culture, was the island of overmastering pas 
sions; the personality of the Greek race burned 
there with a fierce & steady flame of concentrated 
feeling ^ The energy which the lonians divided 
between pleasure, politics, trade, legislation, sci 
ence, and the arts, and which the Dorians turned 
to war and statecraft and social economy, were 
restrained by the Aeolians within the sphere of 
individual emotions, ready to burst forth volcan- 
ically. Nowhere, in any age of Greek history, or in 
any part of Hellas, did the love of physical beauty, 
the sensibility to radiant scenes of nature, the con 
suming fervor of personal feeling, assume such 
grand proportions, and receive so illustrious an 
expression as they did in Lesbos ^ At first this 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



25 



passion blossomed into the most exquisite lyrical 
poetry that the world has known; this was the 
flower-time of the Aeolians, their brief & brilliant 
spring. But the fruit it bore was bitter and rotten. 
Lesbos became a by-word of corruption. The pas 
sions, which, for a moment, had flamed into the 
gorgeousness of Art, burnt their envelope of 
words and images, remained a mere furnace of 
sensuality, from which no expression of the divine 
in human life could be expected/ This was the 
reign of hedonism. The dazzle was succeeded by 
decay &&&&&&&&&&&&& 
A further picture of the conditions in Lesbos, which 
produced Sappho, is drawn from the same author. 
"Aeolian women were not confined to the harem, 
like lonians, or subjected to the rigorous discipline 
of the Spartans <& While mixing freely with male 
society they were highly educated and accustomed 
to express their sentiments to an extent unknown 
elsewhere in history until, indeed, the present 
time & The Lesbian ladies formed clubs for the 
cultivation of poetry and music. They studied the 
art of beauty, and sought to refine metrical forms 
and diction. Nor did they confine themselves to 



26 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



the scientific side of Art. Unrestrained by public 
opinion, and passionate for the beautiful, they 
cultivated their senses & emotions and developed 
their wildest passions." &&&&&&&& 
All of which may be true in general, but not true 
of the poetess, tho she did become, in a debased 
age, a sort of stock character in the licentious 
drama *< Her infamy is a growth of many years 
after her death, not justified by any contemporary 
evidence. "The fervor of her love and the purity 
of her life," says her biographer, "and the very 
fact of a woman having been the leader of a 
school of poetry and music, could not have failed 
to have been misunderstood by the Greek come 
dians at the close of the fifth century B. C." jfi 
The society and habits of the Aeolians at Lesbos, 
in Sappho s time, as Mr. Wharton quotes from 
Bournouf, were in complete contrast to those of 
the Athenians in the period of their corruption; 
just as the unenviable reputation of the Lesbians 
was earned long after the date of Sappho *< The 
Christian writers naturally enough accepted as true 
the plausible inventions of the Greeks themselves 
concerning Sappho. It is only fair to her memory 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



27 



to say that the best authorities, nowadays, vindi 
cate this immortal woman *<< fc * ***< 
Sappho s love for Phaon is a story that has long 
charmed the world ^ It may be found in Ovid s 
Historic Epistle XV, translated by Alexander Pope. 
Phaon was of miraculous loveliness, but insensible 
to love a reactionist, probably, against Lesbian 
conditions. The legend goes, (for t is a legend only 
and much doubted, as are all beautiful stories) 
that he was a boatman of Mitylene, gifted with 
beauty by Aphrodite, so that all women fell in love 
with him & Sappho loved him, but he would not 
listen, and in despair she threw herself from the 
Leucadian rock into the sea. The scientists have 
destroyed this story, but the unscientific world 
will not let it die. They have guessed and argued 
many things, but none so pretty as this story of 
hopeless longing and death <* Addison tells this 
story, in his usual chaste style, in the Spectator, 
No. 233, November 27, 1711, with a rococo turn 
to it about Sappho s being metamorphosed into a 
swan as she leaped from the rock ** He says also 
that Alcaeus, the poet, intended to take the leap 
for love of Sappho, on the same day, but did not 



28 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



when he heard of her plunge. Instead, he wrote 
an ode, his hundred and twenty-fifth. How like a 
poet to make his misery into "copy"! But how 
unpoetical! As un poetical, almost, as the efforts 
of the philologists to prove that none of these fine, 
high things occurred &&&&&&&& 
"Sappho," says Wharton, "seems to have been the 
center of a society in Mitylene, a kind of aesthetic 
club devoted to the Muses. Around her gathered 
maidens from even comparatively distant places, 
attracted by her fame, to study under her guidance 
all that related to poetry and music; much, as, at 
a later age, students resorted to the philosophers 
of Athens." The names of fourteen of her girl 
friends and pupils have been preserved. To many 
of them she addressed poems breathing such pas 
sion that one scarcely wonders at the blight upon 
her fame. Whether her passion was pure or impure 
must depend upon the purity or impurity of the 
mind deciding. "To the pure all things are pure." 
Q She was, as the legend goes, beautiful in body 
and mind ^ She was small and dark, if we may 
believe what we read of her. She had "sweetness 
of expression," as witnesses Alcaeus, although the 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



29 



commentators will, now and then, translate the 
Greek for this quality as "with violet locks." This, 
probably, accounts for a legend that she was red 
headed. Of her beauty naught remains but the 
exquisite charm of her verse, that all poets have 
not only applauded but imitated. The ancients use 
constantly the word "beautiful" in referring to 
her; but that may refer only to her works & Still, 
the beauty of Lesbian women was proverbial. An 
ancient drawing of her, used as a frontispiece of 
Mr. Mosher s edition of Long Ago, by Michael 
Field being paraphrased elaborations of Sapphic 
fragments is so archaic that it suggests nothing 
of beauty; is, in fact, rather repulsively angular. 
The picture is taken from a vase of date about 
420 B. C. An archaic head of Sappho, on the cover 
of the same volume, is taken from a vase now in 
Paris. It is almost impossible not to regard it as a 
caricature. The best picture of Sappho, according 
to Mr. Wharton, is an idealized one by Alma 
Tadema, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 
1881. An etching therefrom is frontispiece to Mr. 
Wharton s book, and an examination of it reveals, 
to the present writer s thinking, an unpleasantly 



30 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



hard, set masculinity of the features & There is 
mention of her bright eyes in a very old epigram 
and elsewhere she is called "the sweet voiced," 
She was called "the Tenth Muse," "the flower of 
the Graces." & She was not without honor in her 
own country. Unfortunately, her perpetuation in 
art is almost altogether infamous. Of the pictures 
of her on Greek vases, Mr. Wharton says, " One 
would feel more content if one had not seen them." 
Some of them are in the style of unexhibited pic 
tures from Pompeiian walls & & & & & & 
" Of all the poets of the world," says Symonds, 
"Sappho is the one whose every word has a pecu 
liar and unmistakable perfume, a seal of absolute 
perfection and immutable grace. In her art she 
was unerring." He speaks of her "exquisite rarity 
of phrase," and only echoes the praise of old com 
mentators. Catullus, say the classicists, is the only 
poet comparable with her. Sappho s poems were 
written in the Aeolic dialect, which had a peculiar 
charm of its own, somewhat, I suppose, as the 
dialect of cultured Southerners has a charm to 
most American ears. We find it in fact in the verse 
of Lanier and even of Timrod, while Maurice 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



31 



Thompson s last poem was a rendition of two 
Sapphic fragments and in an earlier long poem he 
rendered in a Southern setting a great number of 
these fragments. Aeolic was naively simple, it had 
no rough breathings; there were no dropping of 
the "h" sounds, no hardnesses ^ This made the 
Sapphic verses deliciously singable in a soft, plaint 
ive fashion and in a high pitch & Her poetry was 
called melic, that is, honeyed, and as Plato defined 
it, it was " compounded out of these three things: 
speech, music, rhythm." Her verses are among the 
earliest form of what we now know as the song 
or ballad &<&&&&&&&&&&& 
Swinburne has written one poem, Anactoria, em 
bodying the Sapphic spirit and sentiment, and in 
a note thereon he "bears witness how, more than 
any other s her verses strike and sting the mem 
ory in lonely places, or at sea, among all loftier 
sights and sounds how they seem akin to fire 
and air, being themselves all air and fire ; other 
elements there is none in them ^ Her remaining 
verses are the supreme success, the final achieve 
ment of poetic art." & In Anactoria, Swinburne 
says "he has simply expressed, or tried to express, 



32 THELAWOFLOVE 

the violence of affection between one another 
which hardens into rage & deepens into despair," 
and has added thereto "an angry appeal against 
the supreme mystery of oppressive heaven at that 
point only where pleasure culminates in pain, 
affection in anger and desire in despair the out 
come of a foiled and fruitless passion recoiling on 
itself." All of Swinburne s poetry has this strain. 
One might think Sappho is reincarnate in him j& 
The Sapphism of Swinburne has kept from him 
the laurel and the pipe of Malmsey & & j* j* 
In Wharton s book every fragment of Sappho s 
writing is preserved and translated literally, as 
well as given in the best poetic paraphrases extant 
These fragments are often mere exclamations, 
such as " Me thou f orgettest," " Or lovest another 
more than me." *< There are hints of descriptions 
of nature, a line " of golden-sandalled Dawn," a 
memory of an old orchard, perhaps, words of 
yearning and sorrow, an echo of a nightingale, the 
perfume of otherwise forgotten springs <& They 
are wonderful for their perfection of phrase, for 
their pictorial quality, their simplicity, their direct 
touch upon the sensibility. No worldly fame rests 



THELAWOFLOVE 33 

upon so little, and is withal so well-founded *< 
The beauty of the remains is ravishing, and from 
" this pinch in the fingers of scentless and delicate 
dust "the poets, with aspiring imagination, have 
vainly tried to conceive what was the whole, per 
fect body of her work. The sense of evanescence 
in beauty is nowhere else so poignantly empha 
sized. All the broken music combines to make a 
perfect minor paean of pain ************ 
The note of Sappho s fame is found in the " Ode 
to Aphrodite." ^ Upon this poem, written to a 
woman by a woman, are based all those stories of 
the poet that Mr. Wharton characterizes as "calum 
nies." This poem has been said to be a perfect 
description of love, as well as a perfect piece of 
poetry. A literal translation, Mr. Wharton s, may 
be given, but it conveys no idea of the poetry or 
the Greek: ^^^^^^^^^^^ 

" That man seems to me peer of the gods who sits in thy presence, 
and hears close to him thy sweet speech and lovely laughter ; that* 
indeed, makes my heart flutter in my bosom. For when I see thee but 
a little, I have no utterance left, my tongue is broken down and straight, 
way a subtle fire has run under my skin; with my eyes I have no 
sight, my ears ring, sweat pours down and a trembling seizes my body. 
I am paler than grass and seem in my madness little better than one 
dead. But I must dare all, since one so poor " 



34 THELAWOFLOVE 

And the lovely music breaks off thus abruptly, 
exasperatingly , in every fragment left to us, only to 
bring out more piercingly the beauty of the strain. 



GINX S BABY 




^ an old book store I found, 
the other day, a little book 
that should not have been 
forgotten & It was written 
more than thirty years ago, 
by a man named Jenkins, an 
Englishman, born in India, 
and educated, in part, in the 
United States. The name of the book is Ginx s 
Baby; His Birth and Other Misfortunes J* & 
With the remarkable growth of altruism or human- 
itarianism in the last thirty years, with the appli 
cation of sincere sympathy as one of the possible 
solvents of the mystery of misery, it is strange that 
this book should have passed from the minds of 
men. The book is a true satire. That is to say, its 
irony is exercised for the benefit of mankind. The 
pessimism of the story, its note of cynical despair, 
is, in reality, a summons to man to do better by 
his brother. Underlying its bitterness there is such 
a gentleness of heart as must uplift the reader s 
own &&&&&&&& &&&&& 
The author has the great gift of humor, which all 
true pessimists possess, and none more than Scho 
penhauer. He loves humanity though he scourges 
it. He loves, above all, the little children, whom 



38 THE LAW OF LOVE 

Christ loved, as typifying the heart perfect in in 
nocence &&&&&&& & & & j* & 
Somewhat the quality of Dickens is in his method 
of thought and his turns of expression; but he is 
not the evident artist that Dickens is. He does not 
seek opportunity to revel in mere rhetoric ^* He 
goes for the heart of his subject and his literary 
charms are displayed quite incidentally to his 
progress in that direction ** His stylism does not 
clog his story or cumber his argument. The result 
is that he produced a tract of the Church of Man 
which is a powerful argument for a realization in 
Man of the Church of God. His book is superbly 
human and Ginx s Baby deserves immortality 
with other dream-children of good men s hearts 
and minds in story and in song & jt & & & 
Room for Ginx s Baby in the gallery of undying 
children; with Marjorie Fleming, Sir Walter s "bon- 
nie, wee coodlin doo," with Pater s Child in the 
House, with Ouida s Bebe, with Mrs. Burnett s 
Fauntleroy, with Barrie s Sentimental Tommy, 
with all the little ones in the books of Dickens 
and the poems and stories of Eugene Field! ^* *< 
The child in literature is something new, compara- 



THELAWOFLOVE 39 

tively. We need more of the effort to understand 
the child mind, the child heart, the child point of 
view. It will aid us to develop the child, if once 
we can enter his world and come into sympathy 
with his impressions. It will purify ourselves, this 
fresh, new, beautiful world of the child s ; its clear, 
pure air will wash clean our souls; its innocence 
of doom will revive our hope. The child is a soul 
fresh from God s mint. If only we could study it 
more we might regain, from the contemplation, 
some of our own lost innocence, and, when we 
come to die, go to our Maker, like Thackeray s 
immortal Colonel Newcome, with our hearts " as 
a little child s." &&j*&j*J j*&&& 
But Ginx s Baby is not an idyl. It is a tragedy. It 
breathes the spirit of Malthus, only the spirit is 
transformed into one of pity for the victim of life 
rather than one of concern for the preservation 
of the nation. We are not, in this book, the victim 
of the baby. The baby is our victim. His story will 
illustrate the philosophy better than any attempt 
at interpretation and the humor of the telling only 
intensifies the tragedy &<&&&<&& 
" The name of the father of Ginx s Baby was Ginx. 



