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Title: Historia Amoris: A History of Love, Ancient and Modern
Author: Saltus, Edgar, 1855-1921
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Historia Amoris: A History of Love, Ancient and Modern" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

produced from scanned images of public domain material

  By Mr. Saltus



  _A History of Love
  Ancient and Modern_



  _Copyright 1906



     I Super Flumina Babylonis                  1

    II The Curtains of Solomon                 10

   III Aphrodite Urania                        28

    IV Sappho                                  41

     V The Age of Aspasia                      53

    VI The Banquet                             65

   VII Roma-Amor                               75

  VIII Antony and Cleopatra                    87

    IX The Imperial Orgy                       97

     X Finis Amoris                           110


     I The Cloister and the Heart             125

    II The Pursuivants of Love                138

   III The Parliaments of Joy                 150

    IV The Doctors of the Gay Science         164

     V The Apotheosis                         177

    VI Bluebeard                              191

   VII The Renaissance                        198

  VIII Love in the Seventeenth Century        213

    IX Love in the Eighteenth Century         237

     X The Law of Attraction                  251


_Part One_




The first created thing was light. Then life came, then death. In between
was fear. But not love. Love was absent. In Eden there was none. Adam and
Eve emerged there adult. The phases of the delicate fever which others in
paradise since have experienced, left them unaffected. Instead of the
reluctances and attractions, the hesitancies and aspirations, the
preliminary and common conflagrations which are the beginnings, as they
are also the sacraments, of love, abruptly they were one. They were
married before they were mated.

The union, entirely allegoric--a Persian conceit--differed, otherwise,
only in the poetry of the accessories from that which elsewhere actually

Primitive man was necessarily speechless, probably simian, and certainly
hideous. Women, if possible more hideous still, were joined by him
momentarily and immediately forgot. Ultimately, into the desolate poverty
of the rudimentary brain there crept a novelty. The novelty was an idea.
Women were detained, kept in lairs, made to serve there. Further novelties
ensuing, creatures that had learned from birds to talk passed from
animality. Subsequent progress originated in a theory that they were very
clearly entitled to whatever was not taken away from them. From that
theory all institutions proceed, primarily that of family.

In the beginning of things woman was common property. With individual
ownership came the necessity of defence. Man defended woman against even
herself. He beat her, stoned her, killed her. From the massacre of
myriads, constancy resulted. With it came the home: a hut in a forest, a
fort on a hill, in the desert a tent, yet, wherever situated, surrounded
by foes. The foes were the elements. In the thunderclap was their anger.
In the rustle of leaves their threats. They were placatable, however. They
could be appeased, as human beings are, by giving them something. Usually
the gift was the sacrifice of whatever the owner cared for most; in later
days it was love, pleasure, sense, but in these simpler times, when
humanity knew nothing of pleasure, less of love, and had no sense, when
the dominant sensation was fright, when every object had its spectre, it
was accomplished by the immolation of whatever the individual would have
liked to have had given to him. As intelligence developed, distinctions
necessarily arose between the animate and the inanimate, the imaginary and
the real. Instead of attributing a malignant spirit to every element, the
forces of nature were conglomerated, the earth became an object of
worship, the sun another, that being insufficient they were united in
nuptials from which the gods were born--demons from whom descended kings
that were sons of heaven and sovereigns of the world.

In the process, man, who had begun by being a brute, succeeded in becoming
a lunatic only to develop into a child. The latter evolution was, at the
time, remote. Only lunatics abounded. But lunatics may dream. These did.
Their conceptions produced after-effects curiously profound, widely
disseminated, which, first elaborated by Chaldæan seers, Nineveh emptied
into Babylon.

Babylon, Queen of the Orient, beckoned by Semiramis out of myth, was made
by her after her image. That image was passion. The city, equivocal and
immense, brilliant as the sun, a lighthouse in the surrounding night, was
a bazaar of beauty. From the upper reaches of the Euphrates, through great
gates that were never closed, Armenia poured her wines where already
Nineveh had emptied her rites. In the conjunction were festivals that
magnetized the stranger from afar. At the very gates Babylon yielded to
him her daughters. He might be a herder, a bedouin, a bondman;
indifferently the voluptuous city embraced him, lulled him with the myrrh
and cassia of her caresses, sheltering him and all others that came in the
folds of her monstrous robe.

In emptying rites into this furnace Nineveh also projected her gods, the
princes of the Chaldæan sky, the lords of the ghostland, that, in patient
perversities, her seers had devised. Four thousand of them Babylon
swallowed, digested, reproduced. Some were nebulous, some were saurian,
many were horrible, all were impure. But, chiefly, there was Ishtar.
Semiramis conquered the world. Ishtar set it on fire.

Ishtar, whom St. Jerome generically and graphically described as the Dea
Meretrix, was known in Babylon as Mylitta. Gesenius, Schrader, Münter,
particularly Quinet, have told of the mysteries, Asiatically monstrous,
naïvely displayed, through which she passed, firing the trade routes with
the flame of her face, adding Tyrian purple and Arabian perfumes to her
incandescent robe, trailing it from shore to shore, enveloping kingdoms
and satrapies in her fervid embrace, burning them with the fever of her
kisses, burning them so thoroughly, to such ashes, that to-day barely the
memory of their names endures; multiplying herself meanwhile, lingering
there where she had seemed to pass, developing from a goddess into a
pantheon, becoming Astarte in Syria, Tanit in Carthage, Ashtaroth in
Canaan, Anaïtis in Armenia, yet remaining always love, or, more exactly,
what was love in those days.

In Babylon, fronting her temple was a grove in which were dove-cotes,
cisterns, conical stones--the emblems of her worship. Beyond were little
tents before which girls sat, chapleted with cords, burning bran for
perfume, awaiting the will of the first that put a coin in their lap and
in the name of the goddess invited them to her rites. Acceptance was
obligatory. It was obligatory on all women to stop in the grove at least
once. Herodotus, from whom these details are taken, said that the sojourn
of those that were fair was brief, but others less favored lingered
vainly, insulted by the former as they left.[1]

Herodotus is father of history; perhaps too, father of lies. But later
Strabo substantiated his story. There is anterior evidence in the Bible.
There is antecedent testimony on a Nineveh brick. There is the further
corroboration of Justinus, of St. Augustin, and of Eusebius regarding
similar rites in Armenia, in Phoenicia, in Syria, wherever Ishtar

The forms of the ceremony and the duration of it varied, but the worship,
always the same, was identical with that of the Hindu bayaderes, the
Kama-dasi, literally servants of love, more exactly servants of lust, who,
for hire, yielded themselves to any comer, and whose dishonorarium the
clergy took.

From Phoenicia the worship passed to Greece. Among local articles of
commerce were girls with whom the Phoenicians furnished harems. One of
their agencies was at Cythera. From the adjacent waters Venus was rumored
to have emerged. The rumor had truth for basis. But the emergence occurred
in the form of a stone brought there on a Phoenician galley. The fact,
cited by Maximus Tyrius, numismatics confirm. On the old coins of Paphos
it was as a stone that Venus appeared, a stone emblematic and phallic,
similar to those that stood in the Babylon grove.

Venus was even otherwise Phoenician. In Semitic speech girls were called
_benoth_, and at Carthage the tents in which the worship occurred were
termed _succoth benoth_. In old texts B was frequently changed to V. From
benoth came venoth and the final theta being pronounced, as was customary,
like sigma, venos resulted and so appears on a Roman medal, that of Julia
Augusta, wife of Septimius Severus, where Venus is written Venos.

Meanwhile on the banks of the Indus the stone reappeared. Posterior to the
Vedic hymns, it is not mentioned in them. Instead is the revelation of a
being purer than purity, excelling excellence, dwelling apart from life,
apart from death, ineffably in the solitudes of space. He alone was. The
gods were not yet. They, the earth, the sky, the forms of matter and of
man, slept in the depths of the ideal, from which at his will they arose.
That will was love. The _Mahabhârata_ is its history.

There, succeeding the clamor of primal life, come the songs of shepherds,
the footfall of apsaras, the murmur of rhapsodies, of kisses and harps.
The pages turn to them. Then follow eremites in their hermitages, rajahs
in their palaces, chiefs in their chariots, armies of elephants and men,
seas of blood, gorgeous pomps, gigantic flowers, marvels and enchantments.
Above, on thrones of lotos and gold, are the serene and apathetic gods,
limitless in power, complete in perfection, unalterable in felicity,
needing nothing, having all. Evil may not approach them. Nonexistent in
infinity, evil is circumscribed within the halls of time. The appanage of
the gods was love, its revelation light.

That light must have been too pure. Subsequent theology decomposed it. In
its stead was provided a glare intolerably crude that disclosed divinities
approachable in deliriums of disorder, in unions from which reason had
fled, to which love could not come, and on which, in a sort of radiant
imbecility, idols semi-Chaldæan, polycephalous, hundred-armed, obese,
monstrous, revolting, stared with unseeing eyes.

In the Vedas there is much that is absurd and more that is puerile. The
_Mahabhârata_ is a fairy-tale, interminable and very dull. But in none of
these works is there any sanction of the pretensions of a priesthood to
degrade. It was in the name of waters that slake, of fire that purifies,
of air that regenerates, of gods dwelling not in images but in infinity,
that love was invoked. It was in poetry, not in perversions, that marriage
occurred. In the Laws of Manu marriage is defined as the union of
celestial musicians,--music then as now being regarded as the food of

The Buddhist Scriptures contain passages that were said to charm the birds
and beasts. In the Vedas there are passages which, if a soudra overheard,
the ignominy of his caste was abolished. The poetry that resided in them,
a poetry often childish, but primal, preceding the Pentateuch, purer than
it, chronologically anterior to Chaldæan aberrations, Brahmanism deformed
into rites that sanctified vice and did so, on a theory common to many
faiths, that the gods demand the surrender of whatever is most dear, if it
be love that must be sacrificed, if it be decency that must be renounced.
The latter refinement which Chaldæa invented, and India retained, Judæa



In the deluge women must have been swept wholly away. If not, then they
became beings to whom genealogy was indifferent. The long list of Noah's
descendants, which Genesis provides, contains no mention of them. When
ultimately they reappear, their consistency is that of silhouettes. It is
as though they belonged to an inferior order. Historically they did.

Woman was not honored in Judæa. The patriarch was chieftain and priest.
His tent was visited by angels, occasionally by creatures less beatific.
In spite of the terrible pomps that surrounded the advent of the
decalogue, there subsisted for his eternal temptation the furnace of
Moloch and Baal's orgiastic nights. These things--in themselves
corruptions of Chaldæan ceremonies--woman personified. Woman incarnated
sin. It was she who had invented it. To Ecclesiasticus, the evil of man
excelled her virtue. To Moses, she was dangerously impure. In Leviticus,
her very birth was a shame. To Solomon, she was more bitter than death. As
a consequence, the attitude of woman generally was as elegiac as that of
Jephthah's daughter. When she appeared it was but to vanish. In betrothals
there was but a bridegroom that asked and a father that gave. The bride
was absent or silent. As a consequence, also, the heroine was rare. Of the
great nations of antiquity, Israel produced fewer notable women than any
other. Yet, that, it may be, was by way of precaution, in order to reserve
the strength of a people for the presentation of one who, transcending
all, was to reign in heaven to the genuflections of the earth.

Meanwhile, conjointly with Baal and Moloch, Ishtar--known locally as
Ashtaroth--circumadjacently ruled. At a period when these abstractions
were omnipresent, when their temples were thronged, when their empires
seemed built for all time, the Hebrew prophets, who continuously reviled
them, foretold that they would pass and with them the gods, dogmas, states
that they sustained. So promptly were the prophecies fulfilled that they
must have sounded like the heraldings of the judgment of God. But it may
be that foreknowledge of the future rested on a consciousness of the past.

There, in the desert, had stood a bedouin preparing the tenets of a
creed; in the remoter past a shadow in which there was lightning, then the
splendor of the first dawn where the future opened like a book, and, in
that grammar of the eternal, the promise of an age of gold. Through the
echo of succeeding generations came the rumor of the impulse that drew the
world in its flight. The bedouin had put the desert behind him and stared
at another, the sea. As he passed, the land leaped into life. There were
tents and passions, clans not men, an aggregate of forces in which the
unit disappeared. For chieftain there was Might and, above, were the
subjects of impersonal verbs, the Elohim, from whom the thunder came, the
rain, darkness and light, death and birth, dream too, nightmare as well.
The clans migrated. Goshen called. In its heart Chaldæa spoke. The Elohim
vanished and there was El, the one great god and Isra-el, the great god's
elect. From heights that lost themselves in immensity, the ineffable name,
incommunicable, and never to be pronounced, was seared by forked flames on
a tablet of stone. A nation learned that El was Jehovah, that they were in
his charge, that he was omnipotent, that the world was theirs. They had a
law, a covenant, a deity and, as they passed into the lands of the well
beloved, the moon became their servant, to aid them the sun stood still.
The terror of Sinai gleamed from their breast-plates. Men could not see
their faces and live. They encroached and conquered. They had a home, then
a capital, where David founded a line of kings and Solomon, the city of

Solomon, typically satrapic, living in what then was splendor; surrounded
by peacocks and peris; married to the daughter of a Pharaoh, married to
many another as well; the husband of seven hundred queens, the pasha of
three hundred favorites, doing, as perhaps a poet may, only what pleased
him, capricious as potentates are, voluptuous as sovereigns were, on his
blazing throne and particularly in his aromatic harem, presented a
spectacle strange in Israel, wholly Babylonian, thoroughly sultanesque. To
local austerity his splendor was an affront, his seraglio a sin, the
memory of both became odious, and in the Song of Songs, which,
canonically, was attributed to him, but which the higher criticism has
shown to be an anonymous work, that contempt was expressed.

Something else was expressed. The Song of Songs is the gospel of love.
Humanity at the time was sullen when not base. Nowhere was there love. The
anterior stories of Jacob and Rachel, of Rebekah and Isaac, of Boaz and
Ruth, are little novels, subsequently evolved, concerning people that had
lived long before and probably never lived at all. To scholars they are
wholly fabulous. Even otherwise, these legends do not, when analyzed,
disclose love. Ruth herself with her magnificent phrase--"Where thou
goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall
be my people, and thy God my God,"--does not display it. Historically its
advent is in the Song of Songs.

The poem, perhaps originally a pastoral in dialogue form, but more
probably a play, has, for central situation, the love of a peasant for a
shepherd, a love tender and true, stronger than death, stronger at least
than a monarch's will. The scene, laid three thousand years ago in
Solomon's seraglio, represents the triumph of constancy over corruption,
the constancy of a girl, unique in her day, who resisted a king,
preferring a hovel to his harem. In an epoch more frankly unmoral than any
of which history has cognizance, this girl, a native of Shulam, very
simple, very ignorant, necessarily unrefined, possessed, through some
miracle, that instinctive exclusiveness which, subsequently disseminated
and ingrained, refurbished the world. She was the usher of love. The Song
of Songs, interpreted mystically by the Church and profanely by scholars,
is therefore sacred. It is the first evangel of the heart.

From the existing text, the original plan, and with it the original
meaning, have disappeared. Many exegetes, notably Ewald, have demonstrated
that the disappearance is due to manipulations and omissions, and many
others, Renan in particular, have attempted reconstructions. The version
here given is based on his.[3] From it a few expressions, no longer in
conformity with modern taste, and several passages, otherwise redundant,
have been omited. By way of proem it may be noted that the Shulamite,
previously abducted from her native village--a hamlet to the north of
Jerusalem--is supposed to be forcibly brought into the presence of the
king where, however, she has thought only of her lover.





  Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.


  Thy love is better than delicious wine. Thy name is ointment poured
  forth. Therefore do we love thee.


(_forcibly introduced, speaking to her absent lover._)

  The King hath brought me into his chamber. Draw me away, we will go


(_to_ SOLOMON.)

  The upright love thee. We will be glad and rejoice in thee. We will
  remember thy love more than wine.


(_to the_ ODALISQUES.)

  I am black but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, comely as the tents
  of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Do not disdain me because I am a
  little black. It is the sun that has burned me. My mother's children
  were angry at me. They made me keeper of the vineyards. Alas! mine own
  vineyard I have not kept.

(_Thinking of her absent lover._)

  Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou takest thy flocks to
  rest at noon that I may not wander among the flocks of thy comrades.


  If thou knowest not, O thou fairest among women, follow the flock and
  feed thy kids by the shepherds' tents.


(_to the_ SHULAMITE.)

  To my horse, when harnessed to the chariot that Pharaoh sent me, I
  compare thee, O my love. Thy cheeks are comely with rows of pearls,
  thy neck with charms of coral. We will make for thee necklaces of gold,
  studded with silver.



  While the King sitteth at his divan, my spikenard perfumes me and to me
  my beloved is a bouquet of myrrh, unto me he is as a cluster of cypress
  in the vines of Engedi.


  Yes, thou art fair, my beloved. Yes, thou art fair. Thine eyes are the
  eyes of a dove.


(_thinking of the absent one._)

  Yes, thou art fair, my beloved. Yes, thou art charming, and our tryst is
  a litter of green.


(_to whom constancy has no meaning._)

  The beams of our house are cedar and our rafters of fir.