40 THELAWOFLOVE 

By a not unexceptional coincidence, its mother was 
Mrs. Ginx. The gender of Ginx s Baby was mas 
culine." That is the first paragraph of the book, 
and there you have a hint of the flippant flavor; 
also a very strong suggestion of Charles Dickens. 
The hero of the book was a thirteenth child *< 
Ominously humorous! The mother previously had 
distinguished herself. On October 25th, one year 
after marriage, Mrs. Ginx was safely delivered of a 
girl *< No announcement of this appeared in the 
papers & On April 10th, following, "the whole 
neighborhood, including Great Smith Street, Mar- 
sham Street, Great and Little Peter Street, Regent 
Street, Horsef erry Road, and Strutton Ground, was 
convulsed by the report that a woman named Ginx 
had given birth to a triplet, consisting of two girls 
and a boy." The Queen heard of it, for this birth 
got into the papers, and sent the mother three 
pounds. Protecting infant industry! And protec 
tion, it seems, resulted in over-production; for, in 
a twelvemonth, there were triplets again, two sons 
and a daughter. Her majesty sent four pounds. 
The neighbors protested and began to manifest 
their displeasure uncouthly, so the Ginx family 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



41 



removed into Rosemary Street, where the tale of 
Mrs. Ginx s offspring reached one dozen * Then 
Ginx mildly entered protest *< If there were any 
more, singles, twins or triplets, he would drown 
him, her, or them in the water-butt <& This was 
immediately after the arrival of Number Twelve. 
QHere, under the chapter-heading of "Home, 
Sweet Home," the author, still reminiscent of Dick 
ens, but delightfully compact and laconic, describes 
the miserable dwelling of the Ginx s, with a bitter 
ness of humor that mocks the sentiment of Howard 
Payne s song. As a specimen of clean realism, this 
description is more effective than anything of 
Zola s; for Zola s realism is idealism gone mad. 
The squalor of the slum is heightened by the 
associations that cling to the name Rosemary. A 
bit of sermonizing upon the responsibility of land 
lords for the souls in that slum, and the author 
reverts to Ginx and his family & ^ & ^ j* & 
" Ginx had an animal affection for his wife, that 
preserved her from unkindness even in his cups." 
You thank the author for not succumbing to real 
ism and making Ginx a brute. Ginx worked hard 
and gave his wife his earnings, less sixpence, with 



42 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



which sum he retreated, on Sundays, from his 
twelve children, to the ale-house, to listen sleepily 
while ale-house demagogues prescribed remedies 
for State abuses. He was ignorant of policies and 
issues; simply one of a million victims of the theo 
ries upon which statesmen experiment in legisla 
tion and taxation. He was one of many dumb and 
almost unfeeling "chaotic fragments of humanity" 
to be hewn into shape in one of two ways: either 
by "coarse artists seeking only petty profit, un 
handy, immeasurably impudent," or by instruction 
to be made " civic corner-stones polished after the 
similitude of a palace." He was appalled by the 
many mouths he had to feed. He was touched by 
his wife s continuous heroism of sacrifice for the 
children, and he felt, in a dim fashion, something 
of an intuition of " her unsatisfied cravings and 
the dense motherly horrors that sometimes brooded 
over her " as she nursed her infants. She believed 
that God sends food to fill the mouths He sends. 
She had been able to get along. She would be able 
to get along &&&&&&&&&&& 
Ginx, feeling another infant straw would break 
his back, determined to drown the straw ^ Mrs. 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



43 



Ginx, clinging to Number Twelve, listened aghast. 
"The stream of her affections, though divided 
into twelve rills, would not have been exhausted 
in twenty-four, & her soul, forecasting its sorrows, 
yearned after that nonentity, Number Thirteen. 
Ginx sought to comfort her by the suggestion that 
she could not have any more. But she knew better. 
Q After eighteen months the baby was born ** 
Ginx thought it all out before the event <& " He 
would n t go on the parish, jfi He could n t keep 
another youngster to save his life *< He would 
not take charity *< There was nothing to do but 
drown the baby." He must have talked his inten 
tions at the ale-house, for the whole neighborhood 
watched Mrs. Ginx s "time" with interest. Going 
home one afternoon, he saw signs of excitement 
around his door. He entered. He took up the little 
stranger and bore it from the room & " His wife 
would have arisen, but a strong power called 
weakness held her back." Out on the street, with 
the crowd following him, Ginx stopped to consider. 
"It is all very well to talk about drowning your 
baby, but to do it you need two things water and 
opportunity." He turned toward Vauxhall Bridge. 



44 THELAWOF 

The crowd cried "Murder!" & # & & & & 

" Leave me alone, nabors," shouted Ginx; "this is 

my own baby and I 11 do wot I likes with it. I kent 

keep it an if I ve got anything I can t keep, it s 

best to get rid of it, ain t it ? This child s going 

over Vauxhall Bridge." 

The women clung to his arms and coat-tails. A 

man happened along. "A foundling? Confound 

the place, the very stones produce babies." 

"It were n t found at all. It s Ginx s baby," cried 

the crowd. 

"Ginx s baby. Who s Ginx ? " 

" I am," said Ginx. 

"Well?" 

"Well!" 

"He s going to drown it!" came the chorus. 

"Going to drown it? Nonsense!" said the officer. 

" I am," said Ginx. 

"But, bless my heart, that s murder!" 

"No, t ain t," said Ginx. "I ve twelve already at 

home. Starvashon s shure to kill this un & Best 

save it the trouble." 

The officer declares this is quite contrary to law 

and he recites the law, but that doesn t affect 



THELAWOFLOVE 45 

Ginx. He fails utterly to see why, if Parliament 
will not let him abandon the child. Parliament does 
not provide for the child for all the other twelve. 
The officer declares that the parish has enough 
to do to take care of foundlings and children of 
parents who can t or won t work. Says Ginx: "Jest 
so. You 11 bring up bastards and beggars pups, 
but you won t help an honest man keep his head 
above water. This child s head is goin under water 
anyhow ! " and he dashed for the bridge, with the 
screaming crowd at his heels & & & & & & 
A philosopher interposes at this stage with a query 
as to how Ginx came to have so many children. 
Of course Ginx has to laugh * The Philosopher 
urges that Ginx had no right to bring children 
into the world unless he could feed, clothe and 
educate them, and Ginx replies that he d like to 
know how he could help it, as a married man. The 
Philosopher goes over the old, old tale of rational 
ism in life. Ginx should not have married a poor 
woman ; should not have gone on subdividing his 
resources by the increase of what must be a de 
generate offspring ; should not have married at all. 
Q"Ginx s face grew dark. He was thinking of 



46 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



all those years and the poor creature that from 
morning to night and Sunday to Sunday, in calm 
and storm, had clung to his rough affections ; and 
the bright eyes and the winding arms so often 
trellised over his tremendous form, and the coy 
tricks & laughter that had cheered so many tired 
hours. He may have been much of a brute, but he 
felt that, after all, that sort of thing was denied 
to dogs and pigs." &&&&&&&& 
The Philosopher could not answer these thoughts 
nor the rejoinder question to his own : what is a 
man or woman to do that does n t marry? ^ <& 
And so the argument proceeds, the Philosopher 
losing ground all the time, because his rationality 
is based upon changing man s nature, not on ma 
king something out of " what s nateral to human 
beings." The Act-of -Parliament idea of solving the 
problem is riddled effectively by a stonemason, 
who points out that the head-citizen is not so 
worthy as the heart-citizen. In brief, the Philoso 
pher is routed by the doctrine that love is better 
than law &&&&&&&&&&&< 
Ginx proceeds to the river again, but is stopped 
by a nun who asks for the child & He gives the 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



47 



bundle to her. She uncovers the queer, ruby face 
and kisses it * After this Ginx could not have 
touched a hair of the child s head ** His purpose 
dies, but his perplexity is alive. The nun takes the 
child, and Ginx, in gratitude for her assurance that 
the child shall not be sent back to him, stands 
treat for the crowd &&&&&&&&& 
The child s life in the convent is material for some 
good satiric writing upon the question of his sal 
vation. The picture is absurdly overdrawn, so far 
as its effectiveness against conventual charity is 
concerned, but it touches the question of religious 
bigotry surely and strongly. Indeed, the method of 
treatment here verges closely upon the Rabelais 
ian, as in the scene in which the Sisters want to 
make the sign of the cross upon Mrs. Ginx s 
breasts before allowing the baby to suck *& Mrs. 
Ginx refused the " Papish idolaters," & the Prot 
estant Detectoral Association is brought to the 
rescue of the child from superstition & & & & 
A little man with a keen Roman nose he could 
scent Jesuits a mile off took up the cause of the 
child and it got into court. The matter became a 
cause celebre. London was in a turmoil over "the 



48 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



Papal abduction." & The author sketches it all 
graphically with a convincing fidelity of caricature. 
The " Sisters of Misery " triumphed. They retained 
the baby. Then, after attempting to sanctify the 
baby a ceremony wholly imaginary & described 
with a smutch of revolting coarseness the Sisters 
send the baby packing back to the Protestant 
Detectoral Association &&&&&&&< 
The Protestants had him; but the Dissenters pro 
tested against his being given to an Anglican ref 
uge. The scene at the mass-meeting to celebrate 
young Ginx s rescue from the incubus of a delusive 
superstition is described with rare appreciation of 
the foibles of character. The bombast, the cant, 
the flapdoodle and flubdub, the silly unction of 
different kinds of preachers are " done to a hair." 
Five hours the meeting raged, and at last a reso 
lution that the Metropolitan pulpit should take 
up the subject and the churches take up a collec 
tion for the baby on the next Sunday having been 
passed, the meeting adjourned forgetting all 
about the baby. A strange woman took the baby 
"for the sake of the cause." He had been provided 
with a splendid layette by an enthusiastic Protes- 



THELAWOFLOVE 49 

tant Duchess <&*&&* &*jfi<&& t &jt 
Q " Some hours later, Ginx s Baby, stripped of the 
Duchess beautiful robes, was found by a police 
man, lying on a doorstep in one of the narrow 
streets not an hundred yards " from the meeting 
place. " By an ironical chance he was wrapped in 
a copy of the largest daily paper in the world." 
Q The baby was recovered and the preachers 
" praught." The collections and the donations and 
subscriptions amounted to thirteen hundred and 
sixty pounds, ten shillings and three and one-half 
pence. How the money was spent is shown in a 
deliciously absurd balance-sheet <& Not quite one 
hundred and nine pounds were spent upon the 
baby < The other money was wasted in various 
forms and styles of " guff." " In an age of luxury," 
says the baby s biographer, "we are grown so 
luxurious as to be content to pay agents to do our 
good deeds, but they charge us three hundred per 
cent for the privilege." &&&&&&&& 
How the police found and treated the baby is a 
chapter full of subtle sarcasm, leading up to the 
still more sarcastic portrayal of the way the baby 
fared in the hands of the Committee appointed to 



so THELAWOFLOVE 

take care of him. He was like to be torn to pieces 
between contending divines. The debates in Com 
mittee are illuminating expositions of different 
varieties of bigotry. His body was almost forgotten 
while the philanthropists were trying to decide 
what to do with his soul ** Few of the reverend 
gentlemen " would be content unless they could 
seize him when his young nature was plastic and 
try to imprint on immortal clay the trade-mark of 
some human invention." <&&&&&&& 
Twenty-three meetings of the Committee were 
held and unity was as far off at the last as at the 
first. The Secretary asked the Committee to pro 
vide money to meet the baby s liabilities, but the 
Committee instantly adjourned and no effort after 
wards could get a quorum together. The persons 
who had charge of the foundling began to dun the 
Secretary and to neglect the child, now thirteen 
months old. They sold his clothes and absconded 
from the place where they had been "framing him 
for Protestantism." ^ As a Protestant question 
Ginx s Baby vanished from the world * *> J> 
Wrapped in a potato sack, the baby was found 
one night on the pavement exactly over a line 



THELAWOFLOVE si 

dividing two parishes. The finder was a business 
man. He noted the exact spot where the child 
lay and took it to the other parish. He would 
not be taxed for its support. The parish guardians 
would not accept the child. As the man who found 
the child was a guardian of the other parish, he 
was trying to foist a bastard perhaps his own 
upon their parish. A motion was made to " get rid 
of the brat." "A church warden, who happened 
to be a gentleman," suggested the services of a law 
yer. The brutality of the guardians as they exam 
ined and discussed the child is depicted with ter 
rible power. The lawyer says the Board will have 
to take the baby pro tern or " create an unhappy 
impression on the minds of the public." & & & 
"Damn the public!" said Mr. Stink, a dog-breeder 
member of the Board, thus antecedently plagiar 
izing an American millionaire. The parish accepts 
the baby under protest and a formal written pro 
test addressed to the baby, name unknown, is 
pinned on the potato sack. The two parishes go to 
law about the child. Neither wishes to take care of 
it. At Saint Bartemeus workhouse, a notice was 
posted forbidding the officials, assistants and 



52 THELAWOFLOVE 

servants to enter the baby s room, pendente lite, 
or to render it any service or assistance on pain 
of dismissal. The baby was nigh starvation. The 
master of the workhouse stealthily fed him on 
pap, saying as he did so, " Now, youngster, this is 
without prejudice, remember! I give you due 
notice without prejudice/ & J> & & & & 
The baby became ilL A nobleman discovered him 
and laid his case before a magistrate. The papers 
made a sensation of the baby s case. There was a 
terrific hullabaloo. An inquiry was held ** The 
guardians became furious. "The reports of their 
proceedings read like the vagaries of a lunatic 
asylum or the deliberations of the American Sen 
ate." They discharged the kindly master. The baby 
was locked in a room. Food was passed to him on 
a stick <& The inquiry was denounced and the 
bewildered public gnashed its teeth at everybody 
who had anything to do with, or say of, Ginx s 
Baby. " At last St. Bartemeus parish had to keep 
him, and the guardians, keeping carefully within 
the law, neglected nothing that could sap little 
Ginx s vitality, deaden his instincts, derange moral 
action, cause hope to die within his infant breast 



THELAWOFLOVE 53 

almost as soon as it was born/ Every pauper was 
to them an obnoxious charge to be reduced to a 
minimum or nil ** The baby s constitution alone 
prevented his reduction to nil & & ^ & & & 
The bill of costs against St Bart emeus was sixteen 
hundred pounds. Just as it was taxed, one of the 
persons who had deserted Ginx s Baby was arrest 
ed for theft ** The Baby s clothes, given by the 
Duchess, were found in this person s possession. 
She confessed all about the baby and so the guar 
dians traced the baby s father and delivered to 
Ginx, through an agent, the famous child, with the 
benediction "There he is; damn him!" & ^ & 
Mrs. Ginx could n t recognize the baby & His 
brothers and sisters would have nothing to do 
with him. Ginx denied him. Ginx took the baby 
out one night, left it on the steps of a large build 
ing in Pall Mall, and slunk away out of the pages 
of " this strange, eventful history." ^ The baby 
piped. The door of the house, a club, opened and 
the baby was taken in. It was the Radical Club, 
but it was as conservative as could be in its recep 
tion of the waif. It was only a perfunctory kind 
liness that the club gave him shelter. The Fogey 



54 THELAWOFLOVE 

Club heard of the baby and bethought itself of 
making campaign material of him ** The Fogies 
instructed their "organ "to dilate upon the dis 
graceful apathy of the Radicals toward the found 
ling. The Fogies kidnaped the baby; the Radicals 
stole him back & The baby was again a great 
"question." However, other questions supervened, 
although it was understood that Sir Charles Ster 
ling was " to get a night " to bring up the case of 
Ginx s Baby in Parliament & Associations were 
formed in the metropolis for disposing of Ginx s 
Baby by expatriation or otherwise. A peer sud 
denly sprung the matter by proposing to send the 
baby to the Antipodes at the expense of the Nation. 
The question was debated with elaborate, stilted 
stultitude and the noble lord withdrew his motion. 
Q The baby tired of life at the clubs. He borrowed 
some clothes, some forks, some spoons, without 
leave, and then took his leave. No attempt was 
made to recover him. He was fifteen. "He pitted 
his wits against starvation." He found the world 
terribly full everywhere he went. He went through 
a career of penury, of honest and dishonest call 
ings, of captures, escapes and recaptures, impris- 



THELAWOFLOVE 55 

onments and other punishments. Q Midnight on 
Vauxhall Bridge! & The form of a man emerged 
from the dark and outlined itself against the haze 
of the sky. There was a dull flash of a face in the 
gloom. The shadow leaped far out into the night. 
Splash! ** "Society which, in the sacred names 
of Law & Charity, forbade the father to throw his 
child over Vauxhall Bridge, at a time when he was 
alike unconscious of life & death, has at last driven 
him over the parapet into the greedy waters." & & 
The questions of the book I have condensed here 
are as alive to-day as are thousands of other 
Ginx s babies in all our big cities. While philan 
thropists and politicians, priests and preachers, 
men and women theorize about the questions, the 
questions grow " more insoluble/ What is to be 
done, is the first question. How it is to be done 
is a question which is secondary and its discussion 
is useless until the first is settled. Too much State 
drove Ginx s Baby into the Thames ^ What s 
everybody s business is nobody s business. If the 
uncountable babies of innumerable Ginxs are to 
be aided, some one must aid them for the mere 
pleasure there is in loving-kindness. Q A baby is 



56 THELAWOFLOVE 

a human being, not a problem. A baby can t be 
explained away by pure reason, because he did 
not come by that route. Love brought him here 
and only Love can nourish him to the fullness of 
growth in soul and mind. True, many come who, 
seemingly, were better drowned like surplus pup 
pies or kittens. But who shall select those to sur 
vive? Grecian wisdom once attempted to improve 
on " natural selection " and Greece is the ghost of 
a vanished glory ^ Why should n t Ginx have 
drowned his baby or himself before the multi 
plication in the result of which the baby was a unit? 
Q I don t know why, unless because there is, in 
every life, even the most successful, apparently, 
enough of unhappiness and failure and emptiness 
to justify, at a given moment, a " leap in the dark." 
This logic of suicide would annihilate the race. The 
unwelcome baby may be the best. Life must try us 
all * Those who do not stand the test disappear. 
Their own weaknesses eliminate them. Myriads 
must fail that a few may succeed a very little & & 
Ginx at least owed his baby reparation for bring 
ing about the first misfortune, his birth. Ginx was 
a sophist. His mercy of murder for the child was 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



57 



regard for himself. His reasoning was right. His 
heart was full of self and, ergo, wrong. Ginx sur 
rendered before the fight was fought. So did the 
baby. There is nothing for it, my good masters, 
but a fight to a finish. Yes, even though Birnam 
Wood come to Dunsinane, still must we fight, like 
Macbeth, and all the more valiantly for that we 
know our sins are heavy upon our heads & hearts. 
" Courage, my comrades, the devil is dead," said 
Denys of Burgundy. But there is a greater cour 
age my comrades: it is fighting the devil who 
never dies, until the devil in us all shall die. This 
is not the courage of despair, but of hope and 
faith that by conquest of ourselves shall Evil be 
slain, though only in a fair, far time and by crores 
of deaths of us and of our kind. That is why the 
book Ginx s Baby is false in its demonstration 
that it had been better if the "hero "had been 
thrown off the bridge at first. Its philosophy is the 
philosophy of the " quitter.** The only courage is 
to endure &&&&&&&&&&&& 
And what shall we do for the Ginx s babies so 
multitudinous in their misery ? & These, too, we 
must endure. It were well to love them a little as 



58 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



babies and not to discuss them so much as "ques 
tions." & It were well if there were a little more 
individual charity; a good deal less of the kind 
described by Boyle O Reilly as conducted " in the 
name of a cautious, statistical Christ" & If every 
one would do a little good for the poor, the unfor 
tunate, the afflicted, the sum of all our doings 
would be a great deal of good <& Take a penny 
from every person in the United States and give 
it to one man and he has seven hundred thousand 
dollars & Every Ginx s baby in any land can be 
helped somewhat, and Ginx himself must do his 
share to the full limit of his capacity for doing. 
We cannot save them all; cannot make their lives 
successes. Success is the sum of many failures. A 
million seeds must die that one rose may bloom. 
You or I may be the means, in part, of saving one 
child from the plunge of Vauxhall Bridge or thro 
the gallows-trap. And one is worth while. That is 
the way to "look out for number one." Individual 
effort for individuals is the true humanitarianism. 
Lift up the person nearest you who is in need of 
assistance. Bend to him and feel your own stature 
increase by so much as you uplift him *<*<** 



THE TWO EAGLETS 

MAUDE ADAMS AND SARA BERNHARDT 




E is a woman of the stage 
whose every movement, 
glance, tone, smile or tear, 
proclaims that woman is a 
thing for honor, not vile use. 
There is no suggestion of 
musk arising at the mention 
of her name & There is no 
association of her in thought with absinthe or 
creme-de-menthe &&&&&&&&& 
The tragic touch is on her face, but it is not the 
tragedy of the fleshly passion, nor the worse 
tragedy of chill genius simulating passion. There 
is that in her face that makes you glad she is not 
a beauty. It is a yearning face, soft, pure, inno 
cent, yet of an unearthly sapiency withal. With 
some such face the Blessed Damozel might have 
looked out from heaven, the while the holy fervor 
in her breast " made the bar she leaned on warm." 
T is a holy wistf ulness in her glance, and the trist- 
fulness of her voice is of little children crying, 
lonely, lost in some daedal night. Her smile is full 
of a charm of sadness that is older than the world 
the sadness of unfinished things, of foiled hopes, 
of vanished dreams. Just a shade here, there, on 
her lip or cheek, and the smile transmutes to 



62 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



tears ^ Just a hint of a tone here, there, in her 
laughter, and it is the cry of youth whose soul is 
torn out with its illusions and trampled on by Fact 
and Fate. Is she playful it is with a melancholy 
undertone. In I know not what manner this woman 
perhaps I should call her girl never fails to 
make me think of old roses, old songs, old land 
scapes, that I saw and knew under circumstances 
pleasant, but now sad in remembrance & & & 
Something about her ever brings back to mind 
the fact that there is in life and in memory a 
" bitterness of things too sweet." 2* There s an 
ancient atmosphere about her, as if she were 
some creature many million years young, joyous 
while endeavoring to hide some wondrous secret. 
Her simplicity is so rare and fine that you scarce 
can help feeling that she is untrammeled by even 
original sin * The pathetic note about her is the 
same thing we feel when we see a " little white 
hearse go glimmering by." ^ Youth and eld are 
strangely intimated in her glance. She is a child 
and yet the antique flavor is in her childishness, 
as if she had somehow come down to us untouched, 
untainted by time from some wide, wild, open, 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



63 



woodland place of the classical world, wherein 
one walking might easier meet a god or a goddess 
than a man or a woman & This feeling that you 
have before her, under her spell, is an eerie one, 
but not unpleasant ; not more so, in any event, 
than is the emotion that arises at remembrance 
of especially delectable days in one s own vanished 
youth. I care not whether she be in one of her 
histrionic flights always there is that quaint sug 
gestion of her intimate relationship to something 
young and sweet and pure, a great while since, 
a long, long time ago. The personal charm is all- 
pervasive. It is child-like, and yet so worldly-wise 
and worldly-weary. It is essentially spiritual a 
quality I recollect never to have felt or observed 
in any other woman of the footlights. She reminds 
you of the woman you love and of that woman 
as you most love to think of her, as a little girl, 
though with, too, her later womanly charms. 
Q This is n t genius say you ? & Well, what is 
genius, anyhow ? Whatever it be, Maude Adams 
lifts you out of your work-a-day self into your 
better self, makes you forget and remember and 
dream & live in a hidden, inner world of romance. 



64 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



Rostand s poetry falls as naturally from her lips 
as Shakespeare s from Rosalind s or Imogen s. 
As the Due de Reichstadt she is as bewitchingly 
elf -like as in her impersonation of Babbie. There 
is a pagan freshness in her movements and words, 
a sincerity of abandon that is of the early world. 
And on her, mysteriously, is the doom of things 
too fair. In her indecision, in her passionateness 
of protest against her own weakness, in her an 
guished recognition of herself as a sacrifice, im 
molated in expiation of glory, in that wild scene 
of the smashed mirror as in the unearthly vision 
on the field of Wagram, we find the primal emo 
tions of the world bodied forth, paler and weaker 
than we find them, perhaps, in Hamlet or Lear, 
but as they well might express themselves in a 
boy whose great soul burned out his puny body. 
Over all the storm and stress lingers the beauty 
that the Great White Plague so often vouchsafes 
its victim. The glamour that coming death casts 
upon a fading world plays around all the tragedy. 
It is the assassination of youth by Fate, but 
tempered with whiffs of Parma violets, and the 
thunders of cannon translated into the humming 



THELAWOFLOVE es 

of the imperial bees. The episode of the tryst 
softly it is as pure in her treatment as the old 
tale of Aucassin and Nicolete. The sense of a 
strange purification steals over one, as the boy 
advances to the ordained end. The drama suggests 
the clearness of eyes that have but recently known 
tears, the clearness of a summer day after an af 
ternoon rain. And her voice carries unique tones, 
tones that might be in sorrow and anguish the 
waitings of those infants a span long, which Jon 
athan Edwards was glad to think were multitudi 
nous in hell tones, again, that might be the joy 
of the trees and flowers in growing, or the mur 
mur of streams of their joy of flowing j* & & 
The fire of her is the flame that burns in the 
autumn leaf not fierce, but ineffably, warmly 
tender. It is a fire that seems to feed upon tears. 
It is a dream-fire, in some of its aspects. And the 
piteous ineffectiveness of the genius of the Eaglet! 
It is genius, but in the grasp of death. The very 
nobility of the aspiration is conveyed with a sec 
ond intention of irony. The Adams L Aiglon is as 
beautifully sad, as, let us say, the minor legends of 
of the Arthurian cycle and as far away ^ The 



66 THE LAW OF LOVE 

remoteness of the Eaglet s dreams, the unworldli- 
ness that f utilizes his ambition, the supreme ideali 
zation of his father and the angelic intent of his 
desire for a throne all these things show the 
Adams Eaglet to be, as undoubtedly he is, a purely 
poetical conception. It is not real, not true. It is all 
a splendid, poetic vision. The real Due de Reich- 
stadt is not portrayed by Maude Adams, not a real 
boy even. What she gives us is L Aiglon, the crea 
ture of Rostand s fancy in its most exalted mood of 
worshipful idealization of a mere scrap of story. 
Q All the poetry of youth, all the poetry of the fail 
ure to make dream mate with deed, all the poetry 
of piteous legend twining around a mighty name, 
all the poetry of what Napoleon was, filtered thro* 
Austria and Spain and the Escurial, all the poetry 
of the dynamic diluted by contemplative doubt, 
all the poetry of a child-of -fancy set in a colorful 
reproduction of great history all this is Maude 
Adams Eaglet J.&&&&&&&&J 
It is great great in its pureness, in its irony, in 
its flashes of flickering failing fire, in its implied 
reproach of the great legend it glorifies, in its 
totality of impression upon us that all is vanity 



THELAWOFLOVE 67 

and glory, perhaps, more vain than aught else. 
Q Maude Adams is the Eaglet because she is of 
the spirit allied to the genius of Rostand. She is 
of the child-kind and woman-kind, unsullied by 
the blasphemies of French artistry, in search of 
experience to enable interpretation of passion. 
Maude Adams art comes from her soul, not from 
bodily experience. She creates a world for herself, 
and it is a world beautiful with the beauty of the 
soul from which it springs. She is spring violets 
and droning bees, and dreams and tender histo 
ries of motherless bairns. And so with the mother- 
heart of the girl, who is maternal without under 
standing her instinct, she enters into the heart 
and soul of L Aiglon and lives him for us in a 
few ail-too brief hours, just as that pale, piteous 
boy lives in the red-golden poetry of Rostand. 



SARA 




iE is with us again the 
most wonderful woman in 
the world the Bernhardt 
anarch and artist. Think of 
it! She is the one conspicu 
ous woman to whom every 
thing is forgiven. She is the 
one woman who has with 
stood the caricaturist, the satirist, the lampoonist. 
She is the one woman who has been allowed to 
grow old without irreverent notice. She has defied 
all the conventions, and the conventions have 
obliterated themselves in her behalf. Her sins are 
peccadilloes. Tradesmen have been honored that 
she owed them money. She has given immortality 
to nonentities, for that she loved them for a day. 
She has rehabilitated the courtesan in the estima 
tion of the public. She has deliberately glorified 
passion as passion for years upon years. She has 
devoted a life to emphasizing the panther in the 
gentler sex. Admirably, too, has she played the 
charlatan. The secret of advertising has been hers. 
Her love-affairs have been the best sort of puffery 
for her. She has been a stupendous pretender to 
many things to mysticism, to scholarship, to 
political intrigue, even to virtue. She has multi- 



72 THE LAW OF LOVE 

plied her genius by her pretension until her fame 
has filled the Seven Climes. She has asserted her 
ego so insistently that, for her sake, all standards 
were abolished save those of her own making. 
She has been a queer admixture, as she has design 
edly projected herself upon her time, of the virago, 
the vestal and the vampire. She has been willful 
and wicked and winsome and wise, but always 
with the public in the tail of her eye <& She has 
been always opulent, in the way of her race, and 
yet parsimonious while spendthrift. She has had 
no respect for anything but the press. Her art 
why her art is nothing, but herself ^ She is 
supremely clever. She has always maintained in 
Paris a staff of friends who have been telling us 
this for so long that we must believe it & & & 
The Bernhardt has brains and, perhaps, some 
heart, though she calls a son an accident d 9 
amour ^ The Bernhardt has been the best bam- 
boozler of the public that her sex has produced. 
Well did Marie Colonibier characterize her when 
she christened her Sara Barnum, in a mythical 
biography, now forgotten. The people like to be 
fooled. Therefore Bernhardt fooled them. Years 



THELAWOFLOVE 73 

agone she had her photograph taken, sleeping in 
a coffin. She has claimed to be a painter. She even 
professes piety, Christian piety, tho in her heart 
the law of Moses has not been superseded. Yes; 
she hesitates not to affect the saintly, and at the 
same time when asked what she would suggest 
for an Eleventh Commandment, she said, with the 
weary air of one who had broken them all, " there 
are ten too many already." & & <& & & jt> 
Sara has been ever daring. Her daring has borne 
her to the heights of glory. She has never hesi 
tated to do that which boomed her. She even had 
Jean Richepin show the scratches she gave him 
in love-spats, to his friends in the Paris cafes. She 
had Richepin, her actual lover, appear upon the 
stage and act as a stage lover in Nana Sahib, 
when all Paris knew the standing of the pair and 
that the acting was the real thing * She has 
quarreled with everybody, and has made every 
quarrel count as an " ad." & She has defied the 
French government. She has even defied French 
critics who wanted more subsidy than she would 
or could disgorge .3* e^ /* j* *<******* 
Men who have sworn over their absinthe or bock 



74 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



that she was as ugly as sin have, within the hour, 
declared her more beautiful than Cypris * Men 
have said of her art that it was strop de cadavre 
juice of the corpse our " rotten " raised to the 
nth power and within the fortnight have written 
of her such raptures that the writers seemed evap 
orating in voluptuous ecstasies. Men professedly 
hating her have groveled at her feet. Men have 
loved her and were silent. All except Rochef ort, 
whose mot, when challenged by her son, is immor 
tal. She has been said to be the meanest of misers, 
and these who have said so have said at other 
times that she was benevolence incarnate ^ ** 
Votaress of Love, she has been accused of loving 
nobody but Love, and that Love, herself. She is 
an enigma. She has admitted this, but only to the 
extent of saying she is an enigma to herself & 
She says that in all her great roles she is at once 
the character portrayed and her own self. She 
professes to disdain effort in her effects, and yet 
she boasts that she works like a slave <& But the 
contrasts and antitheses in her character might be 
enumerated ad infinitum, and evermore the im 
pression would recur that these contrasts and 



THELAWOFLOVE 75 

contradictions are Bernhardt. You can t explain 
her *< She simply is, as Elbert Hubbard said of 
Shakespeare. You can not always tell what it is 
she does on the stage. You never can tell how she 
does it. Never have I seen her on the stage that I 
did n t think involuntarily of Pater s rhapsody 
over Da Vinci s Mono Lisa, or after the play was 
over, of the head of Medusa. There s an esoteric 
atmosphere of the macabre about her that seems 
revenant something that has come back to earth 
after seeing hidden things. You 11 note it in every 
thing she does, from Phaedre to L Aiglon, even 
in her Hamlet, in which she comes perilously close 
to burlesque. This little preter-human flavor about 
her is what has captured the world, that and the 
lithe orientalism, semitism of her, the something 
luscious that suggests to you the cedars of Leba 
non, the lips that drop of honeycomb. She is rapt 
in concern with her inscrutable self. Her voice 
it calls to you from strange waste places outside 
the world ^ It mumbles things deifying all that 
civilization now deems diabolic * At times, in 
passion, it is like the inarticulate cry of wild beasts. 
Again it is the sleep-speech of one satiate of passion 



76 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



yet restlessly dreaming of new, weird, immane 
amours &&&&&<&& 
She speaks to us of love, ever of love as the fun 
damental thing of life, but it is of that love that 
the world has worn itself sad trying to forget, the 
love that was the one thing in the pagan world, 
love that ignored soul, love that no one now dares 
write about but Pierre Louys. It is this absence of 
soul that makes her Reichstadt, like her Hamlet, 
uncannily unsatisfying to us. We are not pagans, 
like her adoring Parisians & & j* <&*,&<& 
But she is she, and we must accept her. Those who 
most strenuously deny her, thereby assert her. 
She is as new and as old as dawn *< She is the 
negation of herself and the affirmation of all 
blasphemies against her. She is the accomplice 
of the World, the Flesh and the Devil jfi She is 
Intellect and Passion intercorrupting each other 
and combining to cast a corpse-light over Art. 
She scorns the mob she caters to. She makes light 
of her own genius. She commercializes her ideal 
ism as grossly as if she were a money-lender. She 
idealizes her commercialism, as if she were Mark 
Hanna. She is great, but so confusedly polyhedric 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



77 



as to prevent complete conception of her person 
ality * She is tender and hard, wise and foolish, 
sincere and deceptive, a saint of sin and a sinner 
in the name of piety <&& 
She is a woman whose womanliness is huge, 
misshapen vast, without circumference, shifting- 
centered, elemental. She inspires at once rever 
ence, affection, terror. Ave Faustina Imperatrix! 