  I am the rose of Sharon The lily of the valley am I.

(ENTER _suddenly the_ SHEPHERD.)


  As a lily among thorns, so is my love among daughters.


(_running to him._)

  As is the apple among fruit, so is my beloved among men. In delight I
  have sat in his shadow and his savor was sweet to my taste. He brought
  me to the banquet hall and put o'er me the banner of love.

(_Turning to the_ ODALISQUES.)

  Stay me with wine, strengthen me with fruit, for I am swooning with

(_Half-fainting she falls in the_ SHEPHERD'S _arms._)

  His left hand is under my head and his right hand doth embrace me.


(_to the_ ODALISQUES.)

  I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes and the hinds of
  the field, that ye stir not, nor awake my beloved till she will.


(_dreaming in the_ SHEPHERD'S _arms._)

  My own love's voice. Arise, my fair one, he tells me, arise and let us


  I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not, nor awake
  my beloved till she will.

(SOLOMON _motions; the_ SHEPHERD _is removed._)



In the distance is Solomon and his retinue.


  Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness, exhaling the odor of
  myrrh and of frankincense and all the powders of the perfumer?

(SOLOMON _and his retinue advance._)


  Behold the palanquin of Solomon. Three score valiant men are about it.
  They all hold swords....


  King Solomon has had made for him a litter of Lebanon wood. The supports
  are of silver, the bottom of gold, the covering of purple. In the centre
  is a loved one, chosen from among the daughters of Jerusalem.


(_calling to women in the houses._)

  Come forth, daughters of Zion, and behold the King....




(_to the_ SHULAMITE.)

  Yes, thou art fair, my love, yes, thou art fair. Thou hast dove's
  eyes.... Thou art all fair, my love. There is no spot on thee.


(_without, in the garden, calling to the_ SHULAMITE _and referring in
veiled terms to the seraglio and its dangers._)

  Come to me, my betrothed, come to me from Lebanon. Look at me from the
  top of Amana, from the summit of Shenir and Hermon, from the lion's den
  and the mountain of leopards.

(_The_ SHULAMITE _goes to a window and looks out._)


  You have strengthened my heart, my sister betrothed, you have
  strengthened my heart with one of thine eyes, with one of the curls that
  float on thy neck. How dear is thy love, my sister betrothed! Thy
  caresses are better than wine, and the fragrance of thy garments is
  sweeter than spice.


  Let my beloved come into his garden and eat its pleasant fruits.


  I am come into my garden, my sister betrothed, I have gathered my myrrh
  with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey. I have drunk my
  wine with my milk.

(_To the chorus._)

  Eat, comrades, drink abundantly, friends.

(_The_ SHEPHERD _and the chorus withdraw._)





  I sleep but my heart waketh. I heard the voice of my beloved. He
  knocked. Open to me! he said. My sister, my love, my immaculate dove,
  open to me, for my head is covered with dew, the locks of my hair are
  wet ... I rose to open to my beloved ... but he was gone. My soul
  faileth me when he spoke not. I sought him, but I could not find him. I
  called him but he did not reply.

(_A pause._ SHE _relates the story of her abduction._)

  The watchman that went about the city found me, they smote me, they
  wounded me, and the keepers of the walls took away my veil.

(_To the_ ODALISQUES.)

  I pray you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, tell him
  that I die of love.


  In what is the superiority of thy lover, O pearl among women, that thou
  beseechest us so?


  My beloved's skin is white and ruddy. He is one in a thousand.... His
  eyes are as doves.... His cheeks are a bed of flowers.... He is
  charming. Such is my beloved, such is my dear one, O daughters of


  Whither is thy beloved gone, O pearl among women? Which way did he turn,
  that we may seek him with thee?


  My beloved is gone from the garden.... But I am his and he is mine. He
  feedeth his flocks among lilies.

(_Enter_ SOLOMON.)

(_The_ SHULAMITE _looks scornfully at him._)


  Thou art beautiful as Tirzah, my love, and comely as Jerusalem, but
  terrible as an army in battle. Turn thine eyes away. They trouble me....


(_from without._)

  There are sixty queens, eighty favorites, and numberless young girls.
  But among them all my immaculate dove is unique, she is the darling of
  her mother. The young girls have seen her and called her blessed. The
  queens and the favorites have praised her.


(_astonished at the_ SHULAMITE'S _scorn of the King._)

  Who is it that is beautiful as Tirzah but terrible as an army in battle?


(_impatiently turning her back, and relating again her abduction._)

  I went down into the garden of nuts, to see the green plants in the
  valley, to see whether the vine budded, and the pomegranates were in
  flower. But before I was aware of it, I was among the chariots of my
  princely people.


  Turn about, turn again, O Shulamite, that we may see thee.


  What will you see in the Shulamite whom the King has compared to an


(_to the_ SHULAMITE.)

  How beautiful are thy feet, prince's daughter,... How fair and how
  pleasant art thou....


(_impatiently as before._)

  I am my beloved's and he is sighing for me.

(_Exit_ SOLOMON. _Enter the_ SHEPHERD.)


(_hastening to her lover._)

  Come, my beloved, let us go forth to the fields, let us lodge in the
  villages. We will rise early and see if the vine flourishes and the
  grape is ripe and the pomegranates bud. There will I caress thee. The
  love-apples perfume the air and at our gates are all manner of rich
  fruit, new and old, which I have kept for thee, my beloved. Oh, that
  thou wert my brother, that, when I am with thee without, I might kiss
  thee and not be mocked at. I want to take and bring thee into my
  mother's house. There thou shalt instruct me and I will give thee spiced
  wine and the juice of my pomegranates.

(_Falling in his arms and calling to the_ ODALISQUES.)

  His left hand is under my head and his right hand doth embrace me.


(_to the chorus._)

  I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not nor awake my
  beloved till she will.



(_The_ SHULAMITE, _who has escaped from the seraglio is carried in by her


  Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her


(_to the_ SHULAMITE.)

  I awake thee under the apple tree.

(_He points to the house._)

  There thou wert born.


  Set me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thine arm; for love is
  strong as death, jealousy cruel as the grave; the flashes thereof are
  flashes of fire, a very flame of the Lord. But many waters cannot quench
  love, nor can the floods drown it. The man who seeks to purchase it
  acquires but contempt.




(_thinking of a younger sister whom he would sell when she is older._)

  We have a little sister, still immature. What shall we do with her when
  she is spoken for?


  If by then she is comely, we will get for her silver from a palace. If
  she is not comely, we will get the value of cedar boards.


(_ironically intervening._)

  I am comely, yet I made them let me be.



  Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon. He leased it to farmers each of
  whom was to pay him a thousand pieces of silver.


  But my vineyard which is mine I still have.


  A thousand pieces for thee, Solomon, and two hundred for the others.

(_At the door the_ SHEPHERD _appears. Behind him are comrades._)


  Fair one, that dwelleth here, my companions hearken to thy voice, cause
  me to hear it.


  Hasten to me, my beloved. Hasten like a roe or a young hart on the
  mountains of spices.



Greece had many creeds, yet but one religion. That was Beauty. Israel
believed in hate, Greece in love. In Judæa the days of the righteous were
long. In Greece they were brief. Whom the gods loved died young. The gods
themselves were young. With the tribes that took possession of the
Hellenic hills they came in swarms. Sprung from the depths of the archaic
skies, they were sombre and impure. When they reached Olympus already
their Asiatic masks had fallen. Hecate was hideous, Hephæstos limped, but
among the others not an imperfection remained. Divested of attributes
monstrous and enigmatic, they rejuvenated into divinities of joy. Homer
said that their laughter was inextinguishable. He joined in it. So did
Greece. The gayety of the immortals was appreciated by a people that
counted their years by their games.

As the tribes dispersed the gods advanced. Their passage, marked here by a
temple, there by a shrine, had always the incense of legends. These Homer
gathered and from them formed a Pentateuch in which dread was replaced by
the ideal. Divinities, whom the Assyrian priests barely dared to invoke by
name, and whose mention by the laity was forbidden, he displayed, luminous
and indulgent, lifting, as he did so, the immense burden of mystery and
fear under which humanity had staggered. Homer turned religion into art,
belief into poetry. He evolved a creed that was more gracious than
austere, more æsthetic perhaps than moral, but which had the signal merit
of creating a serenity from which contemporaneous civilization proceeds.
Greece to-day lies buried with her gods. She has been dead for twenty
centuries and over. But the beauty of which she was the temple existed
before death did and survived her.

To Homer beauty was an article of faith. But not the divinities that
radiated it. He laughed at them. Pythagoras found him expiating his mirth
in hell. A later echo of it bubbled in the farce of Aristophanes. It
reverberated in the verses of Euripides. It rippled through the gardens of
Epicurus. It amused sceptics to whom the story of the gods and their
amours was but gossip concerning the elements. They believed in them no
more than we do. But they lived among a people that did. To the Greeks the
gods were real, they were neighborly, they were careless and caressing,
subject like mortals to fate. From them gifts came, desires as well. The
latter idea, precocious in its naïve psychology, eliminated human
responsibility and made sin descend from above.

Olympus was not severe. Greece was not, either. The solemnity of other
faiths had no place in her creed, which was free, too, of their baseness.
It was not Homer only, but the inherent Hellenic love of the beautiful
that, in emancipating her from Orientalisms, maintained her in an attitude
which, while never ascetic, occasionally was sublime. The tradition of
Orpheus and Eurydice, the fable of Psyche and her god, had in them love,
which nowhere else was known. They had, too, something of the high
morality which the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey_ depict.

In the _Iliad_ a thousand ships are launched for the recovery of an
abducted wife. The subject is equivocal, but concerning it there is not a
dubious remark. In the _Iliad_ as in the _Odyssey_ love rested on two
distinct principles: First, the respect of natural law; second, the
respect of lawful marriage. These principles, the gods, if they willed,
could abolish. When they did, their victims were not blamed, they were
pitied. Christianity could not do better. Frequently it failed to do as
well. But the patricists were not psychologists and the theory of
determinism had not come.

Aphrodite had. With love for herald, with pleasure for page, with the
Graces and the Hours for handmaids, she had come among the dazzled
immortals. Hesiod told about it. So did de Musset.

     Regrettez-vous le temps où le Ciel, sur la terre,
     Marchait et respirait dans un peuple de dieux?
     Où Vénus Astarté, fille de l'onde amère,
     Secouait, vierge encor, les larmes de sa mère,
     Et fécondait le monde en tordant ses cheveux!

But Astarte was a stone which Aphrodite's eyes would have melted. It may
be that they did. The worship of the Dea Meretrix was replaced by the
purer rites of this purer divinity, unconscious as yet of the names and
shames of Ishtar.

The Aphrodite whom Homer revealed differed from that of Hesiod. In Hesiod
she was still a novice, but less austere than she afterward appeared in
the conceptions of Pheidias. The latter succeeded in detaining the
fluidity of the gods. He reproduced them in stone, sometimes in gold,
always in beauty. He created a palpable Olympus. To die without seeing it
was thought a great calamity. The universal judgment of antiquity was that
art could go no higher. At the sight of the Pheidian Zeus, a barbarian
brute, Æmilius Paulus, the Roman invader and victor, shrank back, awe
struck, smitten with sacred terror. The image was regarded less as a
statue than as an actual revelation of the divine. To have been able to
display it, the general assumption was that either Pheidias had ascended
above, or else that Zeus had descended to him. The revelation of Aphrodite
Urania which he effected for her temple near the Cerameicus must have been
equally august, the celestial in its supremest expression.

Thereafter the decadence of the goddess began. Previously she had ruled
through her perfection. Subsequently, though the perfection persisted, the
stamp of divinity ceased. In lieu of the goddess was a very pretty woman.
If that woman did not, as Hesiod claimed, issue from the sea, she at least
emerged from marble. The statues differed. Sometimes there were doves on
them, sometimes there was a girdle embroidered with caresses and kisses,
at times in the hand was an arrow, at others a lance, again Aphrodite was
twisting her hair. But chiefly she was assassinated, not like Lais by
jealous wives, but by sheer freedom of the chisel. It was these profaner
images that inflamed Phædra and Pasiphae. Among them was Praxiteles'
Cnidian Aphrodite, a statue which a king tried vainly to buy and a madman
offered to marry. The Pheidian Aphrodite belonged to an epoch in which art
expressed the eternal; the Praxitelean, to a period in which it suggested
the fugitive. One was beauty and also love, the other was beauty and

Originally both were one. It was only the idea of her that varied. Each
Hellenic town, each upland and valley had its own faiths, its own myths.
Uniformity concerning them was not doctrinal, it was ritualistic. Then,
too, Aphrodite, Apollo, Zeus himself, the whole brilliant host of Olympus
were once monsters of Asia. However august they had since become, memories
and savors of anterior rites followed in their ascensions. These things
incited them to resume their primal forms. It was pleasurably that they
acceded. Therein is the simple mystery of their double lives, the reason
why Aphrodite could be degrading and ideal, celestial and vulgar, yet
always Philommeis, Queen of Smiles. In Cythera and Paphos she was but a
fresh avatar of Ishtar. In other sites she resembled the picture that
Dante made of Fortune and which an artist detached.

"Dante," said Saint-Victor, "displays Fortune turning her wheel,
distributing good and evil, success and failure, prosperity and want.
Mortals upbraid and accuse her. 'But these she does not hear. Tranquil
among primordial things, she turns her sphere and ineffably rejoices.' So
does Venus indifferently dispense high aims and viciousness. Curses do not
reach her, insults do not touch her, the passions she has unchained
cannot rise to where she is. In her high place tranquilly she turns her
sphere of stars.

     'Volge sua sfera e beata si gode.'"

It was not that serene divinity, it was the more human Aphrodite of
Hesiod, that disturbed the Argive Helen. The story of her, the story of
the golden fruit tossed into Olympus with its tag, To the Fairest, the
rivalries that resulted, the decision of Paris, corrupt yet just, his
elopement with Helen, and the war of the world which ensued, these
episodes the hexameters of the _Iliad_ unfold.

There, drenched with blood and bathed in poetry, is Helen. There, too, is
Paris on his scarlet prow. With them you go from Lacedæmon, past the
faint, fair rose of Ida's snow, over the green plain of waters, right to
the gates of Ilium and within, and see how each man stopped and stood and
mused at Helen's face and her undreamed-of beauty.

Her beauty was no doubt surprising. She trailed admiration but also
respect. Homer relates that the seated sages rose at her approach. They
did not blame her for the conflagration that her face had caused. They
knew, as Priam knew, that responsibility rested not with the woman but
with the gods. Perhaps she was not responsible. As in an allegory of
beauty which itself is for all and yet for none, already she had passed
from hand to hand. When she was but a child she had been abducted.
Theseus took her from a temple in which she was dancing. Recovered by her
brothers, Achilles got her from them but only to cede her to Patroclus.
Later she became the wife of Menelaus. Subsequently Aphrodite gave her to
Paris. At that she rebelled. But no mortal may resist the divine. Helen
accompanied Paris to Troy, where, during the war that was waged for her,
he was killed and she remained in his brother's arms until recovered by

Quintus Smyrnæus[4] represented Menelaus, sword in hand, rushing violently
at her. A glance of her eyes disarmed him. In the clatter of the falling
sword was love's reawakening. Then presently, as an honored wife, she
returned to Lacedæmon. Even there her adventures continued. Achilles,
haunted in Hades by the memory of her beauty, escaped, and in mystic
nuptials conceived with her a winged child, Euphorion. Clearly, as the
sages thought and Priam believed, she could not have been responsible. Nor
was she so regarded. The various episodes of her career formed a sort of
sacred legend for the polluting of which a poet, Stesichorus, was blinded.
The blindness of Homer, Plato attributed to the same cause. To degrade
beauty is a perilous thing. To preserve it, to make the legend more
sacred still, it was imagined that not Helen, but a phantom of her,
accompanied Paris to Troy, and that it was for a phantom that men fought
and died.

A thousand years later Apollonius of Tyana happened on that romance.
Apollonius knew all languages, including that of silence, and all things,
save the caresses of women. He knew, too, how to summon the dead. To
verify the story, he evoked the shade that once before for Helen had
emerged from hell. Apollonius asked: "Is it true that Helen went to Troy?"
"We thought so," Achilles answered, "and we fought to get her back. But
she was actually in Egypt. When we discovered that we fought for Troy

Achilles may have been right. In the _Odyssey_, in connection with Helen,
mention is made of nepenthe. Nepenthe was an Egyptian drug that dispelled
the memory of whatever is sad. Helen had much to forget and probably did,
even without assistance. She was the personification of passivity. Her
little rebellion at Aphrodite was very brief. But, assuming the nepenthe,
it has been assumed also that in it was the secret of the spell with which
she so promptly disarmed Menelaus. To modern eyes his attitude is
ambiguous. His complaisance has an air of complicity. But Menelaus lived
in an heroic age. Moreover, when Sarah vacated the palace of the
Pharaohs, the complaisance of Abraham was the same.