A GIPSY GENIUS 




N this world men are the only 
things worth while, and I 
propose to write briefly of 
a man who, though living in 
these our own so-called de 
generate days, would have 
found a perfect setting in 
"the spacious times of great 
Elizabeth." He would have been a worthy com 
panion of Raleigh, half -pirate & half -poet. He had 
in his time but one soul-kinsman, & that man was 
at once England s shame and glory, embalmed 
forever in the ominous word Khartoum & <& & 
Sir Richard Burton was the last of the English 
" gentlemen adventurers." He came late into the 
world, but he had in him the large, strong quali 
ties that have made the English masters of the 
world. He was a Gipsy Genius, though his utmost 
research could never find more clew to a Romany 
ancestry than the fact that there was a Gipsy 
family of the same name. He looked the Gipsy 
in every feature, and he had upon him such an 
urging restlessness as no man ever had, save 
perhaps the Wandering Jew. His life was an epic 
of thought, of investigation and of adventure. 
The track of his wanderings laced the globe. He 



82 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



loved "the antres vast and deserts idle/ and he 
had the flair, the hound-scent, as it were, to find 
the hearts of strange peoples & His "Life," by 
his wife, is the most interesting biography since 
that of Boswell, and strangely enough it is, like 
the famous Johnson, as interesting for its revela 
tion of the biographer as for its portrayal of the 
subject &&&&&&&&&&&& 
Burton s wife was the lovingest slave who ever 
wedded with an idol. The story of their courtship is 
ridiculous almost to the verge of tragic. As a girl, a 
Gipsy woman named Burton told Isabel Arundell 
that she would marry one of the palmist s name, 
would travel much, and receive much honor. One 
day at Boulogne she was on the ramparts with 
companions, when she saw Burton. She describes 
him rapturously; tall, thin, muscular, very dark 
hair, black, clearly-defined, sagacious eyebrows, 
a brown, weather-beaten complexion, straight 
Arab features, a determined looking mouth and 
chin & And then she quotes a clever friend s 
description, "that he had the brow of a god, the 
jaw of a devil." jfi & &&&&&&&& 
His eyes "pierced you through and through." 



THELAWOFLOVE sa 

When he smiled he did so " as though it hurt him." 
He had a "fierce, proud, melancholy expression," 
and he "looked with contempt at things generally." 
He stared at her, and his eyes looked her through 
and through. She turned to a friend, and said in 
a whisper, "That man will marry me." The next 
day they walked again. This time this man wrote 
on the wall, " May I speak to you ? " She picked 
up the chalk and scrawled, " No, mother will be 
angry." & A few days later they met in a formal 
manner and were introduced. She started at the 
name Burton. Her rhapsodies on the meeting are 
refreshing. One night he danced with her & She 
kept the sash and the gloves she wore that night 
as sacred mementos &&&&&&&& 
Six years passed before she saw her Fate again. 
He had been in the world though and she had 
kept track of his actions. In 1856 she met him in 
the Botanical Gardens, "walking with the gor 
geous creature of Boulogne then married." They 
talked of things, particularly of Disraeli s Tancred. 
He asked her if she came to the Gardens often. 
She said that she and her cousin came there every 
morning to study & He was there next morning, 



84 THELAWOFLOVE 

composing poetry to send to Monckton-Milnes. 
They walked and talked, and did it again and 
again. " I trod on air," wrote the lady in her old, 
old age. Why not ? She was one woman who had 
found a real hero *< He asked her if she could 
dream of giving up civilization, and of going to 
live there if he could obtain the Consulate of 
Damascus. He told her to think it over. She said, 
" I don t want to think it over I Ve been thinking 
it over for six years, ever since I first saw you at 
Boulogne on the ramparts. I have prayed for you 
every day, morning and night ^ I have followed 
all your career minutely. I have read every word 
you ever wrote, and I would rather have a crust 
and a tent with you than to be queen of all the 
world. And so I say now, yes, yes, yes." She lived 
up to this to the day of his death, & long after it. 
Q In 1859 she was thinking of becoming a Sister 
of Charity. She had not heard from Burton in a 
long time ** He had left her without much cere 
mony to search for the sources of the Nile with 
Speke. Speke had returned alone. Burton remained 
at Zanzibar, and she says, " I was very sore " be 
cause Burton according to report was not think- 



THELAWOFLOVE 



ing of coming home to his love, but of going for 
the source of the Nile once more. She called on 
a friend ^ The friend was out. She waited, and 
while waiting Burton popped in upon her. He had 
come to see the friend to get her address ^ Her 
description of the meeting is a pitifully exact re 
production of her emotions over the reunion. He 
was weakened by African fevers j* Her family, 
ardent Catholics, opposed the idea of marriage. 
The lovers used to meet in the Botanical Gardens 
whence she often had to escort him, fainting, to 
the house of sympathetic friends, in a cab ^ He 
was poor. He was out of favor with the govern 
ment. Speke had preempted all the honors of the 
expedition. But she was happy & & jfi & & 
Then, one day in April, 1860, she was walking 
with some friends, when "a tightening of the 
heart " came over her that " she had not known 
before." She went home and said to her sister, " I 
am not going to see Richard for some time." Her 
sister reassured her. "No, I shall not," she said. 
" I don t know what is the matter." A tap came at 
the door, and a note was put in her hand. Burton 
was off on a journey to Salt Lake City to investi- 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



gate Mormonism. He would be gone nine months, 
then he would come back to see if she would 
marry him. He returned about Christmas, 1860. 
In the latter part of January they were married, 
the details of the affair, being appropriately un 
conventional, not to say exciting jfi jfi & & j* 
The marriage was practically an elopement. Lady 
Burton s description of the event, & of every event 
in their lives ever after, discloses an idolatry of 
the man that was almost an insanity. She reveals 
herself a helpmate with no will but her husband s, 
no thought that was not for and of him *< She 
annihilated herself as an individuality, and she 
has left in her own papers a set of " Rules For a 
Wife," that will make many wives, who are re 
garded as models of devotion, smile contemptu 
ously at her. She was utterly happy in complete 
submission to his will /* She describes how she 
served him almost like an Indian squaw ** She 
packed his trunks, was his amanuensis, attended 
to the details of publishing his books, came or 
went as he bade, suffered long absence in silence, 
or accompanied him uncomplainingly on long 
journeys of exploration, was proud when he hyp- 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



87 



notized her for the amusement of his friends. 
Q One can but feel deeply sorry for her, for with 
all her servility, she was a woman of the finer 
order of mind. The pity of her worship grows as 
the reader of his life, and hers, realizes how little 
return in demonstrative affection she received as 
the reward of her vast and continuous lavishment 
of love. She strikes me in this as a strange blend 
of the comic and the tragic. The world neglected 
Burton. He almost deserved it; so great a sacri 
fice as his wife s consecration of her life to him 
would compensate for the loss of anything. You 
admire it ; but you catch yourself suspecting that 
this consecration must have been at times an 
awful bore to him. He was unfaithful to her, it is 
said, with ethnological intent, in all the tribes of 
the earth. He had no morals to speak of. He had 
no religion, having studied all. He was a pagan 
beyond redemption, though his wife maintained 
he was a Catholic ** Unfortunately for her his 
masterpiece refutes her overwhelmingly & & & 
He wrote the most remarkable poem of the last 
forty years, one that is to be classed only with 
Tennyson s In Memoriam, and the Rubaiyat of 



88 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



Omar Khayyam. By this poem, and probably by 
the revelation of the love he excited in one woman, 
he will live. This poem expresses himself and his 
conclusions after years spent in wandering, fight 
ing, studying languages, customs and religions. 
To understand the man and his poem we must 
understand what he did, and since the time of the 
Old Romance no man surpassed him in "deeds of 
derring-do." & He was a modern, a very modern 
Knight of the Round Table. He was the possessor 
of innumerable, abstruse and outlandish accom 
plishments. He was a scientist, a linguist, a poet, 
a geographer, a roughly clever diplomat, a fighter, 
a man with a polyhedric personality that caught 
and gave something from and to every one. And 
he died, dissatisfied, at Trieste, in 1890, at the 
age of sixty-nine, and Swinburne sang a dirge for 
him that was almost worth dying for && 
What he did is hard to condense into an article. 
I can do no more than skim over his career, and 
make out a feature here and there ^ He was an 
unstudious youth. He was not disciplined. He grew 
as he might, and he absorbed information at hap 
hazard from any book he found to his liking, or 



THELAWOFLOVE 89 

any man he met He went to Oxford after years 
in France, Italy and elsewhere, but he was a sort 
of intellectual Ishmael. He studied things not in 
the curriculum. He plunged into Arabic and Hin 
dustani, and was "rusticated.** He cared nothing 
for the classics, yet he left a redaction of Catullus 
that is a splendid exposition of that singer s fear 
ful corruption, and of his art withal. He entered 
the Indian Army, and he became so powerful, 
though a subordinate, that he was repressed. His 
superiors feared that in him they would find an 
other Clive or Hastings. Then he joined the Cath 
olic Church, but he joined many a Church there 
after to find its hidden meaning. He was trusted, 
to a limited extent, by Sir Charles Napier, and he 
so insinuated himself with the natives that he was 
one of them, and sharer of their mysterious pow 
ers. Kipling has pictured him, under the name of 
" Strickland," as an occultly powerful personage 
in several of his stories. He was close to the Sikh 
war, and in disguise he mingled with the hostile 
natives until he knew their very hearts. His pil 
grimage to Mecca was a feat that startled the 
world. He was the first "infidel " to kiss the Kaaba. 



90 THELAWOFLOVE 

To do this he had to become a Mohammedan, 
and to perform almost hourly minute ceremonials, 
in which, had he failed of perfection, he would 
have been torn to pieces. His book on this jour 
ney is a narration that displays the deadly cold 
quality of his courage, and, indeed, a stupendous 
consciencelessness in the interest of science. Next 
we find him in the Crimea in the thick of things, 
and always in trouble. He said that all his friends 
got into trouble, and Burton was usually "agin 
the government" It was after the Crimea that he 
met the lady who became his remarkable wife in 
the remarkable manner I have sketched. Then he 
went off to discover the sources of the Nile, and 
with Speke navigated Lake Tanganyika. He knew 
he had not discovered the source, and he wanted 
to try again, but he and Speke quarreled and 
pamphleteered against each other. Burton, defi 
cient in money, and in sycophancy, was discredited 
for a time, although now his name is immortal in 
geography as a pioneer of African travel & We 
have seen how he left his betrothed to study the 
Mormons, and he studied them more closely than 
his wife s book intimates, for she everything 



THELAWOFLOVE 91 

extenuated and ignored for her godlike Richard. 
Q After his experiences of marriage in Mormon- 
dom, undertaken it now seems in a desire to 
ascertain if polygamy were not better for him 
than monogamy, he returned to London and was 
married, despite the objections of Isabel Arun- 
dell s Catholic family. The lot of the couple was 
poverty, although now & then thoughtful friends 
invited them to visit, and they accepted to save 
money. After a long wait he was appointed Con 
sul at Fernando Po, on the West African Coast. 
This was a miserable place, but Burton made it 
lively; he disciplined the negroes, and he made 
the sea-captains fulfill their contracts under threat 
of guns & He went home, and then went back to 
Fernando Po, and undertook delicate dealings 
with the King of Dahomey, and explored the west 
coast efc He went to Ireland, but Ireland was too 
quiet for him, but he found that there were Bur 
tons there, which accounted to himself for much 
in himself. After that he went to Brazil as Consul 
at Santos, Sao Paulo, another " jump ing- of f" place. 
He explored. He found rubies, and he obtained 
a concession for a lead mine for others. He met 



92 THELAWOFLOVE 

there the Tichborne claimant, and invented a 
carbine pistol. He visited Argentina. All this time 
he was writing upon many things, or having his 
wife take his dictation. She went into the wilds, 
down into the mines, everywhere with him. Next 
he was transferred to Damascus, where his hon 
esty got him into trouble, & his wife s Catholicity 
aroused fierce sentiment against him *< He went 
into Syria, and he created consternation among 
the corrupt office-holders in Asia Minor. One can 
scarcely follow his career without dizziness. To 
oblige a friend who wanted a report on a mine, he 
went to Iceland, and came back to take the Consul 
ship at Trieste. He went back to India and into 
Egypt, & then returned to Trieste to die. He wrote 
pamphlets, monographs, letters and books about 
everything he saw and every place he visited. He 
had information exact and from the fountain head 
about innumerable things : religions, races, ruins, 
customs, languages, tribal genealogies, vices, geol 
ogy, archaeology, paleontology, botany, politics, 
morals, almost everything that was of human in 
terest and value, and besides all this, he was fa 
miliar with Chaucer s vocabulary, with recondite 



THELAWOFLOVE 93 

learning about Latin Colloquialisms, and read with 
avidity everything from the Confessions of Saint 
Augustine to the newspapers. He wrote a Book 
of the Sword that is the standard book on that im 
plement for the carving of the world. His transla 
tion of the Arabian Nights is a Titanic work, in 
valuable for its light upon Oriental folk-lore, and 
literal to a degree that will keep it forever a 
sealed book to the Young Person. His translation 
of Camoens is said to be a wonderful rendition of 
the spirit of the Portuguese Homer. His Catullus 
is familiar to students, but not edifying. He wrote a 
curious volume on Falconry in India, and a man 
ual of bayonet exercise & He collated a strange 
volume of African folk-lore. He translated several 
Brazilian tales & He translated Apuleius Golden 
Ass. And he had notes for a book on the Gipsies, 
on the Greek Anthology and Ausonius. The Bur 
ton bibliography looks like a catalogue of a small 
library. All the world knows about his book, The 
Scented Garden, which he translated from the 
Persian & which, after his death, his wife burned 
rather than permit the publication of its naked 
naturalism. It was in the same vein as his Arabian 



94 THELAWOFLOVE 

Nights & contained much curious comment upon 
many things that we Anglo-Saxons do not talk 
about save in medical society meetings and dog- 
Latin &J>J>jfi&&jfijfi&&&jfij* 
When such a man sat down to write a poem 
embodying his view of "The Higher Law," what 
could have been expected but a notable manu 
script? With his poem, the Kasidah, we shall 
now concern ourselves. It purports to be a trans 
lation from the Arabic of Haji Abu El Yezdi. Its 
style is like that of the Rubaiyat. It is crude but 
subtle. It is brutal in its anti-theism, and yet it has 
a certain tender grace of melancholy deeper than 
Omar s own. It is devoid of Omar s mysticism and 
epicureanism, and appallingly synthetic. It will 
not capture the sentimentalist, like the Rubaiyat, 
but when it shall be known it will divide honors 
with the now universally popular Persian poem. 
The Kasidah was written in 1853, and it is in its 
opening much like FitzGerald s Rubaiyat, though 
Burton never saw that gem of philosophy and 
song until eight years after. The Kasidah was not 
printed until 1880. It is difficult to interpret be 
cause it so clearly interprets itself. It must be read. 



THELAWOFLOVE 95 

It cannot be "explained." QThe Kasidah con 
sists of about three hundred couplets of remark 
able vigor in condensation %^ It reviews all the 
explanations of " the sorry scheme of things " that 
man has contrived, and it holds forth the writer s 
own view. He maintains that happiness & misery 
are equally divided and distributed in this world. 
Self-cultivation is, in his view, the sole, sufficient 
object of human life, with due regard for others. 
The affections, the sympathies and "the divine 
gift of Pity " are man s highest enjoyments. He 
advocates suspension of judgment with a proper 
suspicion of "facts, the idlest of superstitions." 
This is pure agnosticism & & & & & & & 
There runs all through the poem a sad note that 
heightens the courage with which the writer faces 
his own bleak conclusion, and " the tinkling of the 
camel s bell " is heard faint and far in the surge 
of his invective, or below the lowest deep of his 
despair. In Arabia Death rides a camel, instead of 
a white horse, as our Occidental myth has it, and 
"the camel s bell" is the music to which all life 
is attuned. Burton reverts from time to time to 
this terrifying tintinnabulation, but he blends it 



96 THELAWOFLOVE 

with the suggested glamour of evening, until the 
terror almost merges into tenderness. The recur 
rence of this minor chord in the savage sweep of 
Burton s protest against the irony of existence, 
is a fascination that the Kasidah has in common 
with every great poem of the world. The material 
ism of the book is peculiar in that it is Oriental, 
and Orientalism is peculiarly mystical. The verse 
is blunt, and almost coarse in places, but here 
and there are gentler touches, softer tones, that 
search out the sorrow at the heart of things. It is 
worthy, in its power, of the praise of Browning, 
Swinburne, Theodore Watts, Gerald Massey. It is 
Edward FitzGerald minus the vine and the rose 
and all Persian silkiness. The problem he sets out 
to solve, and he solves it by a "petitio principii," is 

Why must we meet, why must we part, why must we bear this yoke 

of Must, 
Without our leave or ask or given, by tyrant Fate on victim thrust ? 