In both instances the principle involved was one of ownership. In
patriarchal and heroic days woman was an asset. She was the living money
of the period. Agamemnon, in devising how he might calm the anger of
Achilles, offered him a quantity of girls. They were so much current coin.
When stolen, recovery was the owner's chief aim. What may have happened in
the interim was a detail, better appreciable when it is remembered that
booty was treated, as Helen at Ilium was treated, in the light of Paris'
lawful wife; for robbery at that time was a highly legitimate mode of
acquiring property, provided and on condition that the robber and the
robbed were foes. The idea of enticing the property was too complicated
for the simplicity of those days. It was in that simplicity, together with
the belief that whatever occurred was attributable to the gods, that the
morality of the epoch resided.

In the story of Paris and Helen the morality of Aphrodite is as ambiguous
as the attitude of Menelaus. She has the air of an _entremetteuse_. But
her purpose was not to favorize frailty. Her purpose was the exercise of
her sovereign pleasure. Paris, in adjudging to her the prize of beauty,
became the object of her special regard, his people became her people,
their enemies her own. The latter prevailed, but that was because
Destiny--to whose power the gods themselves had to yield--so willed.

In the _Odyssey_ the morality of the _Iliad_ is enhanced. The enchantments
of Calypso, the sorceries of Circe, the seductions of sirens, long years
themselves, wanderings over perilous seas, dangers, hardships,
temptations, failed to divert Odysseus from his memories of Penelope, who
in turn resisted every suitor for his sake. When the later philosophy of
Greece inquired what was woman at her best, it answered its own question
in looking back at her. A thousand years after she had been sung, Horace,
writing to Lollius, said: "I have been re-reading the poet of the Trojan
War. No one has told so well as he what is noble and what is base." St.
Basilius, writing later still, declared that the Homeric epics were a
perpetual praise of right. The fact, he noted, was particularly obvious in
the passage in which Odysseus confronted Nausicaa.

That little princess, historically the first who washed household linen in
public, was, when so engaged, surprised by the shipwrecked hero. Instead
of being alarmed at the appearance of this man whom the waters had
disrobed, she was conscious only of a deep respect. St. Basilius gives the
reason. In default of clothing Homer had dressed him in virtue.[6]

The deduction is so pleasant that the views of the saint concerning Circe
and Calypso would be of interest. But they are unrecorded. It may be that
he had none. The enchantresses themselves with their philters and
enthralments are supposedly fabulous. Yet in the Homeric account of their
seas, once thought to be but a dream of fairyland, mariners have found a
log book of Mediterranean facts so accurate that a pilot's guide is but a
prose rendering of its indications.[7] As with the seas so with the
sirens. Their enchantments were real.

At an epoch when women generally were but things, too passively
indifferent and too respectfully obedient to care to attempt, even could
they have divined how, to captivate, Circe and Calypso displayed the then
novel lures of coquetry and fascination. In the charm of their voices, in
the grace of their manners, in the harmony of their dress, in the perfume
of their lips, in their use of unguents, in their desire to please joined
to the high art of it, was a subtlety of seduction so new and unimagined
that it was magical indeed. In the violent _Iliad_, women, hunted like
game, were but booty. In the suaver _Odyssey_ was their revenge. It was
they who captured and detained, reducing the hardiest heroes into servants
of their pleasure. It is reasonable that their islands should have been
thought enchanted and they enchantresses.

The story of their spells, of their refinements, and of their consequent
dominations, exerted gradually an influence wide and profound. Women began
to conjecture something else than marriage by right of might. Into the
conjecturings came attempts at emancipation that preoccupied husbands and
moralists. Hesiod denounced the new ambitions, and, finding denunciation
perhaps ineffective, employed irony. He told of Pandora who, fashioned
first out of clay, afterward adorned with a parure of beauty, was then
given perfidy, falsehood and ruse, that, in being a delight to man, she
should be also a disaster.[8]

The picture, interesting in its suggestion of Eve, was originally perhaps
a Chaldæan curio, imported by Phoenician traders. Its first Hellenic
setting was due probably to Orpheus, the great lost poet of love, whose
songs charmed all nature, all hell as well. From him, through problematic
hands, it drifted to Hesiod, as already his lyre had drifted to Lesbos.
The picture persisted, the lyre as well. To the latter the Mitylenes
attributed the wonder of the beauty of their nightingales, chief among
whom was Sappho.



Sappho was contemporaneous with Nebuchadnezzar. While he was chastening
the Jews, she was creating love. In her day the condition of Hellenic
women differed from what it had been. Generally they were shut apart,
excluded from any exercise of their possible minds, restricted to strict
domesticity. At Athens a girl might not so much as look from a window. If
she did, she saw nothing. The window did not give on the street. But in
the temples the candor of her eyes was violated. In the festivals of Ceres
the modesty of her ears was assailed. Otherwise, she was securely guarded.
If, to her detriment, she eluded guardianship, she could be sold. With
marriage she entered into a form of superior slavery. When her husband's
friends supped with him, she was not permitted to be present. Without
permission she could not go from one apartment to the next. Without
permission she could not go out. When she did, it was at her husband's
side, heavily veiled. With his permission, she might go to the theatre,
but only when tragedy was given. At comedies and at the games she was
forbidden to assist. In case of disobedience the penalty was death.
Pleasures and privileges were limited to housekeeping and motherhood. At
the immanence of the latter her surroundings were embellished with
beautiful trifles, with objects of art, with whatever influences might
prenatally affect, and, in affecting, perfect the offspring. Otherwise,
her existence was simple and severe. The peplos tissue of gold was not for
her. Garments colored or flowered were not, either. These were reserved
for her inferiors and superiors, for the hierodules of Aphrodite Pandemos
and the images of the gods. Though her robes were simple, they had to be
heavy. If light, a fine was incurred. If they did not hang properly,
another fine was imposed. If, to the detriment of her husband, a man
succeeded in approaching her, she could be killed or merely repudiated; in
the latter case, she could no longer enter a temple, any one might insult
her. Still a slave, she was an outcast as well.

Such were the laws. Their observance is a different matter. In
Aristophanes and the comic poets generally Athenian women of position were
dissolute when they were not stupid, and usually they were both. They may
have been. But poets exaggerate. Besides, divorce was obtainable. Divorce
was granted on joint request. On the demand of the husband it could be
had. In the event of superscandalous conduct on his part, it was granted
to the wife, provided she appeared before a magistrate and personally
demanded it. The wife of the wicked and winning Alcibiades went on such an
errand. Alcibiades met her, caught her in his arms and, to the applause of
the wittiest people in the world, carried her triumphantly home.
Aristophanes and Alcibiades came in a later and more brilliant epoch. In
the days of Sappho severity was the rigorous rule, one sanctioned by the
sentiment of a people in whose virile sports clothing was discarded, and
in whose plays jest was too violent for delicate ears.

In Sparta the condition of women was similar, but girls had the antique
freedom which Nausicaa enjoyed. Destined by the belligerent constitution
of Lacedæmon to share, even in battle, the labors of their brothers, they
devoted themselves, not to domesticity, but to physical development. They
wrestled with young men, raced with them, swam the Eurotas, preparing
themselves proudly and purely to be mothers among a people who destroyed
any child that was deformed, fined any man that presumed to be stout,
forced debilitated husbands to cede their wives to stronger arms, and who,
meanwhile, protected the honor of their daughters with laws of which an
infraction was death.

The marriage of Spartan girls was so arranged that during the first years
of it they saw their husbands infrequently, furtively, almost
clandestinely, in a sort of hide-and-go-seek devised by Lycurgus in order
that love, instead of declining into indifference, should, while
insensibly losing its illusions, preserve and prolong its strength.
Otherwise, the Spartan wife became subject to the common Hellenic custom.
Her liberty departed with her girlhood. Save her husband, no man might see
her, none could praise her, none but he could blame. Her sole jewels were
her children. Her richest garments were stoicism and pride. "What dower
did you bring your husband?" an Athenian woman asked of one of them.
"Chastity," was the superb reply.[9]

Lesbos differed from Lacedæmon. The Spartans declared that they knew how
to fight, not how to talk. They put all their art into not having any. The
Lesbians put theirs into the production of verse. At Mitylene, poetic
development was preferred to physical culture. The girls there thought
more of immortality than of motherhood. But the unusual liberty which they
enjoyed was due to influences either Boeotian or Egyptian, perhaps to
both. Egypt was neighborly. With Lesbos, Egypt was in constant
communication. The liberty of women there, as generally throughout the
morning lands, religion had procured. Where Ishtar passed, she fevered,
but also she freed. Beneath her mantle women acquired a liberty that was
very real. On the very sites in which Islâm was to shut them up,
Semiramis, Strantonice, Dido, Cleopatra, and Zenobia appeared. Isis, who
was Ishtar's Egyptian avatar, was particularly liberal. Among the cities
especially dedicated to her was Naucratis.

Charaxus, a brother of Sappho, went there, met Rhodopis, a local beauty,
and fell in love with her. Charaxus was a merchant. He brought wine to
Egypt, sold it, returned to Greece for more. During one of his absences,
Rhodopis, while lolling on a terrace, dropped her sandal which, legend
says, a vulture seized, carried away, and let fall into the lap of King
Amasis. The story of Cinderella originated there. With this difference:
though the king, after prodigal and impatient researches, discovered the
little foot to which the tiny sandal belonged, Rhodopis, because of
Charaxus, disassociated herself from his advances. Subsequently a young
Naucratian offered a fortune to have relations with her. Because of
Charaxus, Rhodopis again refused. The young man dreamed that she
consented, dreamed that she was his, and boasted of the dream.
Indignantly Rhodopis cited him before the magistrates, contending that he
should pay her as proposed. The matter was delicate. But the magistrates
decided it with great wisdom. They authorized Rhodopis to dream that she
was paid.

Rumors of these and of similar incidents were probably reported in Lesbos
and may have influenced the condition of women there. But memories of
Boeotia from which their forefathers came was perhaps also a factor.
Boeotia was a haunt of the muses. In the temple to them, which Lesbos
became, the freedom of Erato was almost of necessity accorded to her

Lesbos was then a stretch of green gardens and white peristyles set
beneath a purple dome. To-day there is no blue bluer than its waters.
There is nothing so violet as the velvet of its sky. With such accessories
the presence of Erato was perhaps inevitable. In any case it was profuse.
Nowhere, at no time, has emotional æstheticism, the love of the lovely,
the fervor of individual utterance, been as general and spontaneous as it
was in this early Academe.

In the later Academe at Athens laughter was prohibited. That of Mitylene
was less severe. To loiter there some familiarity with the magnificence of
Homer may have been exacted, but otherwise a receptive mind, appreciative
eyes, and kissable lips were the best passports to Sappho, the girl Plato
of its groves, who, like Plato, taught beauty, sang it as well and with it
the _glukupikros_--the bitterness of things too sweet.

Others sang with her. Among those, whose names at least, the fates and the
Fathers have spared us, were Erinna and Andromeda. Sappho cited them as
her rivals. One may wonder could they have been really that. Plato called
Sappho the tenth muse. Solon, after hearing one of her poems, prayed that
he might not die until he had learned it. Longinus spoke of her with awe.
Strabo said that at no period had any one been known who in any way,
however slight, could be compared to her.

Though twenty-five centuries have gone since then, Sappho is still
unexceeded. Twice only has she been approached; in the first instance by
Horace, in the second by Swinburne, and though it be admitted, as is
customary among scholars, that Horace is the most correct of the Latin
poets, as Swinburne is the most faultless of our day, Sappho sits and
sings above them atop, like her own perfect simile of a bride:

   Like the sweet apple which reddens atop on the topmost bough,
   Atop on the topmost twig which the pluckers forgot somehow.
   Forget it not, nay, but got it not, for none could get it till now.[10]

It is regrettable that one cannot now get Sappho. But of at least nine
books there remain but two odes and a handful of fragments. The rest has
been lost on the way, turned into palimpsests, or burned in Byzance. The
surviving fragments are limited some to a line, some to a measure, some to
a single word. They are the citations of lexicographers and grammarians,
made either as illustrations of the Æolic tongue or as examples of metre.

The odes are addressed, the one to Aphrodite, the other to Anactoria. The
first is derived from Dionysius of Halicarnassus, who quoted it as a
perfect illustration of perfect verse. The second was given by Longinus as
an example of the sublime in poetry--of the display, as he put it, not of
one emotion, but of a congress of them. Under the collective title of
_Anactoria_, these odes together with many of the fragments, Swinburne has
interwoven into an exquisite whole.

To appreciate it, Sappho herself should be understood. Her features, which
the Lesbians put on their coins, are those of a handsome boy. On seeing
them one does not say, Can this be Sappho? But rather, This is Sappho
herself. They fit her, fit her verse, fit her fame. That fame, prodigious
in her own day, is serviceable in ours. It has retained the name of
Phaon, her lover; the names of girls for whom she also cared. Of these,
Suidas particularly mentioned Atthis and Gorgo. Regarding Anactoria there
is the testimony of the ode. There is more. "I loved thee once, Atthis,
long ago," she exclaimed in one fragment. In another she declared herself
"Of Gorgo full weary." But the extreme poles of her affection are
supposably represented by Phaon and Anactoria. The ode to the latter is,
apart from its perfection, merely a jealous plaint, yet otherwise useful
in showing the trend of her fancy, in addition to the fact that her love
was not always returned. Of that, though, there is further evidence in the
fragments. Some one she reproached with being "Fonder of girls than
Gello." Elsewhere she said "Scornfuller than thou have I nowhere found."
But even in the absence of such evidence, the episode connected with
Phaon, although of a different order, would suffice.

Contemporaneous knowledge of it is derived from Strabo, Servius,
Palæphatus, and from an alleged letter in one of Ovid's literary
forgeries. According to these writers, Phaon was a good-looking young
brute engaged in the not inelegant occupation of ferryman. In what manner
he first approached Sappho, whether indeed Sappho did not first approach
him, is uncertain. Pliny, who perhaps was credulous, believed that Phaon
had happened on the male root of a seaweed which was supposed to act as a
love charm and that by means of it he succeeded in winning Sappho's rather
volatile heart. However that may be, presently Phaon wearied. It was
probably in these circumstances that the Ode to Aphrodite was written,
which, in Swinburne's paraphrase--slightly paraphrased anew--is as

     I beheld in sleep the light that is
     In her high place in Paphos, heard the kiss
     Of body and soul that mix with eager tears
     And laughter stinging through the eyes and ears;
     Saw Love, as burning flame from crown to feet,
     Imperishable upon her storied seat;
     Clear eyelids lifted toward the north and south,
     A mind of many colors and a mouth
     Of many tunes and kisses; and she bowed
     With all her subtle face laughing aloud,
     Bowed down upon me saying, "Who doth the wrong,
     Sappho?" But thou--thy body is the song,
     Thy mouth the music; thou art more than I,
     Though my voice die not till the whole world die,
     Though men that hear it madden; though love weep,
     Though nature change, though shame be charmed to sleep.
     Ah, wilt thou slay me lest I kiss thee dead?
     Yet the queen laughed and from her sweet heart said:
     "Even he that flees shall follow for thy sake,
     And he shall give thee gifts that would not take,
     Shall kiss that would not kiss thee" (Yea, kiss me)
     "When thou wouldst not"--When I would not kiss thee!

If Phaon heard he did not heed. He took ship and sailed away, to Sicily it
is said, where, it is also said, Sappho followed, desisting only when he
flung at her some gibe about Anactoria and Atthis. In a letter which Ovid
pretended she then addressed to him, she referred to the gibe, but whether
by way of denial or admission, is now, owing to different readings of the
text, uncertain. In some copies she said, quas (the Lesbian girls) _non_
sine crimine (reproach) amavi. In others, quas _hic_ (in Lesbos) sine
crimine amavi. Disregarding the fact that the letter itself is imaginary,
the second reading is to be preferred, not because it is true, but
precisely because it is not. Sappho, though a woman, was a poet. Several
of her verses contain allusions to attributes poetically praised by poets
who never possessed them, and Ovid who had not written a treatise on the
Art of Love for the purpose of displaying his ignorance, was too adroit to
let his imaginary Sappho admit what the real Sappho would have denied.[11]

Meanwhile Phaon refused to return. At Lesbos there was a white rock that
stretched out to the sea. On it was a temple to Apollo. A fall from the
rock was, at the time, locally regarded as a cure for love. Arthemesia,
queen of Caria, whom another Phaon had rebuffed and who, to teach him
better manners, put his eyes out, threw herself from it. Sappho did also.
It cured her of the malady, of all others as well.

Such is the story, such, rather, is its outline, one interesting from the
fact that it constitutes the initial love-tragedy of the Occident, as,
also, because of a climax befitting the singer of the bitterness of things
too sweet.



"Eros is son of earth and heaven, but persuasion is Aphrodite's daughter."
So Sappho sang. The note, new and true as well, became, as fresh truth
ever does become, revolutionary. Athens heard it. Even Sparta listened.
Corinth and Miletus repeated it in clinging keys.

With the new truth came a new era. Through meditations patient and
prolonged Calypso had succeeded in adding coquetry to love. With a distich
Sappho emancipated it. To the despotism that insisted she suggested the
duty of asking; to the submission that had obeyed she indicated the grace
that grants; yet, posing as barrier between each, the right and liberty of
choice, which already Rhodopis had exacted.