Q The impermanence of things oppresses him, 
for he says in an adieu: 

haply some day we meet again ; 

Yet ne er the self -same men shall meet ; the years shall make us other 
men. 

He crams into one couplet after another, philos- 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



97 



ophy after philosophy, creed after creed, Stoic, 
Epicurean, Hebraic, Persian, Christian, and puts 
his finger on the flaw in them all. Man comes to 
life as to "the Feast unbid," and finds "the gor 
geous table spread with fair-seeming Sodom-fruit, 
with stones that bear the shape of bread." There 
is an echo of Koheleth in his contempt for the 
divinity of the body. It is unclean without, impure 
within The vanity of vanity is proclaimed with 
piteous indignation: 

And still the weaver plies his loom, whose warp and woof is wretched 

Man, 
Weaving the unpattern d, dark design, so dark we doubt it owns a 

plan. 

Dost not, O Maker, blush to hear, amid the storm of tears and blood, 
Men say Thy mercy made what is, and saw the made and said t was 

good? 

And then he sings : 

Cease, Man, to mourn, to weep, to wail ; enjoy thy shining hour of sun ; 
We dance along Death s icy brink, but is the dance less full of fun? 

In sweeping away the old philosophies and relig 
ions, he is at his best as a scorner, but he has " the 
scorn of scorn " and some of " the love of love " 
which Tennyson declares is the poet s dower. His 
lament for the Greek paganism runs: 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



And when at length, " Great Pan is dead," uprose the loud and dolor 
ous cry, 

A glamour withered on the ground, a splendour faded in the sky. 

Yea, Pan was dead, the Nazarene came and seized his seat beneath 
the sun, 

The votary of the Riddle-god, whose one is three, and three is one. 

*-*-*-X-#-fc###-3v-#-#-* 

Then the lank Arab, foul with sweat, the drainer of the camel s dug, 
Gorged with his leek-green lizard s meat, clad in his filthy rag and rug, 
Bore his fierce Allah o er his sands 

Where, he asks, are all the creeds and crowns 
and sceptres, " the holy grail of high Jamshid ? " 

Gone, gone where I and thou must go, borne by the winnowing wings 

of Death, 

The Horror brooding over life, and nearer brought with every breath. 
Their fame hath filled the Seven Climes, they rose and reigned, they 

fought and fell, 
As swells and swoons across the wold the tinkling of the Camel s bell. 

For him, " there is no good, there is no bad ; these 
be the whims of mortal will." They change with 
place, they shift with race. " Each vice has borne 
a Virtue s crown, all Good was banned as Sin or 
Crime." He takes up the history of the world, as we 
reconstruct it for the period before history, from 
geology, astronomy and other sciences. He accepts 
the murder ousness of all processes of lif e& change. 
All the cruelty of things " Builds up a world for 
better use; to general Good bends special 111." 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



99 



And thus the race of Being runs, till haply in the time to be 

Earth shifts her pole and Mushtari-men another falling star shall see: 

Shall see it fall and fade from sight, whence come, where gone no 

Thought can tell, 
Drink of yon mirage-stream and chase the tinkling of the camel s bell. 

Yet follow not the unwisdom path, cleave not to this and that disclaim; 
Believe in all that man believes ; here all and naught are both the 

same. 

Enough to think that Truth can be: come sit we where the roses glow, 
Indeed he knows not how to know who knows not also how to 

unknow. 

He denies the Soul and wants to know where it 
was when Man was a savage beast in primeval 
forests, what shape it had, what dwelling place, 
what part in nature s plan it played. " What men 
are pleased to call the Soul was in the hog and 
dog begun." &&&&&&&&&&& 

Life is a ladder infinite-stepped that hides its rungs from human eyes : 
Planted its foot in chaos-gloom, its head soars high above the skies. 

The evolution theory he applies to the develop 
ment of reason from instinct. He protests against 
the revulsion from materialism by saying that 
" the sordider the stuff, the cunninger the work 
man s hand," and therefore the Maker may have 
made the world from matter. He maintains that 
" the hands of Destiny ever deal, in fixed & equal 
parts, their shares of joy and sorrow, woe and 



100 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



weal " to all that breathe our upper air. The prob 
lem of predestination he holds in scorn ^< The 
unequality of life exists and " that settles it " for 
him. He accepts one bowl with scant delight, but 
he says " who drains the score must ne er expect 
to rue the headache in the morn." Disputing about 
creeds is " mumbling rotten bones." His creed is 
this: 

Do what thy manhood bids thee do, from none but self expect 

applause; 
He noblest lives and noblest dies who makes and keeps his self-made 

laws. 

All other Life is living Death, a world where none but Phantoms dwell, 
A breath, a wind, a sound, a voice, a tinkling of the Camel s bell. 

He appreciates to the full the hedonism of Omar, 
but he casts it aside as emptiness *& He tried the 
religion of pleasure and beauty. His rules of life 
are many & first is " eternal war with Ignorance." 
He says : " Thine ignorance of thine ignorance is 
thy fiercest foe, the deadliest bane." The Atom 
must fight the unequal fray against a myriad 
giants. The end is to " learn the noblest lore, to 
know that all we know is naught." Self-approval 
is enough reward ^ The whole duty of man is to 
himself, but he must " hold Humanity one man," 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



101 



and, looking back at what he was, determine not 
to be again that thing. "Abjure the Why and seek 
the How." The gods are silent & The indivisible 
puny Now in the length of infinite time is Man s 
all to make the best of & The law may have a 
giver; but let be, let be! 

This " I " may find a future life, a nobler copy of our own, 

Where every riddle shall be ree d, where every knowledge shall be 

known ; 
Where t will be man s to see the whole of what on Earth he sees a 

part; 
Where change shall ne er surcharge the thought ; nor hope deferred 

shall hurt the heart. 

But ! faded flower and fallen leaf no more shall deck the parent tree ; 
A man once dropt by Tree of Life, what hope of other life has he ? 
The shattered bowl shall know repair ; the riven lute shall sound once 

more; 

But who shall mend the clay of man, the stolen breath to man restore ? 
The shivered clock again shall strike, the broken reed shall pipe again : 
But we, we die and Death is one, the doom of brutes, the doom of 

men. 

Then if Nirvana round our life with nothingness, t is haply blest ; 
Thy toils and troubles, want and woe at length have won their 

guerdon Rest. 
Cease, Abdu, cease! Thy song is sung, nor think the gain the singer s 

prize, 

Till men hold ignorance deadly sin, till man deserves his title " Wise." 
In days to come, Days slow to dawn, when wisdom deigns to dwell 

with men, 
These echoes of a voice long stilled, haply shall wake responsive 

strain : 



102 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



Wend now thy way with brow serene, fear not thy humble tale 

to tell: 
The whispers of the Desert-wind ; the tinkling of the Camel s 

bell. 

So ends the song. The notes appended thereto by 
Burton are a demonstration of his learning and 
his polemic power. The poem is his life of quest, 
of struggle, of disappointment, coined into song 
more or less savage. It seems to me he overlooked 
one thing near to him that would have lighted 
the darkness of his view, while looking to Reason 
for balm for the wounds of existence. He ignored 
his wife s love which, silly and absurd as it seems 
at times, in the records she has left us, is a sweeter 
poem than this potent plaint and protest he has 
left us. He explored all lands but the one in which 
he lived unconsciously The Land of Tenderness. 
This is the pity of his life and it is also its indig 
nity. He was crueler than "the Cruelty of Things." 
He " threw away a pearl richer than all his tribe" 
a woman s heart. But how we argue in a circle! 
that he, with his fine vision, could not see this, 
is perhaps a justification of his poem s bitterness. 
Even her service went for naught, seeing it brought 
no return of love from its object & & j* & & 



THELAWOFLOVE 103 



Burton was a great man, though a failure < His 
wife s life was one continuous act of love for him 
that he ignored, and her life was a failure too, 
since her love never succeeded in making the 
world worship him as she did. Still, " the failures 
of some are infinities beyond the successes of 
others," and all success is failure in the end. Still, 
again, it is better to have loved in vain than never 
to have loved at all, and fine and bold and brave 
as was Richard Francis Burton, his wife, with her 
" strong power called weakness " was the greater 
of the two. She wrote no Kasidah of complaint, 
but suffered and was strong & & & & & & 



THE LAW OF LOVE 121 

Brichanteau a bum actor, and that he surely was, 
but not in his own opinion. *< The irony of the 
approval he received escaped him. At best he was 
a "hit" only in an out-of-the-way place, at Com- 
piegne * But to him the praise, the bravos, the 
compliments were as sweet as though he had won 
them at the Comedie Francaise. Sincere, pitiably 
sincere, as he was himself, he was blessed with 
the insanity of believing that he attained the height 
he craved, and that all around him were as sincere 
ashe^^^^^e^^e^^^^^^ 
Brichanteau s sally from besieged Paris, his cap 
ture by the beleaguers and his wild scheme to 
kidnap the German Emperor and enforce a rais 
ing of the siege these are all incidents which to 
be enjoyed, must be read in full ** His scheme 
failed, of course, but Brichanteau lived in a dream 
of immortality as France s savior, while the ridic 
ulous project occupied his fantastic mind. He had 
it all figured out like a play, the things he would 
do, the attitudes he would strike, the fine lines 
like those of Moliere or Hugo or Shakespeare, 
that he would say on this occasion or in that situa 
tion. The failure did not undeceive him. He felt 



122 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



that he would have accomplished his end, but for 
the capitulation * He had lived it to successful 
accomplishment in his dream anyhow, and it was 
one of his treasures of glory. Brichanteau could 
not conceive of a universe without himself as the 
heroic center thereof. How young his heart was; 
just like the boy who is the hero of each novel he 



The story of Brichanteau s trial as an actor at the 
Conservatory, when he first took to the stage, is 
a graphic picture of an important function in the 
artist-life of Paris * It is given with rare humor 
and irony and with a fine sense of pity for those 
who are mistaken in their estimate of their voca 
tion or of their abilities. Brichanteau had a tre 
mendous voice. He bawled before the judges. He 
could see that his teacher was jealous of his voice, 
and that made him roar the louder. You can hear 
the authorities of the Conservatory laughing at 
Brichanteau s fustian, but he could not. To him, 
they all recognized his greatness and conspired 
against him. He repeats their ironical compliments. 
He sees the tragic and the comic in all the other 
candidates and hits off either in most telling 



THELAWOFLOVE 123 

fashion, and this it is that really makes piteous his 
inability rightly to estimate himself. Now and then 
there drops into his recital a little note that finds 
your heart, as when he thinks on the day he gains 
only a "mention," that his parents are happier 
dead, that they do not witness his failure *< He 
could think of this even while he felt that his 
failure was due to jealousy on the part of his 
judges. His only comfort was little Jenny Valadon. 
They lived upon love in a garret. His career as a 
bad actor is recited in terrible detail, when you 
think of the heart-break in it all, which he con 
ceals beneath a sort of wistful humor * But he 
consoled himself. He had imaginary triumphs. He 
had been kings, heroes, geniuses, all the charac 
ters of great associations in the French drama. 
They were all real to him. The imaginary glories 
fattened him. They gilded his destitution. Truly 
comical as the delusion seems at times, one almost 
can cry for Brichanteau, ranting thro life under 
the impression that he was an unappreciated 
Talma, and all the crowd giggling inextinguisha 
bly at his immense voice and giving him jeering 
applause. That voice ! Little Jenny killed herself 



124 THELAWOFLOVE 

trying to act up to it. Brichanteau roared on the 
stage. She tore out her throat and lungs to equal 
him, for what he did was right, to her. They had 
to part, and whither she went before going to the 
grave, one may guess. Brichanteau mourned her 
as a sweet sacrifice to his voice, to Art & & & 
Of course Brichanteau admired the great Napo 
leon, as a true Frenchman <& His admiration for 
Napoleon was great, not only because Napoleon 
was a grand character, but because he had 
appeared in plays in which Napoleon was a char 
acter, and once or twice had played Napoleon 
himself. There is a fine scene in the book, in which 
our hero quarrels with another disappointed actor 
over Napoleon. The other old actor, Dauberval, 
denounced Napoleon as an enemy of art ^ The 
scene in which the two actors develop their quar 
rel is well contrived to show us Brichanteau s loy 
alty. He said that if Napoleon liked old tragedies 
and "stuff" it was not Napoleon s fault that Vic 
tor Hugo came later. Dauberval maintained that 
Napoleon was an idiot & Brichanteau leaves his 
house. " I am not a Bonapartist," he says, " but 
my heart remembers. So many recalls in that role, 



THELAWOFLOVE 125 

I, who had played Remond in L Empereur et le 
Soldat, say that Napoleon was an idiot? Wipe 
out my past at a single stroke ? " Brichanteau was 
Napoleon, the happy, old hallucinant & < & 
It was a great day when it came, the day for the 
casting of Montescure s statue of "The Roman 
Soldier/ or of Brichanteau, for had not the actor 
vowed that he and the sculptor should be immor 
talized in bronze at Garigat-sur-Garonne ? *< The 
town had agreed to purchase that work ^ The 
mayor had the idea that the event would bring 
a minister to the town for the dedication, and the 
minister would give the mayor the Cross of the 
Legion ** Montescure, who had asked for bread, 
was to be given a stone, like Butler, author of 
Hudibras. It was a great day, not only that Mon 
tescure was to be avenged, but because it was 
Sebastien Brichanteau they were going to cast. 
He knew that all present knew that the statue 
was he. He mused: "That metal, Brichanteau, is 
your image still in liquid form -> That bronze in 
fusion is your statue. That blazing stream is, per 
haps, your forehead; those bursts of flame are 
from your eyes." & An excellent Brocken scene, 



126 THELAWOFLOVE 

should he ever play Faust & What if the metal 
should give out ? ** He remembered Benvenuto 
Cellini in like case, for had he not played Ben 
venuto once ? He enacted the part of Cellini all 
over again. Ah, if he ever should play it again, 
what new meaning he would be able to put in 
the line, "Ah, if blood could be hardened into 
bronze ! " At last it is over. Brichanteau exclaims : 
" I was cast, like Cellini s Jupiter." ^ When the 
mold was broken he gazed upon himself & rhap 
sodized. Hope was high. He was to conquer Fate. 
But the statue never was dedicated. Brichanteau 
never heard himself apostrophized in the Roman. 
He had no chance to read a poem ** The statue 
remains in a shed. Still Brichanteau never des 
pairs. He will arrange a benefit to raise Monies- 
cure s disguised statue of Brichanteau in the bright 



Brichanteau s sketch of an actor s funeral is a 
marvel of what bitterness may underlie even the 
pathetic note in fun. The actor Panazol is buried 
with services at which what was to have been a 
eulogy turns out to be a criticism and a cruel one. 
An actor cannot speak unreserved praise of even 



THELAWOFLOVE 127 

a dead fellow mummer. Another actor arises to 
say something over the grave, forgets his memo 
rized speech and begins to declaim from a part 
he is then studying ^^^^^^^^^ 
We may pass over the glories of the old days, as 
Brichanteau remembers them, with all their roles. 
He goes to America, but is taken with cholera at 
Havana. He returns to France. He is getting old. 
He goes down hill, but the hunger of the ideal, 
the appetite for applause does not die ^ He still 
stood erect in his pride * He was, he declared, 
steadfast to art. " Even when you play subordi 
nate roles," said he to himself, " you play them in 
genuine theatres and in works of art * You will 
die with the drama, Brichanteau. You have and 
you will keep immaculate your self-esteem." He 
would not take a pension. He would not appear 
in a cafe chantant. But he became a starter for 
the bicycle races. He shouted "Go!" That grand 
voice had not lost its magnificence. "Go," he says. 
" You hear that note ? Go ! Yes, the voice still has 
its trumpet tone." & It is art even to start bicycle 
races. It is to be done with all one s soul. He shuts 
his eyes as he says " Go," sometimes, and imagines 