Then the new era came. The gynæceum was not emptied. Wives were still shut
apart. But elsewhere, with that marvel which Atticism was, came the sense
of personal dignity, the conception of individuality, the theory of
freedom, and, ultimately, in streets where women of position could not
venture unaccompanied and unveiled, they were free to come and go at
will, to mingle with men, to assist at comedies and games, to become what
women are to-day, with this difference, they were more handsome and less
pretty. To a people naturally æsthetic the revolution naturally appealed.
Led by the irresistible authority of beauty, for support it had the
sovereign prestige of the muse.

In stooping to conquer, Erato smiled, supplying, as she did so, another
conception, one as novel as the first, the idea that, after all, though
love is a serious thing, the mingling of a little gayety in it is not
forbidden. It was to Anacreon that Erato offered that chord, threw it
rather, laughing, in his face. The poet, laughing too, took and plucked it
lightly, producing quick airs, conceits of pleasure and of wine. When
Sappho sang, it was with all her fervent soul. When she loved it was with
all her fervid heart. She sang as the nightingales of Lesbos sang, because
singing was her life, and she sang of love because she could sing of
nothing else. Anacreon did not pretend to sing. He hummed as the bees of
Hymettus hummed, over this flower and over that, indifferent to each,
caring not for them, for their sweets merely, eager to get all he could as
quickly as he might, smacking his faunesque lips over the grape,
staggering with a hiccough along the lanes of love, trailing among them
strophes to Bacchus rather than to Eros, yet managing to combine the two
and leaving finally to the world that chord with its notes of pleasure.

These, mounting behind Sappho's songs, spread through Hellas, creating as
they spread a caste that borrowed from the girl her freedom, from the bard
his wit, and, from the fusion, produced the hetaira.

Hetaira is a term which Sappho applied to her pupils. It means comrade.
But either because it was too elusive for history's detention or too
fragile for its care, it became corrupted, shoved roughly by stupid hands
among the pornai. The latter were the hierodules of Aphrodite Pandemos.
The hetairæ were objects of art, patiently fashioned in fastidious
convents, a class of highly educated young women to whom marriage did not
necessarily appeal but to whom liberty was essential, girls "pleasanter,"
Amphis said, "than the wife, for she with the law on her side, can sit in
your house and despise you."

Such an attitude is not enticing. The hetairæ were an alterative from it,
and, at the same time, a protest against existing feminine conditions.
These conditions the legislature could not change but the protest the
legislature could and did encourage. While the wife sat contemptuous in
the severe gynæceum, the hetairæ mingled with men, charming them always,
marrying them occasionally, yet only when their own equality and
independence was recognized and conserved.

It was into a union of this kind that Pericles entered with Aspasia. He
never regretted it, though history has affected to regard it as illicit,
and Aspasia as Omphale. The affectation is an injustice. "In all things,"
Pericles said, "a man's life should be as clean as his hands." What
Aspasia said is not recorded. But it is not improbable that she inspired
the remark.

Aspasia was born and educated at Miletus. It was chiefly there and at
Corinth that the hetairæ were trained. In these cities, seminaries had
been established where girls rose from studies as serious as those which
the practice of other liberal professions comport. Their instruction
comprised everything that concerned the perfectioning of the body and
everything that related to the embellishment of the mind. In addition to
calisthenics, there were courses in music, poetry, diction, philosophy,
politics, and art. The graduates were admirable. Their beauty was
admirable also. But they were admired less for that than because the study
of every grace had contributed to their understanding of the unique art,
which is that of charming. Charm they exhaled. Gifted and accomplished,
they were the only women with whom an enlightened Greek could converse.
Their attitude was irreproachable, their distinction extreme, and they
differed from other women only in that their manners were more correct.
Plato had one of them for muse. Sophocles another. To Glycera, of whom
Menander wrote, poetry was an insufficient homage, a statue was erected to

These instances, anomalous now, were logical then. To the Greek the gifts
of the gods were more beneficent here than hereafter. Of divine gifts none
was more appreciated and none more allied to the givers than beauty. The
value attached to it, prodigious in peace, was potent in war, potent in
law. At Platæa, Callicrates was numbered among the heroes because of his
looks. For the same reason Philippus, killed in battle, was nobly buried
and worshipped by those who had been his foes. For the same reason Phryne,
charged with high crimes, was acquitted.

At the Eleusinian mysteries, beneath the portico of the temple, before
assembled Athens, Phryne appeared in the guise of Aphrodite rising from
the sea. Charged with parodying the rites, she was summoned before the
Areiopagus. Conviction meant death. But her beauty, which her advocate
suddenly and cleverly disclosed, was her sole defence. It sufficed for
the acquittal of this woman whose statue, the work of Praxiteles, was
placed in the temple at Delphi.

The tomb of a sister had for epitaph: "Greece, formerly invincible, was
conquered and enslaved by the beauty of Lais, daughter of Love, graduate
of Corinth, who here rests in the noble fields of Thessaly." For Thais a
monument was erected. At Tarsus Glycera had honors semi-divine. In Greece,
let a woman be what she might, if beautiful she was deified, if charming
she was adored. In either case she represented vivified æstheticism to a
people at once intellectual and athletic, temperate and rich, a people
who, contemptous of any time-consuming business, supported by a nation of
slaves, possessing in consequence that wide leisure without which the
richest are poor, attained in their brilliant city almost the ideal. They
knew nothing of telegraphs and telephones, but they knew as little of
hypocrisy and cant. Art and æsthetics sufficed.

In Corinthian and Milesian convents æsthetics were taught to girls who,
lifting their fair hands to Aphrodite, prayed that they might do nothing
that should not charm, say nothing that should not please. These studies
and rituals were supplemented in the Academe. There they learned that the
rightful path in love consisted in passing from beautiful manners to
beautiful thoughts, from beautiful thoughts to beautiful aspirations,
from beautiful aspirations to beautiful meditations, and that, in so
passing, they attained wisdom absolute which is beauty supreme.

It would be excessive to fancy that all graduates followed these precepts
and entered with them into the austere regions where Beauty, one and
indivisible, resides. It would be not only excessive but unreasonable.
Manners were proper for all, but for some revenues were better. Those of
Phryne were so ample that she offered to rebuild the walls of Thebes.
Those of Lais were such that she erected temples. But Phryne and Lais came
later, in post-Aspasian days, when Corinth, in addition to schools, had
marts in which beauty was an article of commerce and where pleasure
received the same official encouragement that stoicism had at Sparta. In
the train of Lais, Ishtar followed. It was Alexander that invoked her.

In the age of Pericles and Aspasia, Athens was too æsthetic to heed the
one, too young to know the other. Pallas alone, she who from her crystal
parapets saw and foresaw what the years would bring, could have told.
Otherwise there was then not a shadow on Athens, light only, light that
has never been excelled, light which from high porches, from tinted
peristyles, from gleaming temples, from shining statues, from white
immortals, from hill to sea, from Olympus itself, radiated, revealing in
its intense vibrations the glare of genius at its apogee.

Whatever is beautiful had its apotheosis then. Whatever was superb found
there its home. Athens had risen to her full height. Salamis had been
fought. A handful of athletes had routed Asia. Reverse the picture and the
glare could not have been. Its aurora would have swooned back into
darkness. But such was the luminousness it acquired that one ray, piercing
the mediæval night, created the Renaissance, art's rebirth, the recall of
antique beauty.

Salamis lifted Greece to the skies. In the return was a new epoch, the
most brilliant the world has known, a brief century packed with the art of
ages, filled to the tips with grace, lit with a light that still dazzles.
It was too fair. Willed by destiny, it menaced the supremacy of the
divine. "But by whom," Io asked, "is Destiny ruled?" "By the Furies," was
the prompt reply.

They were there. From the depths of the archaic skies they were peering,
prepared to pounce. After one war, another. After the rout of incoherent
Persia, a duel between Athens and Sparta, a duel of jealousy, feminine in
rancor, virile in strength, from which Sparta backed, yet only to return
and fight again, only to fall at last as Athens did, as Thebes did too,
beneath the might of Macedon, expiring all of them in those convulsions
that summoned Rome.

Meanwhile there was but light. Death had not come. In between was the
unexampled reign of beauty during which, after Æschylus and Pindar, came
the splendors of Sophocles, the magnificence of Euripides, Socratic
wisdom, and the rich, rare laugh of Aristophanes. That being insufficient,
there was Pheidias, there was Plato, art at its highest, beauty at its
best, and, that the opulent chain they formed might not sever too
suddenly, there followed Praxiteles, Apelles, Aristotle, Epicurus, and
Demosthenes. Even with them that chain could not end. Intertwisting with
the coil of death, it Hellenized Asia, Atticized Alexandria, girdled Rome,
resting in the latter's Lower Empire until recovered by the delighted

The names of the Periclean age are high. There is a higher one yet, that
of Pericles. Statesman, orator, philosopher, soldier, artist, poet, and
lover, Pericles was so great that, another Zeus, he was called the
Olympian. If to him Egeria came, would it not, a poet somewhere asked, be
uncivil to depict her as less than he? It would be not only uncivil but

Said Themistocles, "You see that boy of mine? Though but five, he governs
the universe. Yes, for he rules his mother, his mother rules me, I rule
Athens and Athens the world." After Themistocles it was Pericles' turn to
govern and be ruled. His sovereign was Aspasia.

Aspasia had come from Miletus with another hetaira to Athens which her
companion vacated to be bride of a Thessalian king, but where she became
the wife of one beside whom mere kings were nothing. It was her beauty
that first attracted Pericles. Beauty does attract, but only graciousness
can detain. In the home of Pericles there was none, a woman merely of the
Xantippe type from whom he separated by common consent and put Aspasia,
not in her inferior place, but on a pedestal before which he knelt.
Aspasia became not merely his wife but his inspiration, his comrade, his
aid. She worked for him and with him. She encouraged him in his work,
accompanied him in his battles, consoled him in his fatigues, entertained
his friends, talked philosophy with Socrates, frivolity with Alcibiades,
art with Pheidias, but love to him, displaying what Athens had socially
never seen, the spectacle of delicacy, culture, wit, beauty, and ease
united in a woman, and that woman a woman of the world.

The sight, highly novel, established a precedent and with it fresh
conceptions of what woman might be. In the _Iliad_, she was money. Money
has a language of its own. In the enchanted islands of the _Odyssey_ she
was charm. Charm has a more distinct appeal. In Lesbos she was emancipated
and that made her headier still. But in the opulent Athenian nights
Aspasia revealed her not physically attractive merely, not personally
alluring only, not simply free, but spirituelle, addressing the mind as
well as the eye, inspiring the one, refining the other, captivating the
soul as well as the senses, the ideal woman, comrade, helpmate, and
sweetheart in one.

Like the day it was too fair. Presently the duel occurred. Lacedæmon,
trailing the pest in her tunic, ravaged the Eleusinian glades. Pericles
died. Aspasia disappeared. The duel, waning a moment, was resumed. It
debilitated Sparta, exhausted Athens, and awoke Thebes, who fell on both
but only to be eaten by Philip.

It would have been interesting to have seen that man and his Epeirote
queen who hung serpents about her, played with them among poisonous weeds
and who, because of another woman, killed her king, burned her rival
alive, and gave to the world Alexander.

It would have been more interesting still to have seen the latter when,
undermined by every vice of the vicious East, with nothing left to
conquer, with no sin left to commit, with no crime left undone, he
descended into the great sewer that Babylon was and there, in a golden
house, on a golden throne, in the attributes of divinity was worshipped as
a god. Behind him was a background of mitred priests and painted children,
about him were the fabulous beasts that roamed into heraldry, with them
was a harem of three hundred and sixty-five odalisques apportioned to the
days of the year, while above swung the twelve signs of the zodiac. In
that picture Rome was to find the prototype of her Cæsars, as in it
already Hellas has seen the supplanting of Aphrodite by Ishtar.

Greece, still young, lingered briefly, then without decrepitude, without
decadence, ceased, nationally, to be. Aphrodite, young too, died with her.
As Venus Pandemos Rome evoked her. The evocation was successful. Venus
Pandemos appeared. But even from Olympus, which together with Hellenic
civilization, Rome absorbed, Aphrodite had already departed. Those who
truly sought her found her indeed, but like the art she inspired only in
marble and story.



It used to be a proverb that Apollo created Æsculapius to heal the body
and Plato to heal the soul. Plato may have failed to do that. But he
heightened its stature. It has been loftier since he taught. In his
teaching was the consummation of intellect. His mind was sky-like, his
speech perfection. Antiquity that thought Zeus must have revealed himself
to Pheidias, thought, too, that should the high god deign to speak to
mortals, it would be in the nightingale tongue of refinement which Plato
employed. The beauty of it is not always apprehensible. His views, also,
are not always understood. Yet an attempt must be made to supply some
semblance of the latter because of the influence they have had.

"I know but one little thing," said Socrates. "It is love." Socrates was
ironical. That which it pleased him to call little, Plato regarded as a
special form of the universal law of attraction. His theories on the
subject are contained in the _Phædrus_ and the _Symposion_, two poetically
luxurious works produced by him in the violet-crowned city during the
brilliant Athenian day, before Socrates had gone and Sparta had come.

The _Symposion_ is a banquet. A few friends, Phædrus and Pausanias, men of
letters; Eryximachus, a physician; Aristophanes, the poet; Socrates, the
seer, have been supping at the house of Agathon. By way of food for
thought love is suggested. Discussion regarding it follows, in which
Socrates joins--a simple expedient that enabled Plato to put in his
master's mouth the æsthetic nectar of personal views of which the real
Socrates never dreamed.

Among the first disputants is Phædrus. In his quality of man of letters he
began with extravagant praise of Eros, whom he called the mightiest of all
gods, the chief minister of happiness.

To this, Pausanias, also a literary man and therefore indisposed to agree
with another, objected. "Phædrus would be right," he said, "if there were
but one Eros. But there are two. Love is inseparable from Aphrodite. If
there were only one Aphrodite there would be only one love. But there are
two Aphrodites. Hence there must be two loves. One Aphrodite is Urania or
celestial, the other Pandemos or common. The divinities should all be
lauded. Still there is a distinction between these two. They vary as
actions do. Consider what we are now doing, drinking and talking. These
things in themselves are neither good nor evil. They become one or the
other in accordance with the way in which we do them. In the same manner,
not every love, but only that which is inherently altruistic, can be
called divine. The love inspired by Aphrodite Pandemos is essentially
common. It is such as appeals to vulgar natures. It is of the senses, not
of the soul. Intemperate persons experience this love, which seeks only
its own gross end. Whereas the love that comes of Aphrodite Urania has for
object the happiness and improvement of another."

With all of which Eryximachus agreed. Eryximachus was a physician,
consequently more naturalistic, and in agreeing he extended the duality of
love over all things, over plants and animals as well as over man,
claiming for it a universal influence in nature, science, and the arts,
expressing himself meanwhile substantially as follows:

In the human body there are two loves, confessedly different, as such
their desires are unlike, the desire of the healthy body being one thing,
that of the unhealthy something else. The skilful physician knows how to
separate them, how to convert one into the other, and reconcile their
hostile elements. In music there is the same reconciliation of opposites.
This is demonstrable by rhythm, which is composed of elements short and
long, and which, though differing, may be harmonized. The course of the
seasons is also an example of both principles. When the opposing forces,
sunlight and rain, heat and cold, blend harmoniously they bring fertility
and health, precisely as their discord has a counter influence. The
knowledge of love in relation to the revolutions of the heavenly bodies is
termed astronomy. Lastly, religion, through the knowledge which it has of
what is pious and what is impious, is love's intermediary between men and

Such is love's universal sway. The origin of its duality Aristophanes then
explained. Sages, neighbors of the gods, of whom Empedocles was the last
representative, had supposed, that in the beginning of things, those that
loved were one. Later they were separated. Thereafter they sought the
better half which they had lost. This tradition, possibly Orphic,
Aristophanes took for text and embroidered it with his usual
grotesqueness. But beneath the humor of his illustrations there was an
idea less profound perhaps than delicate. Love, however regarded, may not
improperly be defined as the union of two beings who complete each other
and who, from the stand-point of the Orphic tradition, reciprocally
discover in each other what individually they once had and since have
lacked. On the other hand, it may be that in the symbolism which
Aristophanes employed was an attempt to apply to humanity the theory
which Eryximachus had set forth. At the origin of all things is unity,
which divides and becomes multiple only to return to its primal shape.
Human nature, as masculinely and femininely exemplified, is primitive
unity after division has come, and love is the return to that unity which
in itself is of all things the compelling law. In other words, one is
many, and, love aiding, many are one.

But whatever Aristophanes may have meant, his views were subsidiary. It
was to Socrates that Plato reserved the privilege of penetrating into the
essence of love and of displaying its progressus and consummation. "How
many things that I never thought of," Socrates on reading his own
discourse, exclaimed, "this young man has made me say."