128 THELAWOFLOVE 

that he is giving the signal for an epic duel as in 
La Dame de Monsoreau. And he listens for the 
clash of swords, the resounding roar of applause. 
He starts by firing a pistol, and he breathes the 
powder of the old days. Then he tells the story of 
a tenor with a bad memory who, on his first night, 
being billed in the Huguenots, rushes on the stage 
and sings Robert le Diable. This tenor he knows 
well. He laughs at the tenor s idea that he was 
crushed by a conspiracy. & The tenor is now a 
policeman and he maintains that he performed a 
great feat in lyric art, did an immortal thing in 
giving a rendition of two of Myerbeer s operas 
at once. Brichanteau winks in his sleeve at the 
delusion, but he is certain that he was kept out 
of the Comedie Francaise by Beauvallet s jealousy 
of his voice & He sees the mote, not the beam. 
Q Old and still older he grows, more shabby- 
genteel, but with a knightly manner of leaning 
upon his umbrella, as if it were a rapier. There is 
sadness in his eyes. But he still remembers " The 
Roman Under the Yoke." That statue will yet be 
dedicated dedicated to the long dead sculptor 
and to Brichanteau, his model. He bestirs himself 



THELAWOFLOVE us 

Brichanteau s own words to get the exquisite fla 
vor of his actoresque self-appreciation & It is 
delicious in its serenity. His speech is essentially 
florid and ultra-theatrical & It reeks with stage 
mannerisms, and as M. Claretie reports it, you 
have no difficulty in filling in, from your own 
recollections of "the profesh," all the shabby 
gentility of the talker and all the mock elegance 
of his manner &&&& & & & < & 
Montescure s story, as he told it, is rehearsed by 
Brichanteau, from the time he was born in Gari- 
gat-sur-Garonne, until the grand event his meet 
ing with Brichanteau. The actor agrees to pose 
for the Roman, in the statue to which we have 
been introduced. He will do it without pay for 
" Art s sake." As he declares it, you realize that 
in his ridiculous sincerity there lingers a touch of 
the sublime. Brichanteau poses for the Roman. 
He tells us all the expression of greatness fallen 
he tried to put into his pose, and as he tells it 
with extravagant absurdity, he threads the rev 
elation of his own vanity with a touching descrip 
tion of the consumptive, half -starved sculptor at 
work, sustained only by the force of his dream 



114 THELAWOFLOVE 

that the completed sculpture will give him fame. 
The contrasted delusions of the two men make a 
powerful appeal to one s pity * The ridiculous, 
stilted speech in which the tale is told is peppered 
with sentences of rare beauty and insight, flashes 
of sure criticism, wit, humor, eloquence, graceful 
allusion. Brichanteau s talk is a generous stream 
of the wisdom of the fool. It is a marvel of prac 
tical sense pouring from the most impractical of 
mortals jf,^^^^^^^^>^^^ 
The sculptor is in love with the ingenue of Brich 
anteau s company it is a vain love that glorifies 
his vain life and vain ambition. When he played 
in the orchestra she made fun of him in the wings, 
saying his tunes " made eyes at her." Brichanteau 
pities the artist, sympathizes with his dream, sup 
ports him and dreams all the while to himself, that 
the famous " Roman under the Yoke" is to immor 
talize him, too. The actor sells his clothes to help 
the sculptor. He reads poetry to him, he confesses 
with shame, to put him to sleep. The sculptor dies 
murmuring & mumbling of " Glory" " the great 
mirage that leads us all on," says Brichanteau. 
The ingenue laughs, when invited to the funeral. 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



115 



The sculpture was sent to the Salon and put away 
in a corner where none could see it. Brichanteau 
took up a collection, bought a wreath and placed 
it on the statue ^ He declares his intention of 
having a statue set up in the sculptor s town, Gar- 
igat-sur-Garonne, of doing all in his power to real 
ize for Montescure posthumously, the dream of 
glory. He was chasing another chimera, a chimera 
created out of the goodness of Brichanteau s heart. 
Q Can t you imagine Brichanteau? No ? jt Well, 
take the figure of the typical actor in a Puck 
picture. Extract from it the vulgarity of the latter- 
day cartoonist and substitute a little dignity and 
pathos. Then you have Brichanteau, kind-hearted, 
tall, shiny as to coat-sleeves, smooth-shaven, de 
liberate in movement, pompous, grandiloquent. 
Fool that he is, still he is a hero, for he lives up 
to his ideals of art, of friendship, of personal 
worth, regardless of all the world. Generous sim 
pleton that he is, he forgives the world for not 
taking him at his own valuation ** He lives bolt 
upright, denying strenuously to himself that ver 
dict of the world written all over him van 
quished. All his story, as M. Claretie tells it, is a 



116 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



song for the vanquished. Q The incident of the 
lasso, in this story, is a bit of Gargantuan fun, 
broad, yet toned by an artist s true sense of re 
straint. It is a gorgeous example of the pathetic, 
of the anticlimactic effect of taking art too seri 
ously. The incident occurred at Perpignan, where 
Brichanteau found himself. It is one of his remi 
niscences, for it must be remembered Brichanteau, 
who deems himself a great actor, has reached the 
stage in his succession of failures, at which he is 
a starter of bicycle races. This book of M. Clare- 
tie s is the reminiscential monologue of a "crushed 
tragedian" on the last of his uppers, still satisfied 
of his own superiority, and content to start races 
because he knows he does it in the grand, inimi 
table manner. It is art to him. Well, at Perpignan 
Brichanteau was acting. One acts where one can. 
Even there, there were lovers of art. For them he 
acted, so what did he care ? The Perpignan Argus 
had an art critic; "the Jules Janin of Rivesaltes" 
he was called. The critic "roasted" Brichanteau, 
called him "a strolling player." Brichanteau was 
advised to make terms with the critic. Never ! He 
would not sue for mercy *< He recognized the 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



117 



critic s duty & But Brichanteau s portrait of the 
critic is admirable in its searching sarcasm. You 
have the motives of the French critic laid bare. 
This one was "practicing in the provinces," before 
going up to Paris, to terrorize the great ones of 
the stage. Brichanteau seeks out the critic, stares 
him in the face and passes on < The critic flays 
Brichanteau s acting in The Pirates of the Savane, 
tells him to " go be a vaquero in a circus and ply 
the lasso." Worst of all, the critic captures Brich 
anteau s sweetheart, Jeanne Horly, and leads her 
away to his rooms & This was one of the critic s 
perquisites. Women gave themselves to him for 
" nice notices." J.J.&&&&&&&& 
"The Jules Janin of Rivesaltes" "roasts" Brich 
anteau steadily, but, nevertheless, Brichanteau 
receives his wreath. He will not play in any the 
atre if the manager will not let him be presented 
with a wreath. Brichanteau carries his wreath with 
him. He writes the speeches with which it is pre 
sented. He eulogizes himself in the language of 
chastened reverence, through the lips of the girl 
who delivers the address. He is the priest of him 
self, apotheosizes himself. It is all done in a serious 



118 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



way, too, with just a little wistful laughter coining 
out now and then from under his heroics. What! 
The world will not recognize Brichanteau ? Very 
well. The world is a dolt. It does n t know art or 
artists < He recognizes and celebrates himself. 
This incident of the self -presented wreath is as 
funny as, and much finer in fun than, Smollett s 
Dinner of the Ancients, and yet has a secondary 
touch of pathos in the megalomania, of the man. 
As Brichanteau describes it, it is simply the acme 
of delicious self-deception. His speech to himself 
reminds one of Falstaf Ps praise of himself when 
he speaks as the King to the wild Prince Hal. It 
has not Sir John s unction, but it has an unction 
of its own, although it is rarer and along more 
ideal lines, all unconscious of sarcasm > <& & 
The critic assails the wreath-presentation. Brich 
anteau hunts him up and challenges him. Brich 
anteau, as the aggrieved person, chooses the lasso 
as his weapon & In a play called The Gaucho 
Brichanteau has a part in which he has occasion 
to apostrophize the lasso. He thunders the lines, 
lines of awful, yellow, dramatic toplof ticality, at 
the critic who watches the play in a box. Here is 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



119 



one of the lines: "I will use against thee the 
weapon of the peons and the Gauchos, vile wretch, 
and I will drag thee to my hacienda, hanging from 
my saddle like a strangled jaguar." The audience 
went wild. Brichanteau has scorned the critic and 
larruped him, metaphorically, with the lasso. The 
critic demanded an apology. Never! Brichanteau 
would have to fight. Very well, then, he would 
fight with the lasso. Of course the critic would 
not fight that way. His friends "posted" Brichan 
teau & & & jfi & & & &> jfi ^ & & & 
But Brichanteau was satisfied with himself. He 
had crushed the critic, who went to Paris and grew 
rich, deserting Brichanteau s sweetheart, Jeanne 
Horly. Contemplating the critic s success, later, in 
Paris, Brichanteau says, " All the same, had it not 
been for the lasso, the Jules Janin of Rivesaltes 
might have stayed down at Perpignan. It was I 
I, Brichanteau, who enriched Paris with him." He 
forgave his enemy, this hero of the mock heroic. 
Q Another farcical incident is the incident of the 
card-photograph. That is to say, it is farcical to 
the reader, but it makes you pity poor Brichan 
teau. It is just a little romance of his that turns 



120 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



out to make him riciculous. It is what we might 
call the story of an actor s "mash." & He gives 
his picture to a woman. He thinks she recognizes 
him for what he thinks he is and loves him. His 
capacity for idealization comes into play to build 
up around himself and "the English lady" a grand 
romance. She asks for his photograph. He dreams 
of a duel with her husband, and the end of his 
fancies is that he finds her husband regards the 
picture of the great Brichanteau as a mascot to 
enable him to "break the bank at Monte Carlo." 
Gamblers regard all " freaks " as mascots. What 
says Brichanteau to the farcical ending of his 
romance? Only this sentence of pathetic-humorous 
regret: "Although a fetich for him, I have never, 
alas, brought myself any luck." & & & & & 
There is a chapter devoted to Brichanteau s tri 
umph as Louis XL that is rich in sarcastic por 
trayal of the difficulties of provincial presentation. 
Of course, Brichanteau s triumph is a triumph 
solely to himself ** As he tells it, it is great ; but 
beyond him you can see and hear the crowd laugh 
ing at him for the way he " chewed up the scen 
ery." To-day and in this country we would call 



THELAWOFLOVE m 

Brichanteau a bum actor, and that he surely was, 
but not in his own opinion. *< The irony of the 
approval he received escaped him. At best he was 
a "hit" only in an out-of-the-way place, at Com- 
piegne < But to him the praise, the bravos, the 
compliments were as sweet as though he had won 
them at the Comedie Francaise. Sincere, pitiably 
sincere, as he was himself, he was blessed with 
the insanity of believing that he attained the height 
he craved, and that all around him were as sincere 

ashee^e^^e^^e^^e^^^^e^e^ 

Brichanteau s sally from besieged Paris, his cap 
ture by the beleaguers and his wild scheme to 
kidnap the German Emperor and enforce a rais 
ing of the siege these are all incidents which to 
be enjoyed, must be read in full *< His scheme 
failed, of course, but Brichanteau lived in a dream 
of immortality as France s savior, while the ridic 
ulous project occupied his fantastic mind. He had 
it all figured out like a play, the things he would 
do, the attitudes he would strike, the fine lines 
like those of Moliere or Hugo or Shakespeare, 
that he would say on this occasion or in that situa 
tion. The failure did not undecefve him. He felt 



122 THELAWOFLOVE 

that he would have accomplished his end, but for 
the capitulation /* He had lived it to successful 
accomplishment in his dream anyhow, and it was 
one of his treasures of glory. Brichanteau could 
not conceive of a universe without himself as the 
heroic center thereof. How young his heart was; 
just like the boy who is the hero of each novel he 
reads &&&&&&&&&&&&& 
The story of Brichanteau s trial as an actor at the 
Conservatory, when he first took to the stage, is 
a graphic picture of an important function in the 
artist-life of Paris & It is given with rare humor 
and irony and with a fine sense of pity for those 
who are mistaken in their estimate of their voca 
tion or of their abilities. Brichanteau had a tre 
mendous voice. He bawled before the judges. He 
could see that his teacher was jealous of his voice, 
and that made him roar the louder. You can hear 
the authorities of the Conservatory laughing at 
Brichanteau s fustian, but he could not. To him, 
they all recognized his greatness and conspired 
against him. He repeats their ironical compliments. 
He sees the tragic and the comic in all the other 
candidates and hits off either in most telling 



THELAWOFLOVE 123 

fashion, and this it is that really makes piteous his 
inability rightly to estimate himself. Now and then 
there drops into his recital a little note that finds 
your heart, as when he thinks on the day he gains 
only a "mention," that his parents are happier 
dead, that they do not witness his failure ** He 
could think of this even while he felt that his 
failure was due to jealousy on the part of his 
judges. His only comfort was little Jenny Valadon. 
They lived upon love in a garret. His career as a 
bad actor is recited in terrible detail, when you 
think of the heart-break in it all, which he con 
ceals beneath a sort of wistful humor <& But he 
consoled himself. He had imaginary triumphs. He 
had been kings, heroes, geniuses, all the charac 
ters of great associations in the French drama. 
They were all real to him. The imaginary glories 
fattened him. They gilded his destitution. Truly 
comical as the delusion seems at times, one almost 
can cry for Brichanteau, ranting thro life under 
the impression that he was an unappreciated 
Talma, and all the crowd giggling inextinguisha 
bly at his immense voice and giving him jeering 
applause. That voice ! Little Jenny killed herself 



124 THELAWOFLOVE 

trying to act up to it. Brichanteau roared on the 
stage. She tore out her throat and lungs to equal 
him, for what he did was right, to her. They had 
to part, and whither she went befpre going to the 
grave, one may guess. Brichanteau mourned her 
as a sweet sacrifice to his voice, to Art ^ ** * 
Of course Brichanteau admired the great Napo 
leon, as a true Frenchman ** His admiration for 
Napoleon was great, not only because Napoleon 
was a grand character, but because he had 
appeared in plays in which Napoleon was a char 
acter, and once or twice had played Napoleon 
himself. There is a fine scene in the book, in which 
our hero quarrels with another disappointed actor 
over Napoleon. The other old actor, Dauberval, 
denounced Napoleon as an enemy of art & The 
scene in which the two actors develop their quar 
rel is well contrived to show us Brichanteau s loy 
alty. He said that if Napoleon liked old tragedies 
and " stuff " it was not Napoleon s fault that Vic 
tor Hugo came later. Dauberval maintained that 
Napoleon was an idiot w* Brichanteau leaves his 
house. " I am not a Bonapartist," he says, " but 
my heart remembers. So many recalls in that role, 



THELAWOFLOVE 125 

I, who had played Remond in L Empereur et le 
Soldat, say that Napoleon was an idiot? Wipe 
out my past at a single stroke ? " Brichanteau was 
Napoleon, the happy, old hallucinant ^ & & 
It was a great day when it came, the day for the 
casting of Montescure s statue of "The Roman 
Soldier," or of Brichanteau, for had not the actor 
vowed that he and the sculptor should be immor 
talized in bronze at Garigat-sur-Garonne ? *< The 
town had agreed to purchase that work J> The 
mayor had the idea that the event would bring 
a minister to the town for the dedication, and the 
minister would give the mayor the Cross of the 
Legion & Montescure, who had asked for bread, 
was to be given a stone, like Butler, author of 
Hudibras. It was a great day, not only that Mon 
tescure was to be avenged, but because it was 
Sebastien Brichanteau they were going to cast. 
He knew that all present knew that the statue 
was he. He mused: "That metal, Brichanteau, is 
your image still in liquid form *< That bronze in 
fusion is your statue. That blazing stream is, per 
haps, your forehead; those bursts of flame are 
from your eyes." An excellent Brocken scene, 