Among them was an exposition of the fundamental law of human nature, the
universal desire for happiness. In the demonstrations that followed good
was shown to be a means to happiness; consequently, every one, loving
happiness, loves good also. In this sense love belongs to all. Every one,
in loving happiness, loves good and craves a perpetual possession of both.
But different minds have different ways of attaining the same end. One man
aspires to happiness through wealth, another through place, a third
through philosophy. These are uninfluenced by Eros. The influence of Eros
is exerted when the perpetual possession of happiness is sought in

But life itself comports no continuity. Life is but a succession of
phenomena, of which one departs as another appears, and of which each,
created by what has gone before, creates that which ensues, the result
being that, though from womb to tomb a man be called the same, never,
either mentally or physically, is he. The constant disintegration and
renovation of tissues correspond with the constant flux and reflux of
sensations, emotions, thoughts. The man of this instant perishes. He is
replaced by a new one during the next. That proposition true of the
individual is equally true of the species, continuance of either being
secured only through reproduction. The love of immortality manifests
itself therefore through the reproductive impulse. Beauty, in another,
exercises an attractive force that enables a gratification of the impulse
which ugliness arrests. Hence comes the love of beauty. In some, it
stimulates the body, attracting them to women and inducing them to
perpetuate themselves through the production of children. In others, it
stimulates the mind, inducing the creation of children such as Lycurgus
left to Sparta, Solon to Athens, Homer and Hesiod to humanity, children
that built them temples which women-born offspring could not erect.

These are the lesser mysteries of love. The higher mysteries, then
unveiled, disclose a dialectic ladder of which the first rung touches
earth, the last the divine. To mount from one to the other, love should
rise as does the mind which from hypothesis to hypothesis reaches truth.
In like manner, love, mounting from form to form, reaches the primordial
principle from which all beauty proceeds. The rightful order of going
consists in using earthly beauties as ascending steps, passing from one
fair form to all fair forms, from fair forms to beautiful deeds, from
beautiful deeds to beautiful conceptions, until from beautiful conceptions
comes the knowledge of beauty supreme.

"There," Socrates continued, "is the home of every science and of all
philosophy. It is not, though, initiation's final stage. The heart
requires more. Drawn by the power of love, it cannot rest in a sphere of
abstraction. It must go higher, higher yet, still higher to the ultimate
degree where it unites with beauty divine."

That union which is the true life is not, Socrates explained,
annihilation, nor is it unity, or at least not unity which excludes
division. The lover and the beloved are distinct. They are two and yet but
one, wedded in immaculate beauty.

"If anything," Socrates concluded, "can lend value to life it is the
spectacle of that beauty, pure, unique, aloof from earthly attributes,
free from the vanities of the world. It is a spectacle which,
apprehensible to the mind alone, enables the beholder to create, not
phantoms, but verities, and in so doing, to merit immortality, if mortal

Socrates, who had been leaning against the table, lay back on his couch.
The grave discourse was ended. Aristophanes was preparing to reply.
Suddenly there was violent knocking at the door without. A little later
the voice of Alcibiades was heard resounding through the court. In a state
of great intoxication he was roaring and shouting "Agathon! Where is
Agathon? Lead me to Agathon." Then at once, massively crowned with
flowers, half supported by a flute girl, Alcibiades, ribald and
importunate, staggered in. The grave discourse was ended, the banquet as

There is an Orphic fragment which runs: The innumerable souls that are
precipitated from the great heart of the universe swarms as birds swarm.
They flutter and sink. From sphere to sphere they fall and in falling
weep. They are thy tears, Dionysos. O Liberator divine, resummon thy
children to thy breast of light.

In the Epiphanies at Eleusis the doctrine disclosed was demonstrative of
that conception. The initiate learned the theosophy of the soul, its
cycles and career. In that career the soul's primal home was color, its
sustenance light. From beatitude to beatitude it floated, blissfully, in
ethereal evolutions, until, attracted by the forms of matter, it sank
lower, still lower, to awake in the senses of man.

The theory detained Plato. In the _Phædrus_, which is the supplement of
the _Symposion_, he made it refract something approaching the splendor of
truth revealed. With Socrates again for mouthpiece, he declared that in
anterior existence we all stood a constant witness of the beautiful and
the true, adding that, if now the presence of any shape of earthly
loveliness evokes a sense of astonishment and delight, the effect is due
to reminiscences of what we once beheld when we were other than what we

"It seems, then," Plato noted, "as though we had found again some object,
very precious, which, once ours, had vanished. The impression is not
illusory. Beauty is really a belonging which we formerly possessed.
Mingling in the choir of the elect our souls anteriorly contemplated the
eternal essences among which beauty shone. Fallen to this earth we
recognize it by the intermediary of the most luminous of our senses.
Sight, though the subtlest of the organs, does not perceive wisdom. Beauty
is more apparent. At the sight of a face lit with its rays, memory
returns, emotions recur, we think love is born in us and it is, yet it is
but born anew."

There is a Persian manuscript which, read one way, is an invocation to
love in verse, and which, read backward, is an essay on mathematics in
prose. Love is both a poem and a treatise. It was in that aspect Plato
regarded it. It had grown since Homer. It had developed since the Song of
Songs. With Plato it attained a height which it never exceeded until Plato
himself revived with the Renaissance. In the interim it wavered and
diminished. There came periods when it passed completely away. Whether
Plato foresaw that evaporation, is conjectural. But his projection of the
drunken Alcibiades into the gravity of the Banquet is significant. The
dissolute, entering suddenly there, routed beauty and was, it may be, but
an unconscious prefigurement of the coming orgy in which love also



It was the mission of Rome to make conquests, not statues, not to create,
but to quell. Her might reverberated in the roar of her name. Roma means
strength. It is only in reading it backward that Amor appears. Love there
was secondary. Might had precedence. It was Might that made first the
home, then the state, then the senate that ruled the world. That might,
which was so great that to ablate it the earth had to bear new races, was
based on two things, citizenship and the family. The title Romanus sum was
equal to that of rex. The title of matron was superior.

The Romans, primarily but a band of outlaws, carried away the daughters of
their neighbors by force. Their first conquest was woman. The next was the
gods. In the rude beginnings the latter were savage as they. Revealed in
panic and thunder, they were gods of prey and of fright. Rome, whom they
mortified, made no attempt to impose them on other people. With superior
tact she lured their gods from them. She made love to them. With naïve
effrontery she seduced them away. The process Macrobius described. At the
walls of any beleaguered city, a consul, his head veiled, pronounced the
consecrated words. "If there be here gods that have under their care this
people and this city, we pray, supplicate, and adjure them to desert the
temples, to abandon the altars, to inspire terror there, to come to Rome
near us and ours, that our temples, being more agreeable and precious, may
predispose them to protect us. It being understood and agreed that we
dedicate to them larger altars, grander games."[13]

It was with that formula that Rome conquered the world. She omitted it but
once, at the walls of Jerusalem. The deity whom she forgot there to
invoke, entered her temples and overthrew them.

Meanwhile the flatteries of the formula no known god could resist. In
triumph Rome escorted one after another away, leaving the forsaken but
doorposts to worship, and stimulating in them the desire to become part of
the favored city where their divinities were. But in that city everything
was closed to them. Deserted by their gods, divested, in consequence, of
religion and, therefore, of every right, they could no longer pray, the
significance of signs and omens was lost to them, they were plebs. But the
Romans, who had captivated the divinities, and who, through them, alone
possessed the incommunicable science of augury, were patrician. In that
distinction is the origin of Rome's aristocracy and her might.

The might pre-existed in the despotic organization of the home. There the
slaves and children were but things that could be sold or killed. They
were the chattels of the paterfamilias, whose wife was a being without
influence or initiative, a creature in the hands of a man, unable to leave
him for any cause whatever, a domestic animal over whom he had the right
of life and death, a ward who, regarded as mentally irresponsible--_propter
animi lævitatem_--might not escape his power even though he died, a woman
whom he could repudiate at will and of whom he was owner and judge.[14]

Such was the law and such it remained, a dead letter, nullified by a
reason profoundly human, which the legislature had overlooked, but which
the Asiatics had foreseen and which they combated with the seraglio where
woman, restricted to a fraction of her lord, exhausted herself in
contending even for that. But Rome, in making the paterfamilias despotic,
made him monogamous as well. He was strictly restricted to one wife. As a
consequence, the materfamilias, while theoretically a slave, became
practically what woman with her husband to herself and no rivals to fear
almost inevitably does become--supreme. Legally she was the property of
her husband, actually he was hers. When he returned from forage or from
war, she alone had the right to greet him, she alone might console and
caress. In the eye of the gods if not of the law she was his equal when
not his superior. By virtue of the law he could divorce her at will, he
could kill her if she so much as presumed to drink wine. By virtue of her
supremacy five hundred and twenty years passed before a divorce

The supremacy was otherwise facilitated. The atrium, unlike the gynæceum,
was not a remote and inaccessible apartment, it was the living-room, the
sanctuary of the household gods, a common hall to which friends were
admitted, visitors came, and where the matron presided. From the moment
when, in accordance with the ceremonies of marriage, her hair--in memory
of the Sabines--parted by a javelin's point, an iron ring--symbol of
eternity--on her fourth finger, the wedding bread eaten, her purchase
money paid, and she, lifted over the threshold of the atrium, uttered the
sacramental words--Ubi tu Caïus, ibi ego Caïa--from that moment, legally
_in manum viri_, actually she became mistress of whatever her husband
possessed, she became his associate, his partner, sharing with him the
administration of the patrimony, governing the household, the slaves,
Caïus himself.

Said Cato: "Everywhere else women are ruled by men, but we who rule all
men, are ruled by women." They had done so from the first. The treatment
of the Sabines was clearly violent in addition to being mythical. But,
even in legend, these young women were not deserted as were the Ariadnes
and Medeas of Greece. They became Roman matrons, as such circled with
respect. Later, Egeria instituted with symbolic nymphs a veritable worship
of women. Thereafter feminine prerogatives developed from the theory and
practice of marriage itself. In theory, marriage was an association for
the pursuit of things human and divine.[16] In practice, it was the fusion
of two lives--a fusion manifestly incomplete if all were not held in
common. Community of goods means equality. From equality to superiority
there is but a step. The matron took it. She became supreme as already she
was patrician.

Between patrician and plebeian there was an abyss too wide for marriage to
bridge. Such a union would have been regarded as abnormal. The plebeian
did not at first dare to conceive of such a thing. When later he protested
against his helotry it was in silence. He but vacated the city where the
earth threatened to open beneath him and where his lost gods brooded
inimical still. Ultimately, protests persisting, the patricians consented
that these nobodies should be somebodies, provided at least they were men.
Already Roman by birth, they became Roman by law.

Whether man or woman, it was a high privilege to be that. The woman who
was not, the manumitted slave, the foreigner within the walls, the code
disdained to consider. Statutes against shames took no account of her.
Beyond the pale even of ethics, the attitude to her of others concerned
but herself.

But about the Roman woman were thrown Lycurgian laws. A forfeiture of her
honor was a disgrace to the State. Her people killed her--_Cognati necanto
uti volent_--as they liked. On the morrow there was nothing that told of
the tragedy save the absence of a woman seen no more. If she were seen, if
father or husband neglected his duty, public indictment ensued with death
or exile for result. From the indictment and its penalties appeal could be
had. From the edile could be obtained the _Licentia stupri_, the right to
the antique livery of shame. But thereafter the purple no longer bordered
the robe of the ex-patrician. She could no longer be driven in chariots or
be borne in litters by slaves; the fillet, taken from her, was replaced
by a yellow wig; a harlot then, she was civilly dead.[17]

Tacitus has said that under Tiberius a special law had to be enacted to
prevent women of rank from such descent. During the austerer days of the
republic the derogation was unknown. The Greek ideal of woman which the
hetaira exemplified was beauty. Honor, which was the Roman ideal, the
matron achieved.

To the matrons reverently Rome bowed. The purple border on their mantle
compelled respect. The modesty of their eyes and ears was protected by
grave laws. In days of danger the senate asked their aid. The gods could
have no purer incense than their prayers. There was no homage greater than
their esteem. Such a word as dignity was too colorless to be employed
regarding them, it was the term majesty that was used. The vestal was but
a more perfect type of these women on whose tomb _univiræ_--the wife of
one man--was alone inscribed.

The honor of the Roman matron was a national affair, the honor of a Roman
girl a public concern. Because of the one, royalty was abolished. Because
of the other, the decemvirs fell. In neither case was there revolution. On
the contrary. In the first instance, that of Lucretia, it was the
insurrection of Tarquin against the inviolability of virtue. In the
second, that of Virginia, it was the insurrection of Appius Claudius
against the inviolability of love, dual insurrections, probably mythical,
which Rome, with legendary fury, suppressed, and which, whether historic
or imaginary, was typical of the energetic character that made her what
she was, proud, despotic, sovereign of the world.

"The empire that Rome won," St. Augustin, with agreeable ingenuousness,
remarked, "God gave her in order that, though pagan and consequently
unrewardable hereafter, her virtues should not remain unrecognized below."
Nor were they, and that, too, despite the fact that they omitted to
endure, except, as Cicero said, in books; "in old books," he added, "which
no one reads any more." But in the interim three things had occurred.
Greece, wounded to the death, had flooded Rome with the hemorrhages of her
expiring art. Asia had undyked the sea of her corruption. Both had
cascaded their riches. Rome hitherto had been poor, she had been puritan.
Hers had been the peasant's hard plain life. The costume of the matron,
which custom had made stately, the lex Oppia had made severe. This
statute, passed at the time of the Carthagenian invasion, was a measure of
public utility devised to increase the budget of war. Its abrogation
coincided with the fall of Macedon and the return of Æmilius Paulus,
bringing with him the sack of seventy cities, the prodigious booty of
ravaged Greece, the prelude to that of the East. Behind these eruptions
was the contagion of fastidious caprices that demoralized Rome.

Heretofore, innocent of excesses, ignorant of refinements, in antique
simplicity, Rome had sat briefly and upright before her frugal fare.
Thereafter, on cushioned beds were repasts, long and savorous, eaten to
the sound of crotal and of flute. There were after-courses of ballerine
and song, the refreshment of perfume, the luxurious tonic of the bath, the
red feather that enabled one to eat again, the marvels of Asiatic
debauchery, the surprises of Hellenic grace. In the charm of foreign
spells former austerities were forgot. Romans who had not been initiated
in them abroad had the returning victors for tutors at home.

Sylla was particularly instructive. Carthagenian in ferocity, Babylonian
in lubricity, Hamilcar and Belshazzar in one, the ugliest and most
formidable Roman of the lot, his life, which an ulcer ravaged, was a
succession of massacres, orgies, and crimes. Married one after another to
three women of wealth, who to him were but stepping stones to fortune, on
a day when he was preparing to give one of those festivals, the splendor
and the art of which he had learned from Mithridates, his third wife fell
ill. Death discourages Fortune. Sylla sent her a bill of divorce and
ordered her to be taken from the house, which was done, just in time, she
was dying. Sylla promptly remarried, then married again, and yet again.
Meanwhile, he had a daughter and an eye on the promising Pompey. His
daughter was married. So too was Pompey. He forced his daughter from her
husband, forced Pompey to repudiate his wife, and forced them to marry.

Sylla had brought with him from the East its curious cups in which blood
and passion mingled, and spilled them in the open streets. Crassus outdid
him in magnificence, and Lucullus eclipsed them both. Asia had yielded to
these men the fortune of her people, the honor of her children, the
treasure of her temples, the secrets of their sin. The Orientalisms which
they imported, their deluge of coin, their art of marrying cruelty to
pleasure, set Rome mad.

Among the maddest was Catiline. That tiger, in whose vestibule were
engraved the laws of facile love, affiliated women of rank, others of
none, soldiers and slaves, in his convulsive cause. Shortly, throughout
the Latin territory, a mysterious sound was heard. It was like the clash
of arms afar. The augurs, interrogated, announced that the form of the
State was about to change. The noise was the crackling of the

Before it fell came Cæsar. Sylla told him to repudiate his wife as Pompey
had. Cæsar declined to be commanded. The house of Julia, to which he
belonged, descended, he declared, from Venus. Venus Pandemos, perhaps. But
the ancestry was typical. Cinna drafted a law giving him the right to
marry as often as he chose. After the episodes in Gaul, when he entered
Rome, his legions warned the citizens to have an eye to their wives.
Meanwhile, he had repudiated Pompeia, his wife, not to please Sylla but
himself, or rather because Publius Claudius, a young gallant, had been
discovered disguised as a woman assisting at the mysteries of the Bona
Dea, held on this occasion in Cæsar's house. To these ceremonies men were
not admitted. The affair made a great scandal. Pompeia was suspected of
having helped Publius to be present. The suspicion was probably unfounded.
But Cæsar held that his wife should be above suspicion. He divorced her in
consequence and married Calpurnia, not for love but for place. Her father
was consul. Cæsar wanted his aid and got it. Then, after creating a
solitude and calling it peace, after turning over two million people into
so many dead flies, after giving geography such a twist that to-day whoso
says Cæsar says history--after these pauses in the ascending scale of his
unequalled life, at the age of fifty, bald, tired, and very pale, there
was brought to him at Alexandria a bundle, from which, when opened, there
emerged a little wonder called Cleopatra, but who was Isis unveiled.[19]



In Greece beauty was the secret of life. In Egypt it was the secret of
death. The sphinxes that crouched in the avenues, the caryatides at the
palace doors, the gods on their pedestals, had an expression enigmatic but
identical. It was as though some of them listened, while others repeated
the story of the soul's career. In the chambers of the tombs the echo of
the story descended. The dead were dreaming, and draining it. Saturated
with aromatics, wound about with spirals of thin bands, they were dressed
as for nuptials. On their faces was the same beatitude that the statues

Isis typified that beatitude. The goddess, in whose mysteries were taught
both the immortality of the soul and the secret of its migrations, was one
of Ishtar's many avatars, the only one whose attributes accorded even
remotely with the divine. Egypt adored her. There were other gods. There
was Osiris, the father; Horus, the son, who with Isis formed the trinity
which India and Persia both possessed, and which Byzance afterward
perpetuated. There were other gods also, a hierarchy of great idle
divinities with, beneath them, cohorts of inferior fiends. But the great
light was Isis. Goddess of life and goddess of death, she had for sceptre
a lotos and for crown a cormorant; the lotos because it is emblematic of
love, and the cormorant because, however replete, it says never Enough.

Isis was the consort of Osiris. She was also his sister. It was customary
for the queens of Egypt to call themselves after her, and, like her, to
marry a brother. Cleopatra followed the usual custom. In other ways she
must have resembled her. She was beautiful, but not remarkably so. The
Egyptian women generally were good-looking. The Asiatics admired them very
much. They were preferred to the Chinese, whose eyes oblique and
half-closed perturbed sages, demons even, with whom, Michelet has
suggested, they were perhaps akin. Cleopatra lacked that insidiousness.
Semi-Greek, a daughter of the Ptolomies, she had the charm of the Hellenic
hetaira. To aptitudes natural and very great, she added a varied
assortment of accomplishments. It is said that she could talk to any one
in any tongue. That is probably an exaggeration. But, though a queen, she
was ambitious; though a girl, she was lettered; succinctly, she was
masterful, a match for any man except Cæsar.

Cleopatra must have been very heady. Cæsar knew how to keep his head. He
could not have done what he did, had he not known. Dissolute, as all men
of that epoch had become, he differed from all of them in his
epicureanism. Like Epicurus, he was strictly temperate. He supped on dry
bread. Cato said that he was the first sober man that had tried to
overthrow the republic. But, then, he had been to school, to the best of
schools, which the world is. His studies _in anima vili_ had taught him
many things, among them, how to win and not be won. Cleopatra might almost
have been his granddaughter. But he was Cæsar. His eyes blazed with
genius. Besides, he was the most alluring of men. Tall, slender, not
handsome but superb--so superb that Cicero mistook him for a fop from whom
the republic had nothing to fear--at seventeen he had fascinated pirates.
Ever since he had fascinated queens. In the long list, Cleopatra was but
another to this man whom the depths of Hither Asia, the mysteries that lay
beyond, the diadems of Cyrus and Alexander, the Vistula and the Baltic
claimed. There were his ambitions. They were immense. So were also
Cleopatra's. What he wanted, she wanted for him, and for herself as well.
She wanted him sovereign of the world and herself its empress.

These views, in so far as they concerned her, did not interest him very
greatly. His lack of interest he was, however, too well bred to display.
He solidified her throne, which at the time was not stable, left her a son
for souvenir, went away, forgot her, remembered her, invited her to Rome,
where, presumably with Calpurnia's permission, he put her up at his house,
and again forgot her. He was becoming divine, what is superior, immortal.
Even when dead, his name, adopted by the emperors of Rome, survived in
Czars and Kaisers. His power too, coextensive with Rome, persisted.
Severed as it was like his heart when he fell, the booty was divided
between Octavius, Lepidus, and Marc Antony.

Their triumvirate--duumvirate rather, Lepidus was nobody--matrimony
consolidated. Octavius married a relative of Antony and Antony married
Octavius' sister. Then the world was apportioned. Octavius got the
Occident, Antony the Orient. Rome became the capital of the one,
Alexandria that of the other. At the time Alexandria was Rome's rival and
superior. Rome, unsightly still with the atrocities of the Tarquins, had
neither art nor commerce. These things were regarded as the occupations of
slaves. Alexandria, purely Greek, very fair, opulent, and teeming, was the
universal centre of both, of learning too, of debauchery as well--elements
which its queen, a viper of the Nile, personified.

Before going there Antony made and unmade a dozen kings. Then, presently,
at Tarsus he ordered Cleopatra to come to him. Indolently, his subject

Cæsar claimed descent from Venus. Antony's tutelary god was Bacchus, but
he claimed descent from Hercules, whom in size and strength he resembled.
The strength was not intellectual. He was an understudy of genius, a
soldier of limited intelligence, who tried to imitate Cæsar and failed to
understand him, a big barbarian boy, by accident satrap and god.

At Rome he had seen Cleopatra. Whether she had noticed him is uncertain.
But the gilded galley with the purple sails, its silver oars, its canopy
of enchantments in which she went to him at Tarsus, has been told and
retold, sung and painted.

At the approach of Isis, the Tarsians crowded the shore. Bacchus, deserted
on his throne, sent an officer to fetch her to him. Cleopatra insisted
that he come to her. Antony, amused at the impertinence, complied. The
infinite variety of this woman, that made her a suite of surprises,
instantly enthralled him. From that moment he was hers, a lion in leash,
led captive into Alexandria, where, initiated by her into the inimitable
life, probably into the refinements of the savoir-vivre as well, Bacchus
developed into Osiris, while Isis transformed herself anew. She drank
with him, fished with him, hunted with him, drilled with him, played
tricks on him, and, at night, in slave's dress, romped with him in
Rhakotis--a local slum--broke windows, beat the watch, captivating the
captive wholly.[20]

Where she had failed with Cæsar she determined to succeed with him, and
would have succeeded, had Antony been Cæsar. Octavius was not Cæsar,
either. Any man of ability, with the power and resources of which Antony
disposed, could have taken the Occident from him and, with Cleopatra,
ruled the world.

Together they dreamed of it. It was a beautiful dream, inimitable like
their life. Rumors of the one and of the other reached Octavius. He
waited, not impatiently and not long. Meanwhile Antony was still the
husband of Octavia. But Cleopatra had poisoned her brother-husband. There
being, therefore, no lawful reason why she and Antony should not marry,
they did. Together, in the splendid palace of the Bruchium--an antique gem
of which the historic brilliance still persists--they seated themselves,
he as Osiris, she as Isis, on thrones of gold. Their children they
declared kings of kings. Armenia, Phoenicia, Media, and Parthea, were
allotted to them. To Cleopatra's realm Antony added Syria, Lydia, and
Cyprus. These distributions constituted just so many dismemberments of
the res publica, Antony thought them so entirely within the scope of his
prerogatives that he sent an account of the proceedings to the senate.
With the account there went to Octavia a bill of divorce. Rome stood by
indignant. It was precisely what Octavius wanted.

Octavius had divorced his wife and married a married woman. According to
the ethics of the day, he was a model citizen, whereas Antony throning as
Osiris with a female Mithridates for consort, was as oblivious of Roman
dignity as of conjugal faith. In addition, it was found that he had made a
will by which Rome, in the event of capture, was devised as tributary city
to Cleopatra. Moreover, a senator, who had visited Antony at the Bruchium,
testified that he had seen him upholding the woman's litter like a slave.
It was obvious that he was mad, demented by her aphrodisiacs. But it was
obvious also that the gods of the East were rising, that Isis with her
cormorant, her lotos and her spangled arms, was arrayed against the Roman

War was declared. At Actium the clash occurred. Antony might have won. But
before he had had time to lose, Cleopatra, with singular clairvoyance,
deserted him. Her reasons for believing that he would be defeated are not
clear, but her motive in going is obvious. She wanted to rule the world's
ruler, whoever he might be, and she thought by prompt defection to find
favor with Octavius.

At the sight of her scudding sail Antony lost his senses. Instead of
remaining and winning, as he might have, he followed her. Together they
reached Alexandria. But there it was no longer the inimitable life that
they led, rather that of the inseparables in death, or at least Antony so
fancied. Cleopatra intoxicated him with funereal delights while
corresponding in secret with Octavius who had written engagingly to her.
In the Bruchium the nights were festivals. By day she experimented on
slaves with different poisons. Antony believed that she was preparing to
die with him. She had no such intention. She was preparing to be rid of
him. Then, suddenly, the enemy was at the gates. Antony challenged
Octavius to single combat. Octavius sent him word that there were many
other ways in which he could end his life. At that the lion roared. Even
then he thought he might demolish him. He tried. He went forth to fight.
But Cleopatra had other views. The infantry, the cavalry, the flotilla,
joined the Roman forces. The viper of the Nile had betrayed him. Bacchus
had also. The night had been stirred by the hum of harps and the cries of
bacchantes bearing the tutelary god to the Romans.

Antony, staggering back to the palace, was told that Cleopatra had killed
herself. She had not, but fearful lest he kill her, she had hidden with
her treasure in a temple. Antony, after the Roman fashion, kept always
with him a slave who should kill him when his hour was come. The slave's
name, Plutarch said, was Eros. Antony called him. Eros raised a sword, but
instead of striking his master, struck himself. Antony reddened and
imitated him. Another slave then told him that Cleopatra still lived. He
had himself taken to where she was, and died while attempting to console
this woman who was preparing for the consolations of Octavius.

It is said that she received the conqueror magnificently. But his engaging
letters had been _ruses de guerre_. They had triumphed. The new Cæsar
wanted to triumph still further. He wanted Cleopatra, a chain about her
neck, dragged after his chariot through Rome. He wanted in that abjection
to triumph over the entire East. Instead of yielding to her, as she had
expected, he threatened to kill her children if she eluded him by killing
herself. The threat was horrible. But more horrible still was the thought
of the infamy to be.

Shortly, on a bed of gold, dressed as for nuptials, she was found dead
among her expiring women, one of whom even then was putting back on her
head her diadem which had fallen. At last the cormorant had cried

Said Horace: "Nunc est bibendum."



Death, in taking Cleopatra, closed the doors of the temple Janus. After
centuries of turmoil, there was peace. The reign of the Cæsars had begun.
Octavius became Augustus, the rest of the litter divine. The triumvirs of
war were succeeded by the triumvirs of love. These were the poets.

Catullus had gone with the republic. In verse he might have been primus.
He was too negligent. His microscopic masterpieces form but a brief bundle
of pastels. The face repeated there is Lesbia's. He saw her first lounging
in a litter that slaves carried along the Sacred Way. Immediately he was
in love with her. The love was returned. In the delight of it the poet was
born. His first verses were to her, so also were his last. But Lesbia
wearied of song and kisses, at least of his. She eloped with his nearest
friend. In the _Somnambula_ the tenor sings _O perché non posso
odiarte_--Why can I not hate thee? The song is but a variant on that of
Catullus. Odi et amo, I love and hate you, he called after her. But, if
she heard, she heeded as little as Beatrice did when Dante cursed the day
he saw her first. Dante ceased to upbraid, but did not cease to love. He
was but following the example of Catullus, with this difference: Beatrice
went to heaven, Lesbia to hell, to an earthly hell, the worst of any, to a
horrible inn on the Tiber where sailors brawled. She descended to that,
fell there, rather. Catullus still loved her.

At the sight of Cynthia another poet was born. What Lesbia pulchra had
been to Catullus, Cynthia pulchrior became to Propertius. He swore that
she should be his sole muse, and kept his word, in so far as verse was
concerned. Otherwise, he was less constant. It is doubtful if she deserved
more, or as much. Never did a girl succeed better in tormenting a lover,
never was there a lover so poetically wretched as he. In final fury he
flung at her farewells that were maledictions, only to be recaptured,
beaten even, subjugated anew. She made him love her. When she died, her
death nearly killed him. Nearly, but not quite. He survived, and, first
among poets, intercepted the possibility of reunion there where all things
broken are made complete, and found again things vanished--_Lethum non
omnia finit_.

Horace resembled him very remotely. A little fat man--brevis atque obesus,
Suetonius said--he waddled and wallowed in the excesses of the day,
telling, in culpable iambics, of fair faces, facile amours, easy
epicureanism, rose-crowned locks, yet telling of them--and of other
matters less admissible--on a lyre with wonderful chords. At the
conclusion of the third book of the _Odes_, he declared that he had
completed a monument which the succession of centuries without number
could not destroy. "I shall not die," he added. He was right. Because of
that flame of fair faces, lovers turn to him still. Because of his
iambics, he has a niche in the hearts of the polite. Versatile in love and
in verse, his inconstancy and his art are nowhere better displayed than in
the incomparable _Donec gratus eram tibi_, which Ponsard rewrote:


     Tant que tu m'as aimé, que nul autre plus digne
     N'entourait de ses bras ton col blanc comme un cygne,
     J'ai vécu plus heureux que Xerxès le grand roi.


     Tant que tu n'as aimé personne plus que moi,
     Quand Chloé n'était pas préférée à Lydie,
     J'ai vécu plus illustre et plus fière qu'Ilie.


     J'appartiens maintenant à la blonde Chloé,
     Qui plait par sa voix douce et son luth enjoué.
     Je suis prêt à mourir pour prolonger sa vie.


     Calais maintenant tient mon âme asservie,
     Nous brûlons tous les deux de mutuels amours,
     Et je mourrais deux fois pour prolonger ses jours.


     Mais quoi! Si j'ai regret de ma première chaine?
     Si Vénus de retour sous son joug me ramène?
     Si je refuse à l'autre, et te rends mon amour?


     Encor que Calais soit beau comme le jour,
     Et toi plus inconstant que la feuille inconstante,
     Avec toi je vivrais et je mourrais contente.

Horace was the poet of ease, Catullus of love, Propertius of passion,
Tibullus of sentiment. Ovid was the poet of pleasure. A man of means, of
fashion, of the world, what to-day would be called a gentleman, he might
have been laureate of the Empire. Corinna interfered. Corinna was his
figurative muse. Whether she were one or many is uncertain, but nominally
at least it was for her that he wrote the suite of feverish fancies
entitled the "Art of Love" and which were better entitled the "Art of not
Loving at all." Subsequently, he planned a great Homeric epic. But, if
Corinna inspired masterpieces, she gave him no time to complete them. She
wanted her poet to herself. She refused to share him even with the gods.
It is supposed that Corinna was Julia, daughter of Augustus. Because of
her eyes, more exactly because of her father's, Ovid was banished among
barbarian brutes. It was rather a frightful penalty for participating in
the indiscretions of a woman who had always been the reverse of discreet.
Corinna, as described by Ovid, was a monster of perversity. Julia, as
described by Tacitus, yielded to her nothing in that respect.

The epoch itself was strange, curiously fecund in curious things that
became more curious still. Rome then, thoroughly Hellenized, had become
very fair. There were green terraces and porphyry porticoes that leaned to
a river on which red galleys passed, there were bronze doors and garden
roofs, glancing villas and temples more brilliant still. There were
spacious streets, a Forum curtained with silk, the glint and evocations of
triumphal war. There were theatres in which a multitude could jeer at an
emperor, and arenas in which an emperor could watch a multitude die. On
the stage, there were tragedies, pantomime, farce. There were races in the
circus and in the sacred groves, girls with the Orient in their eyes and
slim waists that swayed to the crotals. Into the arenas patricians
descended, in the amphitheatre were criminals from Gaul, in the Forum,
philosophers from Greece. For Rome's entertainment the mountains sent
lions; the deserts giraffes; there were boas from the jungles, bulls from
the plains, hippopotami from the rushes of the Nile, and, above them,
beasts greater than they--the Cæsars.

There had been the first, memory of whose grandiose figure lingered still.
Rome recalled the unforgettable, and recalled, too, his face which
incessant debauches had blanched. After him had come Augustus, a pigmy by
comparison, yet otherwise more depraved. He gone, there was the spectacle
of Tiberius devising infamies so monstrous that to describe them new words
were coined. That being insufficient, there followed Caligula, without
whom Nero, Claud, Domitian, Commodus, Caracalla, and Heliogabalus could
never have been. It was he who gave them both inspiration and incentive.
It was he who built the Cloacus Maximus in which all Rome rolled.

Augustus had done a little digging for it himself, but hypocritically as
he did everything, devising ethical laws as a cloak for turpitudes of his
own. Mecænas, his minister and lackey, divorced and remarried twenty
times. Augustus repudiated his own marriages, those of his kin as well.
Suetonius said of Caligula that it was uncertain which were viler, the
unions he contracted, their brevity, or their cause. With such examples,
it was inevitable that commoner people united but to part, and that,
insensibly, the law annulled as a caprice a clause that defined marriage
as the inseparable life.[22]

Under the Cæsars marriage became a temporary arrangement, abandoned and
re-established as often as one liked. Seneca said that women of rank
counted their years by their husbands. Juvenal said that it was in that
fashion that they counted their days. Tertullian added that divorce was
the result of marriage. Divorce, however, was not obligatory. Matrimony
was. According to the Lex Pappea Poppoea, whoso at twenty-five was not
married, whoso, divorced or widowed, did not remarry, whoso, though
married, was childless, _ipso facto_ became a public enemy, incapable of
inheriting or of serving the State. To this law--an Augustan
hypocrisy--only a technical attention was paid. Men married just enough to
gain a position or inherit a legacy. The next day they got a divorce. At
the moment of need a child was adopted. The moment passed the brat was
disowned. As with men so with women. The univira became the many-husbanded
wife, occasionally a matron with no husband at all, one who, to escape the
consequences of the lex Pappea Poppoea, hired a man to loan her his
name, and who, with an establishment of her own, was free to do as she
liked, to imitate men at their worst, to fight like them and with them
for power, to dabble in the bloody dramas of State, to climb on the throne
and kill there or be killed; perhaps, less ambitiously, whipping her
slaves, summoning the headsman to them, quieting her nerves with drink,
appearing on the stage, in the arena even, contending as a gladiator
there, and remaining a patrician meanwhile.