126 THELAWOFLOVE 

should he ever play Faust & What if the metal 
should give out ? & He remembered Benvenuto 
Cellini in like case, for had he not played Ben 
venuto once ? He enacted the part of Cellini all 
over again. Ah, if he ever should play it again, 
what new meaning he would be able to put in 
the line, "Ah, if blood could be hardened into 
bronze ! " At last it is over. Brichanteau exclaims : 
" I was cast, like Cellini s Jupiter." & When the 
mold was broken he gazed upon himself & rhap 
sodized. Hope was high. He was to conquer Fate. 
But the statue never was dedicated. Brichanteau 
never heard himself apostrophized in the Roman. 
He had no chance to read a poem <& The statue 
remains in a shed. Still Brichanteau never des 
pairs. He will arrange a benefit to raise Montes- 
cure s disguised statue of Brichanteau in the bright 
sunlight & &< & & & & & & & > 
Brichanteau s sketch of an actor s funeral is a 
marvel of what bitterness may underlie even the 
pathetic note in fun. The actor Panazol is buried 
with services at which what was to have been a 
eulogy turns out to be a criticism and a cruel one. 
An actor cannot speak unreserved praise of even 



THELAWOFLOVE 127 

a dead fellow mummer. Another actor arises to 
say something over the grave, forgets his memo 
rized speech and begins to declaim from a part 
he is then studying ^jfi^^jfi^jfi^Ji 
We may pass over the glories of the old days, as 
Brichanteau remembers them, with all their roles. 
He goes to America, but is taken with cholera at 
Havana. He returns to France. He is getting old. 
He goes down hill, but the hunger of the ideal, 
the appetite for applause does not die ^ He still 
stood erect in his pride * He was, he declared, 
steadfast to art. " Even when you play subordi 
nate roles," said he to himself, " you play them in 
genuine theatres and in works of art *< You will 
die with the drama, Brichanteau. You have and 
you will keep immaculate your self-esteem." He 
would not take a pension. He would not appear 
in a cafe chantant. But he became a starter for 
the bicycle races. He shouted "Go!" That grand 
voice had not lost its magnificence. "Go," he says. 
" You hear that note ? Go ! Yes, the voice still has 
its trumpet tone." & It is art even to start bicycle 
races. It is to be done with all one s soul. He shuts 
his eyes as he says " Go," sometimes, and imagines 



128 THELAWOFLOVE 

that he is giving the signal for an epic duel as in 
La Dame de Monsoreau. And he listens for the 
clash of swords, the resounding roar of applause. 
He starts by firing a pistol, and he breathes the 
powder of the old days. Then he tells the story of 
a tenor with a bad memory who, on his first night, 
being billed in the Huguenots, rushes on the stage 
and sings Robert le Diable. This tenor he knows 
well. He laughs at the tenor s idea that he was 
crushed by a conspiracy. ^ The tenor is now a 
policeman and he maintains that he performed a 
great feat in lyric art, did an immortal thing in 
giving a rendition of two of Myerbeer s operas 
at once. Brichanteau winks in his sleeve at the 
delusion, but he is certain that he was kept out 
of the Comedie Francaise by Beauvallet s jealousy 
of his voice & He sees the mote, not the beam. 
Q Old and still older he grows, more shabby- 
genteel, but with a knightly manner of leaning 
upon his umbrella, as if it were a rapier. There is 
sadness in his eyes. But he still remembers " The 
Roman Under the Yoke." That statue will yet be 
dedicated dedicated to the long dead sculptor 
and to Brichanteau, his model. He bestirs himself 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



129 



for that end. He will arrange a benefit. He finds 
an old sweetheart in a madhouse. She does not 
know him. She has forgotten the old days. They 
had been happy together, he and the grisette, 
who was the victim of a drunken husband. He 
rehearses her story. The woman had loved him. 
She had sworn by her father s head that she never 
loved but one being in the world, himself & He 
would add his sweetheart s name to the benefit 
program <& He would raise funds to dedicate 
the statue and to keep her in tobacco and a few 
delicacies. He tells of his petitioning the great, 
climbing the staircases of the successful actors. He 
describes their willingness to aid, and incidentally, 
their vanity and mercenariness. T is a pretty yet 
a sad tale of devotion. The benefit is arranged; he 
has secured a lot of great names. The day arrives. 
The audience gathers. The owners of the great 
names withdraw. They will not appear with cer 
tain other successes ^ They will not come after 
rivals on the bill. Brichanteau undertakes to take 
the places of them all. Such a performance! He 
is the Proteus of the evening & But the affair is 
not a success. He has not made any money for 



130 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



the statue or for his old love s easement in her 
madhouse. He is in despair. An old actor friend 
appears. It is Lanteclave. He has a pension. He 
will contribute to the benefit performance, for 
his pension comes from the " Association of Ar 
tists/ which Brichanteau never would join. Lant 
eclave will do this for Montescure s statue and 
for Virginie, for our Virginie & > jfi *& & jfi 
"Our" was the word. Lanteclave recalls Lyons, 
of the old days, when he was in the company with 
Brichanteau and Virginie, who had sworn on her 
father s head that she never loved any one but 
Brichanteau. "Yes, yes, yes," says Brichanteau. 
Q " Do you remember that, sometimes, when you 
were waiting for the mistress over Perrache Way, 
she told you she had a tooth to be looked after 
and that she had been detained by the dentist ? " 
Q" Do I remember?" 

" Look you, Brichanteau, she no more had a tooth 
to be attended to than you had. The dentist, my 
dear boy, the dentist " 
"Was you?" 

"Another illusion swept away." Says Brichanteau: 
" He had the good taste to assure me that Vir- 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



131 



ginie passed her sessions with him protesting that 
she adored me, and that she did not know why 
she deceived me. Perhaps it was because Lante- 
clave sang Beranger s songs extremely well." & 
Brichanteau held music an inferior art to acting. 
He admitted it seemed a bitter thing to have 
climbed so many staircases, and to have played 
"Le Beneficiare" without prof it, to find that "the 
last little rosy dream was a soap-bubble, which 
burst like the others." This is the end. He aban 
dons the statue, leaves himself to be tossed about 
as old metal in the foundry. His illusions were 
with his youth, in the ash-heap. The bicycle races 
would give him bread &&&&&&&J 
Illusions, all Love, Glory, Art! Poor Brichanteau! 
And yet not poor either. He had possessed them 
all in his dreams </* He had had them in and of 
himself. Are not the illusions of all of us the only 
realities ? Are they not better, to those of us who 
have such illusions, than the realities of others ? 
Only the ideal is eternal, untouched by the cor 
ruption that is in the clay, and only to be found, 
if at all, when we are gathered to the bosom of 
"just and mighty Death." & Only our dreams, if 



132 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



anything, come true & They are ours, ours only 
while we have them. Awakening cannot rob us 
of them. Brichanteau s dreams were true. Only 
the realities on which they were built were false 
and faded away. Why should we pity him after 
all ? < Were it not better that we should emulate 
him ? He dreamed dreams that transmuted all his 
dross to gold, changed the cup of gall to wine, 
ennobled even his own pettinesses, brightened 
and touched to charity all about him. The world 
did not come up to his conception. So much the 
worse for the world. Come, let us dream ! ^ ^ 



A GOLDEN BOOK 




UL & sense are not wholly 
separate. The world, under 
the spell of a vicious asceti 
cism, has been used to re 
gard the two as not only sep 
arate but antagonistic. The 
spirituality of the sensuous 
is the saner part of the mes 
sage of that movement in letters which has been 
called the Decadence &&&&&& 
We Anglo-Saxons are too much enamored of the 
evident, too much content with the direct. In our 
materiality we are, even in our ideals of art, some 
what coarse. We have not that flair for the subtle 
suggestions that lie behind things which charac 
terize the Latins. We are too much devoted to 
action, which, Frederick Amiel has declared, is, 
at its best, only coarsened thought. We put more 
energy into life. We do not get so much out of it. 
This is because we do not cultivate the senses to 
that acuteness and sensitiveness which, so to 
speak, enables the eye to apprehend the invisible, 
the ear to encompass the inaudible, and all the 
sensory organs to contribute pleasure through 
emotions that are almost as vague as premoni 
tions. Our souls can only be found with a club, 



136 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



when our hearts should be reached with a stab 
of a shaft of perfume, or our spirits lifted by an 
appeal of color, or the mind s eye opened to the 
greater glories in the shapeliness of sound and 

itS hueS e^^e^^e^^e^^^^e^^ 

We have exalted the soul too much, through a 
misconception of it. It is nothing without the body. 
The body gives the soul its form and effect; its 
character. It is the body, really, which makes for 
individuality. It is the body which variegates the 
soul to the world s eye, just as Shelley says, "Life, 
like a dome of many-colored glass, stains the white 
radiance of Eternity." & The body is an equally 
integral part of man with the soul, equally divine. 
It is as much the care of the Infinite, according 
to Christianity ; else why the doctrine of the res 
urrection of the flesh ? Through the body the soul 
makes itself manifest. Without the body the soul 
is unknown. It may exist apart, but what eye hath 
seen or ear heard it ? It may exist as " the raw 
material," but the body is the stamp with which 
it is coined by the Creator > & & J> & & & 
The senses are of the body. They are the body s 
response in thought & feeling to physical impacts 



THELAWOFLOVE 137 

and contacts. They are, thus, very material. They 
are the result of resisted motion, vibrations of 
light, of sound, the impinging of molecules upon 
tongue or nasal membrane. They are the seat of 
the soul. They are the means whereby we learn, 
and by comparison of their operations we reason. 
The senses are the ingredients of every emotion 
and the core of every thought. The soul is spread 
all over the body, just as the body is one vast 
brain by reason of the nerves. The body is the 
life & The soul why, it cannot dream but its 
fancies are regulated by the operation of forces 
in the body &&&&&&&&&&& 
The sensuous is the beautiful, always, everywhere. 
There is no rapture so pure but it has to be trans 
lated for expression into the terms of the senses. 
There is nothing in life that is not, when resolved 
into essentials, bodily. The soul is only the body s 
highest function, the focus of all the senses. There 
is, so far as we know, no life when all of the 
senses are dead. The cases of Laura Bridgman 
and Helen Keller do not tend to the disproving 
of this proposition. The "missing senses" in those 
persons are not missing; they are concentrated in 



138 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



other senses < Five senses may center, as in the 
case of the latter girl, in one. The senses are, it 
may be presumed, one. Touch is a lower sight, 
sight a swifter hearing, smell a modification of 
touch, and hearing and taste the same. There is 
a strong probability that light and sound and heat 
are the same force. There is a probability, equally 
strong, that the senses are but the soul diffused 
in different parts of the body ^ ^ j* ^ <& < 
And why should such a gospel and its preachers 
be anathema? Did not God take upon Himself, 
without derogation, a body? If He became Man, 
the Divine experiment would have been a failure 
if He became not a complete man; if He did not 
feel all that man feels and catch the tinge of the 
bodily envelope, if He knew not all the ecstasies 
of the flesh, which we have been taught to call 
sin, as well as the pain of death & & <& ^ & 
To the English-speaking world this gospel of the 
divinity of the body has always worn an aspect 
of blasphemy. The Epicurean doctrine has been 
enormously misunderstood as being a philosophy 
of the pig-sty. The regard for the senses has been 
held to be purely debasing in every respect, and 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



139 



the very word hedonism has come to mean name 
less things. This doctrine of pleasure has suffered 
to a vast degree by reason of the fact that the 
last most conspicuous hedonist, or, rather, pro 
fessor of hedonism, was most colossally disgraced. 
There is, however, nothing in common between 
the philosophic Epicureanism and the unspeakable 
corruption that corruscated, like the rotting mack 
erel in the moonlight, in that ghastly romance, 
"The Picture of Dorian Gray." True Epicureanism 
teaches only a sane enjoyment of the senses, co 
ordinating them all into a great reasonableness. 
The senses, or, if you will, the passions, are not 
wholly evil : not the veriest Puritan will claim that 
much & The senses are to be enjoyed, not solely 
for their exercise, but they are to be blended and 
at the same time held in restraint, the reason 
mastering their exercise and utilizing them in the 
interpretation of the world, and in obtaining a 
calm grasp of the fullness of life, so far as may 
be, for the purpose of making the highest use of 
life. It may be pointed out that Herbert Spencer 
is himself much of an Epicurean, much of an 
hedonist, much of a materialist in many ways, 



140 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



and yet no one in the pursuit of happiness, accord 
ing to the Spencerian idea, has, by virtue of that 
method, become fastened in the quagmire of the 
corruption of the flesh. The senses are the media 
for the enjoyment of pleasure. Happiness is the 
end of existence & The attainment of happiness, 
while keeping rational control of the media of 
pleasurable perception, so that our attainment 
may not inflict discomfort or pain upon others, is 
the Spencerian ideal of life s object, very broadly 
stated, of course &&&&&& 
The modern idea of the Epicurean doctrine is a 
very wrong one. It has been held to be a philoso 
phy of sensuality, whereas, in fact, it is a philosophy 
only of the highest utilization of the sensuous. If 
the doctrine were ever set forth more effectively, 
even by Epicurus himself, than by the late Walter 
Pater, the world knows not the name of the ex 
pounder. The books of Walter Pater are a treasury 
of the cultus of the sensuous. They are volumes 
that feed one with a craving for more. They are 
maddeningly Barmecidal. Such sincere prose no 
one in these later days not even Stevenson has 
written. Its impeccability is reproachful. It mocks 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



141 



the yearning for utterance ** It says things that 
are not in the mere words of his pen. His thought 
is conveyed along his sentences as mysteriously 
and invisibly as a message is conducted by a tele 
graph wire. One knows not if the communication 
proceeds through the core or if it plays around 
the surface *< He is not easily understood of the 
many he thinks so finely and with such precision; 
but to read him is to know the eloquence of 
speech just hovering on silence, to catch hints of 
the inexpressible in expression & His best book, 
illustrating his refined stylism and expounding 
his calmly sensuous philosophy, developing even 
tually into a tender and an exalted spirituality, is 
Marias, the Epicurean. It is the soul-story of a 
man whose soul was his senses * It is a pagan 
book, but it most soothingly allures one, by the 
very pagan beauty of it, into a purely sensuous or 
sentimental sympathy with Christianity *><*< 
The development of a Roman youth of gentle 
sentiment is traced, in this book, with an exqui- 
siteness of depiction that is almost morbid in 
restraint <& It seems that sanity would not be 
patient enough to carve and polish, and select, 



142 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



and chase, and tint words into exact conveyance 
of thought and shades of thought and feeling as 
Pater has done. Even the punctuation marks are 
palpably part of the art, have a significance be 
yond the ordinary, an importance as of notes in 
music. Now the language is like music, now like 
mosaic ; again like running water or smiles, and 
again like the play of firelight in a room at twi 
light. The language holds in solution, as it were, 
the effects of all the arts < The man paints and 
prays, and sings and sobs with his pen. At times 
he can almost convey the color of an idea and 
the form of a taste. To him words seem to have 
values that compel their adjustment in relation 
ship to one another in such wise, that no one may 
be displaced without damage to the meaning. 
Reading Pater one is reminded that there is a 
mysterious spell in words quite independent of 
their meaning, and they are being continually 
manipulated by this master so as to produce the 
effects of painting and of music ^ In this novel, 
though now and then the author speaks from the 
view-point of a man of this day, the atmosphere 
of the book is that of the olden time. The reader 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



143 



sees the world far, far away. The very sunshine 
upon it seems old < You see Rome through the 
eyes of a philosopher " fighting dim battles in a 
doubtful land " his own soul and the life of the 
then world appeals to you with a distant sadness 
of beauty as if seen from the quiet Garden of 
Proserpine. The material world is there, but it is 
the world of sensations and ideas of the time of 
Marcus Aurelius that is most in evidence. "The 
grandeur that was Rome " is lost sight of in the 
powerful appeal of the struggle of one man s 
mind and heart and soul to reconcile it all to some 
reasonable explanation for the world s existence. 
We see Rome through a singularly impressive 
temperament and with the eyes of a man upon a 
sentimental soul-journey in a world that is beau 
tiful to his senses, but, at the beginning, meaning 
less to his intelligence. In the main the life of the 
hero of this tale is a life not of action * It is the 
life of a man naturally and preferably pure in a 
time of flagrant art Marius is a " man of feel 
ing," a fine instrument upon which every aspect 
of the world causes to be played some melody, 
always of a minor strain. Marius is compact of 



144 THE 

nothing but sensations and ideas * He thinks 
almost wholly in the feelings, lives in them almost 
exclusively, but this sensuousness of him one 
soon perceives to be soulful to the last degree. 
He wishes to find the secret of the beauty and 
the glory and the sadness of that beauty and that 
glory of the world. Indeed, one realizes for the 
first time in reading this novel, what a pity must 
have underlain all that frank joyousness of the 
pagan world of which we have heard so much, 
at least to the men of culture who turned from 
the fantastic mythological explanations of things, 
accepted readily enough by the common herd, 
and sought for the heart of the mystery in the 
philosophies then current * The old order was 
changing, changing incomprehensibly. The old 
systems of thought were being found incapable 
of satisfying certain yearnings for which there 
was no gratification in the life of the period. It 
was a period of transition. The influences making 
for change were almost wholly indistinguishable. 
The world was wearisome even in its beauty that 
passed away, and from which man passed away, 
without any definite hope or any definite dread, 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



145 



but with only a regret that how much soever he 
had enjoyed the spectacle, or the making of the 
spectacle for others, the grave was the end of all. 
The world was disillusioned. The learned believed 
nothing but what they felt and saw. The intellec 
tuals held by a sort of melancholy atheism, but 
their sentiment for the beauty and the mystery 
of the scene of which they were a part prevented 
them from lapsing into an anti-theism. Christian 
ity was a despised sect. Its professors were bar 
barians and slaves. Its rites were foul and mur 
derous. Its doctrines meant the overthrow of the 
State. It was said that the professors of the new 
religion were the votaries of hideous vices. Even 
the good Marcus Aurelius persecuted them, and 
Rome wondered at their fanaticism, which scorned 
death and even sought it, and at the miracles 
performed by the blood and bones of those of 
their number who had been slain for their belief. 
Of such people, habitants of noisome places, un 
clean in mind and body, the great world of Rome 
knew and cared nothing. The new creed would 
be stamped out in a short time. It never dawned 
upon persons of the rank of Marius that this new, 



146 THELAWOFLOVE 

mad, unintelligible cult was the new order to 
which the ferment of transition in their own po- 
etico-philanthropic minds and weary hearts was 
irresistibly tending < The Roman world scarcely 
gave second thought to this new creed, or if it 
did, it was only to laugh at it, when the fashiona 
bles were not enjoying the spectacle of the fol 
lowers of the crucified Jew being thrown to the 
lions. Of this sect Marius, born in the country, 
had no knowledge ataIljtJ*j*j*j*j*j* 
The picture of the rural youth of Marius, of his 
susceptibility to the beauty, the pathos, the hint of 
something lovely but unsatisfying, coming from 
" beyond the flaming ramparts of the world," in 
common things no less than in the forms of " the 
religion of Numa," is a triumph of the presenta 
tion of subjective moods. Perhaps Pater is anach 
ronistic in endowing Marius with such acute sen 
sibility to nature as here shown, for love of nature 
is a modern development, but the anachronism 
may be suffered to pass in consideration of its 
artistic truth. The sense of Marius removal from 
his time is suggested so powerfully that the very 
sunshine of the days in which he lived seems 



LOVE 147 

shining on the page with some special, ancient, 
archaic quality of light. The growth of the boy 
into the man and of the desire for beauty, which 
was gratified and yet not gratified in the life and 
the visible, tangible world about him, the slow 
growth of pity into piety after his mother s death, 
the development of a certain strong, sane scrupu 
lousness of thought and conduct into a sort of 
wistful elegance, the beginning of his first friend 
ship with Flavian, who might be characterized as 
an immeasurably idealized predecessor of Steer- 
forth, who introduces him to Roman life and rep 
resented at once " the depth of its corruption and 
its perfection of form" all these things are 
shown with a touch of magically sympathetic 
feeling expressed in rare preciosity of style. It is 
Flavian who leads Marius to read Apuleius book, 
The Ass, and incidental to the interpretation of 
the meaning of that exquisite and yet grotesque 
first novel there is a translation by Pater of The 
Story of Cupid and Psyche, that has already been 
enrolled among "the little classics" of the English 
language. Following upon a calmly eloquent crit 
icism of the euphuism of the time, its literary, 



148 THELAWOFLOVE 

sophistic, artistic dandyism, and the descriptions 
of some perfect days on the water, comes "the 
pagan end" of Flavian, dying of a fever The 
dumb courage and despair of the young exqui 
site s passing, his struggle "to arrest this or that 
little drop, at least, from the river of sensuous 
imagery rushing so quickly past him," and the 
impressions of the incidents of dying upon Marius, 
are fine with a fineness beyond any mere real 
ism. "Is it a comfort," whispered Marius, "that I 
shall often come and weep over you ?" "Not un 
less I be aware and hear you weeping." & & & 
There are more vivid descriptions of Rome than 
that which Pater gives in the chapter in which he 
brings Marius to the then " most religious city of 
the world," but there is no other description 
which conveys the soul of that city, concerned 
apparently with only grandeur and form and the 
carnality of pleasure, but ever and always suf 
fused with a sadness that it could not explain. It 
is here that Pater introduces that Discourse of 
Marcus Aurelius, a condensation of the famous 
Meditations, which contains all that reason may 
say in protest against the vanity of all things. 



THELAWOFLOVE 149 

Here, too, Pater analyzes the Roman amusements 
as they appealed or failed to appeal to Marius, 
and gives an inkling of the beginning of a reali 
zation in the world that there was something to 
offend the finer spirit in mere brutality and re- 
gardlessness of pain. It was under Marcus Aure- 
lius, as Pater has it, that civilization, disappointed 
deeply in the quest of happiness through the 
mind, began to find its heart and to develop a 
rudimentary charity it had never known before. 
And this had happened coincidentally with another 
tendency of the time, presented by Pater in a 
raref iedly analytical account of the stoicism of the 
Roman court, a stoicism that had grown into a 
delicate dilletante culture and was finally lapsing 
into a perfunctory formalism & coldness of heart 
in practice and into mere rhetoric in expression. 
There are little patches of transcript from actual 
life, quite casually introduced, to relieve the 
burden of tenuously discursive philosophizing. 
All these thoughts and things, these sensations 
and ideas, experienced, observed and resolved 
in the mind of Marius are interpreted by Pater 
with a peculiarly precise and curious felicity and 



150 THELAWOFLOVE 

with a truly marvelous capacity for identifica 
tion of himself with the thought and fitting him 
self to the environment of old time. Marius, think 
ing, as one might say, with his sympathies, and 
with those sympathies repelled by every philoso 
phy that he knew, comes at last to the apprehen 
sion of the Great Ideal. He conceived the unre 
ality of the things about him, unless they were 
interpreted by something beyond and without the 
material, and grasped the full significance of the 
hint that something had been missing hitherto in 
his enjoyments and even in his sorrows & & & 
Q How, finally, Marius, skeptic, yet believing, 
comes into contact with the Christians and their 
philosophy and their ceremonies, and how, grad 
ually, the meaning of Christian love and the fer 
vency of Christian hope come to fill up for him 
the empty, unsatisfying spaces in the rationally 
beautiful philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, we must 
leave to the reader to find out, warning him, how 
ever, that to the man looking only for a story, this 
philosophical novel must be the most egregious 
of disappointments. Without subscribing to any 
of the Christian beliefs, but simply observing them 



THELAWOFLOVE isi 

and their influences upon those who held them, 
Marius grew to find a certain satisfaction in them. 
He rises absolutely unconsciously to the height 
of self-sacrifice. The Epicurean conies to know a 
nameless joy in suffering, to understand a deeper 
and broader meaning in the natural affections. 
All the philosophies have failed and peace comes 
through something that is more than philosophy 
through Love. "In the bare sense of having 
loved, he seemed to find," when captured with 
the hated Christians, infected with the plague, 
and dying, as he well knew, "even amid this foun 
dering of the ship, that on which his soul might 
assuredly rest and depend." But the old instinct 
of the artist, the craving for sense-satiation is on 
him; he looks back on life as a portion of a race 
course left behind him, and he a runner still swift 
of foot; he experiences a singular curiosity, al 
most an ardent desire, to enter upon a future the 
possibilities of which seemed so large <&*<& 
We find him wishing to die like an artist, craving 
for a fitness in the finale. He thought "that not 
to die on a dark or rainy day might itself have a 
little alleviating grace or favor about it." In the 



152 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



moments of his extreme helplessness," says Pater, 
"their (the Christians ) mystic bread had been 
placed, and descended like a snowf lake from the 
sky, between his lips. Gentle fingers had applied 
to hands and feet, to all those old passageways 
of the senses, through which the world had come 
and gone for him, now so dim and obstructed, a 
medicinable oil." And then the same people " in 
the gray austere evening" bury him secretly with 
prayers, and conceive of him as a martyr ; and 
martyrdom, as the church had always said, is "a 
kind of sacrament with plenary grace." & & & 
& The meaning of Pater, in giving Marius the 
sacraments in "extreme helplessness," is plain. 
Marius remained, in the author s conception, a 
philosopher, therefore a doubter, to the last. He 
succumbed by force of circumstances to the ten 
der influence of the lives of the Christians, their 
simple ceremonial. He had come, by the senses, 
into rapport with their spiritual rapture, and in 
the Extreme Unction, the senses were symbolic 
ally sanctified and their kinship with the purely 
spiritual emphasized. The senses suggestively are 
pronounced to be sacramental, a part of "the out- 



THELAWOFLOVE 153 

ward sign of the inward grace/ and lurking in 
the restraint of the description of the death of 
Marius is a hint that the "last anguish" is but a 
slipping into a newer, higher sensuousness of calm. 
Q This is a very naturalistic explanation of the 
steps by which, as any one may readily under 
stand, a refined, sympathetic Roman, disgusted 
with the civilization he saw crumbling about him, 
and disappointed in the summum bonam which 
this or that philosophy, prior to the coming of the 
Christians, had to offer, might have come to ac 
cept the Church; although it is stated with an 
explicitness as great as the writer under consid 
eration ever permitted himself to indulge, Marius 
was not a Christian & The true believer will find 
Pater s endeavor to explain, through Marius, the 
natural growth of the creed, almost offensive. The 
book makes Christianity a growth out of the needs 
of the world, not only for the mob, the submerged 
tenth, the proletariat of the time, but for the cul 
tivated Roman saturated in the wisdom of the 
ancients &&&&&&&&&&>& 
However, whatever may be its defects as to the 
presentation of a logical explanation of the grip 



154 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



which the creed took upon the world, there is no 
disputing the merits of the novel as a specimen 
of style in writing. If you have read a book called 
Intentions, or if you have seen a play called Lady 
Windermere s Fan, and have also read Walter 
Pater you will have observed that there is some 
thing of the same quality of art in each author. 
The resemblance between the two is vague, per 
haps, but it is there. There is a preciosity in each 
that is exotic. There is in each an insistent self- 
consciousness. There is in both an intense concern 
with the idea that life shall be made an art ^ In 
both there is something femininely over-meticu 
lous. Pater, however, had restraint & The other 
author is simply mad to say bright things. Pater 
may think fancifully or fantastically, arabesquing 
upon his ideas and developing curiosities of spec 
ulation or analogy upon his thought. The other 
takes the easier method to startle or please the 
reader, in adopting the attitude of perversity de 
liberately and with every determination to deceive 
by trickery into a belief in his originality. There 
is not in Marius the Epicurean one passage of 
passion of the earthly sort, yet there are passages 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



155 



in abundance that find the heart and stir its core 
with mere love of a beautiful day, a flash of land 
scape, a dalliance with an idea or a phantasy. The 
whole book teems with the pathos of beauty, a 
pathos like that of remembered or distant singing, 
a pathos like that which smites one in the cathe 
dral effects of light in woods of long past sum 
mer evenings ^ This sensuousness of the volume 
in time appears to the reader to have a distinct 
quality of sanctity. The joy of life is so keenly felt, 
and at the same time so held in restraint, that one 
fancies that it must have been not at all difficult 
for the Christian idea to find hospitable reception 
in the mind and heart of one who loved the world 
as did Marius ** Quietude is the sum of all the 
charms of this story of soul and sense. The vol 
ume is Thomas a Kempis transmuted into the 
mood of the men who were saddened by Rome s 
decay. Its calm is the result of minute laborious- 
ness. The effect of simplicity in the style is con 
trived by the almost exhausting complexity of the 
finishing -j* The narration is written, at least im- 
pliedly, in imitation of that book of Apuleius, to 
which Flavian introduced Marius, which Pater, 



156 THELAWOFLOVE 

imitating the immediate successors of Apuleius, 
calls "the Golden Book." Of the book of Apu 
leius, Pater writes a chapter verging upon rhap 
sody. He describes, perhaps not altogether uncon 
sciously, in this chapter, his own work. It is " full 
of archaisms and curious felicities, quaint terms 
and images picked from the early dramatists, the 
life-like phrases of some lost poet preserved by 
an old grammarian, racy morsels of the vernacu 
lar and studied prettiness all alike, mere play 
things for the genuine power & natural eloquence 
of the erudite artist unsuppressed by his erudi 
tion." His style has not "that old-fashioned, uncon 
scious ease of the early literature." It is marked by 
"the infinite patience" of Apuleius. He has words 
"for conveying, with a single touch, the sense of 
textures, colors, incidents." " Like jewelers work." 
" Like a myrrhine vase." Pater uses the common 
speech, when not disporting himself in curious 
refinements of utterance "with all the care of a 
learned language." Marias the Epicurean is per 
haps the one English book that would have ecsta- 
cized into stillness the souls of Gautier and Bau 
delaire and de Maupassant. In sensuous pictur- 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



157 



esqueness the style, simple in spite of its multi 
plied involutions and parentheses, is the despair 
ing delight of all who feel that utterance by word 
of mouth or pen, should convey every sensation. 
Its asceticism of luxury is exasperating. It is alive 
with the tantalization of glamour. It holds whiffs 
of half -for gotten incense, ghost-sounds of "tired 
bells chiming in their sleep " ; recalls all old, sad 
things of youth 
To those who have been fascinated by the taw- 
driness of Quo Vadis, the Christianity as tawdry 
as the pagan barbarity it is feared that the del 
icate beauty, veiling almost irresistible strength, 
of the Pater romance will hardly appeal ^ The 
work is the projection of a mood of deep sympa 
thy for the old dying paganism, which, in some of 
its higher forms, contained implications of a yearn 
ing for that gentleness which the Christ came to 
proclaim. The story illustrates, by slow develop 
ment, in the pedestrian style, the steady growth 
of the truth that man cannot live either by reason 
or by the enjoyment of the present hour alone. 
Gradually the appeal of the Christian idea bears 
down, by its superior humanity, by its presentation 



158 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



of the thought that the most exalted sensuousness 
is attainable in an affection which may reach out 
to all men, & even unto Divinity itself, all obstruc 
tion in the shape of the old Roman exclusiveness 
and intense intellectual pride. In the new creed 
and its ritual there was manifest "a generous 
eclecticism within the bounds of liberty." They 
were gathering and serviceably adapting to their 
ends things from all sources, Gnostic, Jewish, Pa 
gan. Above all, the course of thought led up to by 
the early, pure creed of the Christians suggested 
that man was no longer the helpless, hopeless 
victim of Nature, but that there existed for Ma- 
rius at least, a heart, even as his own, behind the 
vain show of things &<&& 
And thus, as it seems to me, Marias the Epicurean 
is a Bible of the true religion of the higher sen 
suousness, dignifying, in a peculiar way, our mor 
tality and fleshliness, by showing how they may, 
and do, tend upward to the purely spiritual con 
ception of the scheme of the world and the ends 
of man beyond the grave and " beyond the flam 
ing ramparts of the world." & & <& <& & ^ 
It is a religion that is one with Art and Science 



THE LAW OF LOVE 



159 



and Song and Hope and Memory and Joy and 
Suffering all the shapes that Beauty takes. It is 
not wholly a cultus de contemptu mundi, for it 
finds in the pity of fleetingness an added glam 
our upon things and a hint at glories that shall 
not pass away. The gradual and almost complete 
surrender of Epicureanism to the new creed seems 
to be a demonstration that happiness & goodness 
may be attained by making the most, in a high 
way, of this, the only world we surely know, by 
cultivating in the senses, the soul, until the senses, 
as soul, seem to reach out and apprehend in 
almost tangible fashion the realities of the unseen. 



So here endeth The Law of Love, as written by 
William Marion Reedy, and done into a book by 
The Roycrofters, at their Shop, which is in East 
Aurora, New York, Nineteen Hundred and Five 





M182181 



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