In those days a sin was a prayer, and a prayer, Perseus said, was an
invocation at which a meretrix would blush to hear pronounced aloud.
Religion sanctioned anything. The primal gods, supplemented with the lords
and queens of other skies, had made Rome an abridgment of every
superstition, the temple of every crime. Asiatic monsters, which Hellenic
poetry had deodorized, landed there straight from the Orient, their native
hideousness unchanged. It was only the graceful Greek myths that Rome
transformed. Eros, who in Arcady seemed atiptoe, so delicately did he
tread upon the tender places of the soul, acquired, behind the mask of
Cupid, a maliciousness that was simian. Aphrodite, whose eyes had been
lifted to the north and south, and who in Attica was draped with light,
obtained as Venus the leer of the Lampsacene. Long since from Syria
Astarte had arrived, as already, torn by Cilician pirates from Persia,
Mithra had come, while, from Egypt, had strayed Apis from whose mouth two
phalluses issued horizontally.

These were Rome's gods, the divinities about whom men and maidens
assembled, and to whom pledges were made. There were others, so many, in
such hordes had they come, that Petronius said they outnumbered the
population. The lettered believed in them no more than we do. But, like
the Athenians, they lived among a people that did. Moreover, the lettered
were few. Rome, brutal at heart, sanguinary and voluptuous, fought, she
did not read. She could applaud, but not create. Her literature, like her
gods, her art, her corruption, had come from afar. Her own breasts were
sterile. When she gave birth, it was to a litter of monsters, by accident
to a genius, again to a poet, to Cæsar and to Lucretius, the only men of
letters ever born within her walls.

Meanwhile, though the Pantheon was obviously but a lupanar, the people
clung piously to creeds that justified every disorder, tenaciously to gods
that sanctified every vice, and fervently to Cæsars that incarnated them

The Cæsars were religion in a concrete form. Long before, Ennius, the
Homer of Latium, had announced that the gods were but great men. The
Cæsars accepted that view with amplifications. They became greater than
any that had been. Save Death, who, in days that precede the fall of
empires, is the one divinity whom all fear and in whom all believe, they
alone were august. In the absence of the aromas of tradition, they had
something superior. The Olympians inspired awe, the Cæsars fright. Death
was their servant. They ordered. Death obeyed. In the obedience was
apotheosis. In the apotheosis was the delirium that madmen know. At their
feet, Rome, mad as they, built them temples, raised them shrines, created
for them hierophants and flamens, all the phantasmagoria of the
megalomaniac Alexander, and, with it, a worship which they accepted as
their due perhaps, but in which their reason fled. That of Cæsar withstood
it. Insanity began with Antony, who called himself Osiris. The brain of
Tiberius, very steady at first, was insufficiently strong to withstand the
nectar fumes. The latter intoxicated Caligula so sheerly that he invited
the moon to share his couch. Thereafter, the palace of the Cæsars became a
vast court in which the wives and daughters of the nobility assisted at
perversions which a Ministry of Pleasure devised, and where Rome abandoned
whatever she had held holy, the innocence of girlhood, patrician pride,
everything, shame included.

In post-pagan convulsions there was much that was very vile. But there is
one aspect of evil which subsequent barbarism reproved, and in which Rome
delighted. It was the symbolized shapes of sin, open and public, for
which in modern speech there is no name, and which were then omnipresent,
sung in verse, exhibited on the stage, paraded in the streets, put on the
amulets that girls and matrons wore, put in the nursery, consecrated by
custom, art, religion, and since recovered from disinterred Pompeii. "The
mouth," said Quintillian, "does not dare describe what the eyes behold."
Rome that had made _orbs_ and _urbs_ synonymous was being conquered by the
turpitudes of the quelled.

"I have told of the Prince," said Suetonius, "I will tell now of the
Beast." It was his privilege. He wrote in Latin. In English it is not
possible. Gautier declared that the inexpressible does not exist. Even his
pen might have balked, had he tried it on the imperial orgy. The ulcer
that ravaged Sylla, gangrened a throne, and decomposed a world. Less
violent under Tiberius than under Caligula, under Nero the fever rose to
the brain and added delirium to it. In reading accounts of the epoch you
feel as though you were assisting at the spectacle of a gigantic asylum,
from which the keepers are gone, and of which the inmates are omnipotent.
But, in spite of the virulence of the virus, the athletic constitution of
the empire, joined to its native element of might, resisted the disease so
potently that one must assume that there was there a vitality which no
other people had had, a hardiness that enabled Rome to survive excesses in
which Nineveh and Babylon fainted. From the disease itself Rome might have
recovered. It was the delirium that brought her down. That delirium,
mounting always, increased under Commodus, heightened under Caracalla, and
reached its crisis in Heliogabalus. Thereafter, for a while it waned only
to flame again under Diocletian. The virus remained. To extirpate it the
earth had to produce new races. Already they were on their way.

Meanwhile, though there were reigns when, in the words of Tacitus, virtue
was a sentence of death, the emperors were not always insane. Vespasian
was a soldier, Hadrian a scholar, Pius Antoninus a philosopher, and Marcus
Aurelius a sage. Rome was not wholly pandemoniac. There is goodness
everywhere, even in evil. There was goodness even in Rome. Stoicism, a
code of the highest morality, had been adopted by the polite. Cicero, in
expounding it, had stated that no one could be a philosopher who has not
learned that vice should be avoided, however concealable it may be.
Aristotle had praised virtue because of its extreme utility. Seneca said
that vices were maladies, among which Zeno catalogued love, as Plato did
crime. To him, vice stood to virtue as disease does to health. All guilt,
he said, is ignorance.

Expressions such as these appealed to a class relatively small, but highly
lettered, whom the intense realism of the amphitheatre, the suggestive
postures of the pantomimes, and the Orientalism of the orgy shocked. There
are now honest men everywhere, even in prison. Even in Rome there were
honest men then. Moreover, paganism at its worst, always tolerant, was
often poetic. Then, too, life in the imperial epoch, while less fair than
in the age of Pericles, was so splendidly brilliant that it exhausted
possible glamour for a thousand years to come. Dazzling in violence, its
coruscations blinded the barbarians so thoroughly that thereafter there
was but night.



The first barbarian that invaded Rome was a Jew. There was then there a
small colony of Hebrews. Porters, pedlers, rag-pickers, valets-de-place,
they were the descendants mainly of former prisoners of war. The Jew had a
message for them. It was very significant. But it conflicted so entirely
with orthodox views that there were few whom it did not annoy. A
disturbance ensued. The ghetto was raided. A complaint for inciting
disorder was lodged against a certain Christos, of whom nothing was known,
and who had eluded arrest.

Rome, through her relations with Syria, was probably the first Occidental
city in which the name was pronounced. Though the message behind it
annoyed many, others accepted it at once. These latter, the former
denounced. Some suppression ensued. But it had no religious significance.
The purport of the message and the attitude of those who accepted it was
seditious. Both denied the divinity of the Cæsars. That was treason. In
addition, they announced the approaching end of the world. That was a slur
on the optimism of State. A law was passed--_Non licet esse Christianos_.
None the less, they multiplied. The message that had been brought to Rome
was repeated throughout the Roman world. It crossed the frontiers. It
reached races of whom Rome had never heard. They came and peered at her.
Over the context of the message they drank hydromel to her fall.

The message, initially significant, dynamic at birth, developed under
multiplying hands into a force so disruptive that it shook the gods from
the skies, buried them beneath their ruined temples, and in derision
tossed after them their rites for shroud. In the convulsions a page of
history turned. The great book of paganism closed. Another opened. In it
was a new ideal of love.

Realization was not immediate. Entirely uncontemplated and equally
unforeseen, the ideal was an after-growth, a blossom among other ruins, a
flower that developed subtly with the Rosa mystica from higher shrines.

Meanwhile, the message persisted. Titularly an evangel, it meant good
news. The Christ had said to his disciples: "As ye go, preach, saying, The
Kingdom of God is at hand--for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have
gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of Man be come."

"All these things shall come upon this generation," were his subsequent
and explicit words. After the incident in the wilderness he declared: "The
time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand." Later he asserted:
"Verily I say unto you that there be some of them that stand by which
shall in no wise taste of death till they see the Kingdom of God come with

In repeating these tidings, the evangelists lived in a state of constant
expectation. Their watchword was "Maran atha"--the Lord cometh. In fancy
they saw themselves in immediate Edens, seated on immutable thrones.

The corner-stone of the early Church was based on that idea. When, later,
it was recognized as a misconception, the coming of the Kingdom of God was
interpreted as the establishment of the Christian creed.

Jesus had no intention of founding a new religion. He came to prepare men
not for life, but for death. He believed that the world was to end. Had he
not so believed, his condemnation of labor, his prohibition against
wealth, his injunction to forsake all things for his sake, his praise of
celibacy, his disregard of family ties, and his abasement of marriage
would be without meaning. Observance of his orders he regarded as a
necessary preparation for an event then assumed to be near. It was
exacted as a means of grace.

On the other hand, it may be that there was an esoteric doctrine which
only the more spiritual among the disciples received. The significant
threat, "In this life ye shall have tribulation," contains a distinct
suggestion of other views. Possibly they concerned less the termination of
the world than the termination of life. Life extinct, obviously there must
ensue that peace which passeth all understanding, the Pratscha-Paramita,
or beyond all knowledge, which long before had been taught by the Buddha,
in whose precepts it is not improbable that Jesus was versed.

To-day there are four gospels. Originally there were fifty. In some of
them succincter views may have been expressed. The possibility, surviving
texts support. These texts are provided by Clement of Alexandria. They are
quoted by him from the Gospel according to the Egyptians, an Evangel that
existed in the latter half of the second century and which was then
regarded as canonical. In one of them, Jesus said: "I am come to destroy
the work of woman, which is generation and death." In another, being asked
how long life shall continue, he answered: "So long as women bear

These passages seem conclusive. Even otherwise, the designed effect of
the exoteric doctrine was identical. It eliminated love and condemned the
sex. In the latter respect, Paul was particularly severe. In violent words
he humiliated woman. He enjoined on her silence and submission. He
reminded her that man was created in the image of God, while she was but
created for him. He declared that he who giveth her in marriage cloth
well, but he that giveth her not doth better.[25]

Theoretically, as well as canonically, marriage thereafter was regarded as
unholy. The only union in which it was held that grace could possibly be,
was one that in its perfect immaculacy was a negation of marriage itself.
St. Sebastian enjoined any other form. The injunction was subsequently
ratified. It was ecclesiastically adjudged that whoso declared marriage
preferable to celibacy be accursed.[26] St. Augustin, more leniently,
permitted marriage, on condition, however, that the married in no
circumstance overlooked the object of their union, which object was the
creation of children, _not to love them_, he added, but to increase the
number of the servants of the Lord.[27]

St. Augustin was considerate. But Jesus had been indulgent. In the
plentitudes of his charity there was both commiseration and forgiveness.
Throughout his entire ministry he wrote but once. It was on an occasion
when a woman was brought before him. Her accusers were impatient. Jesus
bent forward and with a finger wrote on the ground. The letters were
illegible. But the symbol of obliteration was in the dust which the wind
would disperse. The charge was impatiently repeated. Jesus straightened
himself. With the weary comprehension of one to whom hearts are as books,
he looked at them. "Whoever is without sin among you, may cast the first

The sins of Mary Magdalen were many. He forgave them, for she had loved
much. His indulgence was real and it was infinite. Yet occasionally his
severity was as great. At the marriage of Cana he said to his mother:
"Woman, what have I to do with thee?" In the house of the chief of the
Pharisees he more emphatically announced: "If any man come unto me and
hate not his father and mother and wife and children and brethren and
sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Elsewhere
he advocated celibacy enforced with the knife. John, his favorite
disciple, beheld those who had practised it standing among the

That vision peopled the deserts with hermits. It filled the bastilles of
God, the convents and monasteries of pre-mediæval days. The theory of it
was adopted by kings on their thrones. Lovers in their betrothals engaged
to observe it reciprocally. Husbands and wives separated that they might
live more purely apart.

The theory, contrary to the spirit of paganism, was contrary also to that
of the Mosaic law. The necessity of marriage was one of the six hundred
and thirteen Hebraic precepts. The man who omitted to provide himself with
heirs became a homicide. In the Greek republics celibacy was penalized. In
Rome, during the republic, bachelors were taxed. Under the empire they
could neither inherit nor serve the State. But the law was evaded. Even
had it not been, the people of Rome, destroyed by war or as surely by
pleasure, little by little was disappearing. Slaves could not replace
citizens. The affranchised could be put in the army, even in the senate,
as they were, but that did not change their servility, and it was
precisely that servility which encouraged imperial aberrations and
welcomed those which Christianity brought.

The continence which the Church inculcated was not otherwise new. The
Persians had imposed it on girls consecrated to the worship of the Sun. It
was observed by the priests of Osiris. It was the cardinal virtue of the
Pythagoreans. It was exacted of Hellenic hierophants. Gaul had her
druidesses and Rome her vestals. Celibacy existed, therefore, before
Christianity did. But it was exceptional in addition to being not very
rigorously enforced. Vesta was a mother. All the vestals that faltered
were not buried alive. There was gossip, though it be but legend, of the
druidesses, of the muses as well. Immaculacy was the ideal condition of
the ideal gods. Zeus materially engendered material divinities that
presided over forces and forms. But, without concurrence, there issued
armed and adult from his brain the wise and immaculate Pallas.

Like her and the muses, genius was assumed to be ascetic also. Socrates
thought otherwise. His punishment was Xantippe, and not a line to his
credit. A married Homer is an anomaly which imagination cannot comfortably
conjure. A married Plato is another. Philosophers and poets generally were
single. Lucretius, Vergil, and the triumvirs of love were unmarried. In
the epoch in which they appeared Rome was aristocratically indisposed to
matrimony. To its pomps there was a dislike so pronounced that Augustus
introduced coercive laws. Hypocrite though he were, he foresaw the dangers
otherwise resulting. It was these that asceticism evoked.

The better part of the tenets of the early Church--sobriety, stoicism,
the theory of future reward and punishment, pagan philosophy professed.
Adherents could, therefore, have been readily recruited. But the doctrine
of asceticism and, with it, the abnegation of whatever Rome loved,
angered, creating first calumny, then persecution.

Infanticide at the time was very common. To accuse the Christians of it
would have meant nothing. They were charged instead with eating the
children that they killed. That being insufficient they were further
charged with the united abominations of OEdipus and Thyestes.[29]

Thereafter, if the Tiber mounted or the Nile did not, if it rained too
heavily or not enough, were there famine, earthquakes, pests, the fault
was theirs. Then, through the streets, a cry resounded, _Christianos ad
leonem!_--to the arena with them. At any consular delay the mob had its
torches and tortures. Persecution augumented devotion. "Fast," said
Tertullian. "Fasting prepares for martyrdom. But do not marry, do not bear
children. You would only leave them to the executioner. Garment yourselves
simply, the robes the angels bring are robes of death."

The robes did not always come, the executioner did not, either. The
Kingdom of God delayed. The world persisted. So also did asceticism.
Clement and Hermas unite in testifying that the immaculacy of the single
never varied during an epoch when even that of the vestals did, and that
the love of the married was the more tender because of the immaterial
relations observed.[30] Grégoire de Tours cited subsequently an instance
in which a bride stipulated for a union of this kind. Her husband agreed.
Many years later she died. Her husband, while preparing her for the grave,
openly and solemnly declared that he restored her to God as immaculate as
she came. "At which," the historian added, "the dead woman smiled and
said, 'Why do you tell what no one asked you.'"

The subtlety of the question pleased the Church. The Church liked to
compare the Christian to an athlete struggling in silence with the world,
the flesh, and the devil. It liked to regard him as one whose life was a
continual exercise in purification. It liked to represent his celibacy as
an imitation of the angels. At that period Christianity took things
literally and narrowly. Paul had spoken eloquently on the dignity of
marriage. He authorized and honored it. He permitted and even counselled
second marriages. But his pre-eminent praise of asceticism was alone
considered. Celibacy became the ideal of the early Christians who
necessarily avoided the Forum and whatever else was usual and Roman. It is
not, therefore, very surprising that they should have been defined as
enemies of gods, emperors, laws, customs, nature itself, or, more briefly,
as barbarians.

Yet there were others. At the north and at the west they prowled,
nourished in hatred of Rome, in wonder, too, of the effeminate and
splendid city with its litters of gold, its baths of perfume, its
inhabitants dressed in gauze, and its sway from the Indus to Britannia.
From the day when a mass of them stumbled on Marius to the hour when
Alaric laughed from beneath the walls his derision at imperial might,
always they had wondered and hated.

In the slaking of the hate Christianity perhaps unintentionally assisted.
The Master had said, "All they that take the sword shall perish by the
sword." His believers omitted to do either. When enrolled, they deserted.
On the frontiers they refused to fight. The path of the barbarians was
easy. In disorganized hordes they battened on Rome and melted away there
in excesses. Tacitus and Salvian rather flattered them. They were neither
intelligent or noble. They must have lacked even the sense of
independence. They pulled civilization down, but they fell with it--into

Already from the steppes of Tartary had issued cyclones of Huns. Painted
blue, wrapped in cloaks of human skin, it was thought that they were the
whelps of demons. Their chief was Attila. The whirlwind that he loosed
swept the world like a broom. In the echoes of his passage is the crash of
falling cities, the cries of the vanquished, the death rattle of nations,
the surge and roar of seas of blood. In the reverberations Attila looms,
dragging the desert after him, tossing it like a pall on the face of the
earth. "But who are you?" a startled prelate gasped. Said Attila, "I am
the Scourge of God."

Satiated at last, overburdened with the booty of the world, he galloped
back to his lair where, on his wedding couch, another Judith killed him.
In spite of him, in spite of preceding Goths and subsequent Vandals, Rome,
unlike her gods that had fled the skies, was immortal. She could fall, but
she could not die. But though she survived, antiquity was dead. It
departed with the lords of the ghostland.


_Part Two_




In the making of the world that was Rome, ages combined. Centuries
unrolled in its dissolution. Step by step it had ascended the path of
empire, step by step it went down. The descent completed, Rome herself
survived. The eternal feminine is not more everlasting than the Eternal
City. Yet, in the descent, her power, wrested from a people who had but
the infirmities of corruption, by others that had only the instincts of
brutes, left but vices and ruins. From these feudalism and serfdom
erupted. Humanity became divided into beasts of burden and beasts of prey.

Feudalism was the transmission of authority from an overlord to an
underlord, from the latter to a retainer, and thence down to the lowest
rung of the social ladder, beneath which was the serf, between whom and
his master the one judge was God.

The resulting conditions have no parallel in any epoch of which history
has cognizance. Except in Byzance, the glittering seat of Rome's surviving
dominion, and in Islâm, the glowing empire further east, nowhere was there
light. Europe, pitch-black, became, almost in its entirety, subject to the
caprices of a hierarchy of despots who managed to be both stupid and
fierce, absolute autocrats, practically kings. To the suzerain they owed
homage at court, assistance in war; but in their own baronies, all power,
whether military, judiciary, or legislative, centred in them. They had the
further prerogative, which they abundantly abused, of maintaining
centuries of anarchy and intellectual night. The fief and the sword were
the investiture of their power. The donjon--a pillory on one side, a
gibbet on the other--was the symbol of their might. The blazon, with its
sanguinary and fabulous beasts, was emblematic of themselves. Could wolves
form a social order, their model would be that of these brutes, to whom
God was but a bigger tyrant. Their personal interest, which alone
prevented them from exterminating everybody, was the determining cause of
affranchisement when it came, and, when it did, was accompanied by
conditions always hard, often grotesque, and usually vile, among which was
the _jus primæ noctis_ and the affiliated _marchetum_, subsequently
termed droit du seigneur, the dual right of poaching on maidenly and
marital preserves.[31]

With that, with drink and pillage for relaxations, the chief business of
the barons was war. When they descended from their keeps, it was to rob
and attack. There was no security, not a road was safe, war was an
intermittent fever and existence a panic.

In the constant assault and sack of burgs and keeps, the condition of
woman was perilous. Usually she was shut away more securely and remotely
than in the gynæceum. If, to the detriment of her lord, she emerged, she
might have one of her lips cut off, both perhaps, or, more expeditiously,
be murdered. She never knew which beforehand. It was as it pleased him.
Penalties of this high-handedness were not sanctioned by law. There was
none. It was the right of might. Civilization outwearied had lapsed back
into eras in which women were things.

The lapse had ecclesiastical approbation. At the second council of Macon
it was debated whether woman should not be regarded as beyond the pale of
humanity and as appertaining to a degree intermediary between man and
beast. Subsequent councils put her outside of humanity also, but on a
plane between angels and man. But in the capitularies generally it was as
_Vas infirmius_ that she was defined. Yet already Chrysostom, with a
better appreciation of the value of words, with a better appreciation of
the value of woman as well, had defined her as danger in its most
delectable form. Chrysostom means golden mouth. His views are of interest.
Those of the mediæval lord are not recorded, and would not be citable, if
they were.

From manners such as his and from times such as those, there was but one
refuge--the cloister, though there was also the tomb. They were not always
dissimilar. In the monasteries, there was a thick vapor of crapulence and
bad dreams. They were vestibules of hell. The bishops, frankly barbarian,
coarse, gluttonous, and worse, went about armed, pillaging as freely as
the barons. Monks less adventurous, but not on that account any better,
saw Satan calling gayly at them, "Thou art damned." Yet, however drear
their life, it was a surcease from the apoplexy of the epoch. Kings
descended from their thrones to join them. To the abbeys and priories came
women of rank.

In these latter retreats there was some suavity, but chiefly there was
security from predatory incursions, from husbands quite as unwelcome,
from the passions and violence of the turbulent world without. But the
security was not over-secure. Women that escaped behind the bars, saw
those bars shaken by the men from whom they had fled, saw the bars sunder,
and themselves torn away. That, though, was exceptional. In the cloister
generally there was safety, but there were also regrets, and, with them, a
leisure not always very adequately filled. To some, the cloister was but
another form of captivity in which they were put not of their own
volition, but by way of precaution, to insure a security which may not
have been entirely to their wish. Yet, from whatever cause existence in
these retreats was induced, very rapidly it became the fashion.

There had been epochs in which women wore garments that were brief, there
were others in which their robes were long. It was a question of mode.
Then haircloth came in fashion. In Greece, women were nominally free. In
Rome, they were unrestrained. In Europe at this period, they were
cloistered. It was the proper thing, a distinction that lifted them above
the vulgar. Bertheflede, a lady of very exalted position, who, Grégoire de
Tours has related, cared much for the pleasures of the table and not at
all for the service of God, entered a nunnery for no other reason.

There were other women who, for other causes, did likewise. In particular,
there was Radegonde who founded a cloister of her own, one that within
high walls had the gardens, porticoes, and baths of a Roman villa, but
which in the deluge of worldly sin, was, Thierry says, intended to be an
ark. There Radegonde received high ecclesiastics and laymen of position,
among others Fortunatus, a poet, young and attractive, whom the abbess,
young and attractive herself, welcomed so well that he lingered, supping
nightly at the cloister, composing songs in which were strained the honey
of Catullus, and, like him, crowned with roses.[32]

But Radegonde was not Lesbia, and Fortunatus, though a poet, confined his
licence to verse. Together they collaborated in the first romance of pure
sentiment that history records, one from which the abbess passed to
sanctity, and the poet to fame. Thereafter the story persisting may have
suggested some one of the pedestals that antiquity never learned to
sculpture and to which ladies were lifted by their knights.

Meanwhile love had assumed another shape. Radegonde, before becoming an
abbess, had been a queen. As a consequence she had prerogatives which
other women lacked. It was not every one that could entertain a tarrying
minstrel. It was not every one that would. The nun generally was
emancipated from man as thoroughly as the hetaira had been from marriage.
But the latter in renouncing matrimony did not for that reason renounce
love and there were many cloistered girls who, in renouncing man, did not
renounce love either. One of them dreamed that on a journey to the
fountain of living waters, a form appeared that pointed at a brilliant
basin, to which, as she stooped, Radegonde approached and put about her a
cloak that, she said, was sent by the girl's betrothed.

Radegonde was then dead and a saint. The dream of her, particularly the
gift, more especially its provenance, seemed so ineffable that the girl
could think of nothing else save only that when at last the betrothed did
come, the nuptial chamber should be ready. She begged therefore that there
be given her a little narrow cell, a narrow little tomb, to which, the
request granted, other nuns led her. At the threshold she kissed each of
them, then she entered; the opening was walled and within, with her mystic
spouse, the bride of Christ remained.[33]

At Alexandria, something similar had already occurred. There another
Hypathia, fair as she, refused Christianity, refused also marriage. God
did not appeal to her, man did not either. But a priest succeeded in
interesting her in the possibility of obtaining a husband superior to
every mortal being on condition only that she prayed to Mary. The girl did
pray. During the prayer she fell asleep. Then beautiful beyond all beauty
the Lord appeared to whom the Virgin offered the girl. The Christ refused.
She was fair but not fair enough. At that she awoke. Immortally lovely and
mortally sad she suffered the priest to baptize her. Another prayer
followed by another sleep ensued in which she beheld again the Christ who
then consenting to take her, put on her finger a ring which she found on

The legend, which afterward inspired Veronese and Correggio, had a
counterpart in that of St. Catherine of Sienna. To her also the Christ
gave a ring, yet one which, Della Fonte, her biographer, declared, was
visible only to herself. The legend had also a pendant in the story of St.
Theresa, a Spanish mystic, who in her trances discovered that the
punishment of the damned is an inability to love. In the _Relacion de su
vida_ the saint expressed herself as follows:

"It seemed to me as though I could see my soul, clearly, like a mirror,
and that in the centre of it the Lord came. It seemed to me that in every
part of my soul I saw him as I saw him in the mirror and that mirror, I
cannot say how, was wholly absorbed by the Lord, indescribably, in a sort
of amorous confusion."

The mirror was the imagination, the usual reflector of the beatific. It
was that perhaps to which Paul referred when he said that we see through a
glass darkly. But it was certainly that which enabled Gerson to catalogue
the various degrees of ravishment of which the highest, ecstasy,
culminates in union with Christ, where the soul attaining perfection is

Gerson came later but theories similar to his, which neoplatonism had
advanced, were common. In that day or more exactly in that night, the
silver petals of the lily of purity were plucked so continuously by so
many hands, so many were the eyes strained on the mirror, so frequent were
the brides of Christ, that the aberration became as disquieting as
asceticism. Then through fear that woman might lose herself in dreams of
spiritual love and evaporate completely, an effort was attempted which
succeeded presently in deflecting her aspirations to the Virgin who,
hitherto, had remained strictly within the limits originally traced.
Commiserate to the erring she was Regina angelorum, the angel queen. In
the twelfth century suddenly she mounted. From queen she became sovereign.
Ceremonies, churches, cathedrals, were consecrated uniquely to her. In
pomp and importance her worship exceeded that of God. When Satan had the
sinner in his grasp, it was she who in the prodigalities of her divine
compassion rescued and redeemed him.[34]

In the art of the period, such as it was, the worship was reflected. The
thin hands of saints, the poignant eyes of sinners, were raised to her
equally. The fainting figures that were painted in the ex-voto of the
triptiques seemed ill with love. The forms of women, lost beneath the
draperies, disclosed, if anything, emaciation. The expression of the face
alone indicated what they represented and that always was adoration. They
too were swooning at the Virgin's feet.

Previously Paul had been studied. It was seen that a thorn had been given
him, a messenger of Satan, from which, three times he had prayed release.
But the Lord said to him: "My grace is sufficient to thee, for my strength
is made perfect in weakness." "Wherefore," said Paul, "most gladly will I
glory in my infirmities."[35]

Precisely what the apostle meant is immaterial. But from his words the
inference was drawn that in weakness is salvation and in sin the glory of

The early Church had not interpreted the evangels with entire correctness.
It is possible that in the Græco-Syrian dialect which the apostles
employed, their meaning was sometimes obscure. It is presumable for
instance that the coming of the Kingdom of God which they proclaimed was
not the material termination of a material world but the real Kingdom
which did really come in the hearts of those that believed. "Comprends,
pécheur," Bossuet thundered at a later day, "que tu portes ton paradis et
ton enfer en toi-même." The patricists were not Bossuets. They were
literal folk. They stuck to the letter. Having discovered what they
regarded as a divine command for abstinence, asceticism in all its rigors
ensued. Subsequent exegetes finding in Paul a few words not over precise,
discovered in them a commendation of sin as a means of grace. The
discovery, amplified later by Molinos, had results that made man even less
attractive than he had been.

Meanwhile, between insanity and disorder, woman, indifferent as always to
texts, had found a form of love which, however impossible, was one that in
its innocence obscured the stupidities and turpitudes of the day. Then,
after the substitution of the Rosa mystica for the mystic lily,
tentatively there began an affranchisement of communes, of women and of

Hitherto it had been blasphemy to think. The first human voice that the
Middle Ages heard, the first, voice distinguishable from that of kings,
of felons and of beasts, was Abailard's. Whatever previously had been said
was bellowed or stuttered. It was with the forgotten elegance of Athens
that Abailard spoke, preaching as he did so the indulgence of God, the
rehabilitation of the flesh, the inferiority of fear, love's superiority.

Abailard, fascinating and gifted, was familiar with Greek and Hebrew,
attainments then prodigious to which he added other abilities, the art of
calming men while disturbing women--among others a young Parisian,
Héloïse, herself a miracle of erudition and of beauty.

Abailard at the time was nearly thirty-eight, Héloïse not quite eighteen.
Between them a liaison ensued that resulted in a secret marriage which
Abailard afterward disavowed and which, for his sake, Héloïse denied. It
ruined their lives and founded their fame. Had it been less catastrophic
no word or memory of them could have endured. Misfortune made immortal
these lovers, one of whom took the veil and the other the cowl and whose
story has survived that of kingdoms.

In separation they corresponded. The letters of Héloïse are vibrant still.
Only Sappho, in her lost songs to Phaon, could have exceeded their fervor.
"God knows," she wrote, "in you I sought but you, nothing but you. You
were my one and only object, marriage I did not seek, nor my way but
yours uniquely. If the title of wife be holy, I thought the name of
mistress more dear. Rather would I have been called that by you than
empress by an emperor."

Abailard's frigid and methodical answers were headed "To the bride of
Christ," or else "To my sister in Christ, from Abailard, her brother." The
tone of Héloïse's replies was very different. "To my master, no; to my
brother, no; to my husband, no; his sister, his bride, no; from Héloïse to
Abailard." Again she wrote: "At every angle of life God knows I fear to
offend you more than Him, I desire to please Him less than I do you. It
was your will not His that brought me where I am."

It was true. She took the veil as though it were poison. She broke into
the priory violently as the despairful plunge into death. Even that could
not assuage her. But in the burning words which she tore from her breaking
heart the true passion of love, which nothing earthly or divine can still,
for the first time pulsated.



There is no immaculate history. If there were it would relate to a better
world. Unable to be immaculate, history usually is stupid, more often
false. Concerning the Middle Ages it has contrived to be absurd. It
attributed the recovery of light to the Tiers état. Darkness was dispersed
by love, whose gereralissimi were the troubadour and the knight.
Concerning the latter history erred again. Tacitus aiding, it derived
chivalry from Germany. Chivalry originated in the courts of the emirs. The
knight and the troubadour came from Islâm. Together they resummoned

The world at the time was divided. Long since Europe and Asia had gone
their separate ways. When at last they caught sight of each other, the
Church sickened with horror. There ensued the Crusades in which the Papacy
pitted Christianity against Muhammadanism and staked the authenticity of
each in the result. The result was that Muhammadanism proved its claim. On
the way to it was Byzance.

Beside the bleak burgs, squalid ignorance and abysmal barbarism of Europe,
Byzance isolated and fastidious, luxurious and aloof, learned and subtle,
Roman in body but Greek in soul, contrasted almost supernaturally. Set
apart from and beyond the mediæval night, her marble basilicas, her golden
domes, her pineapple cupolas covered with colors, her ceaseless and
gorgeous ceremonials, gave her the mysterious beauty of a city shimmering
on uplands of dream. It was a dream, the final flower of Hellenic art. The
people, delicately nurtured on delicate fare, exquisitely dressed in
painted clothes, rather tigerish at heart but exceedingly punctilious,
equally contemptuous and very well bred, must have contrasted too with the

Contiguous was Persia which, taken by Muhammad, had, with but the magic
wand of her own beauty, transformed his trampling hordes into a superb and
romantic nation, fanatic indeed, quick with the scimitar, born fighters
who had passed thence into Egypt, Andalusia, Syria, Assyria and beyond to
the Indus. The diverse lands they had subjugated and united into one vast
empire. Baghdad was their caliphate.

Before the latter and on through the Orient were strewn in profusion the
marvellous cities of the Thousand and One Nights, the enameled houses of
the Thousand and One Days. There, in courtyards curtained with cashmeres,
chimeras and hippogriffs crouched. The turbans of the merchants that
passed were heavy with sequins and secrets. The pale mouths of the
blue-bellied fish that rose from the sleeping waters were aglow with gems.
In the air was the odor of spices, the scent of the wines of Shiraz.
Occasionally was the spectacle of a faithless favorite sewn in a sack and
tossed by hurrying eunuchs into the indifferent sea.

The sight was rare. The charm of Scheherazade and Chain-of-Hearts
prevailed. The Muslim might dissever heads as carelessly as he plucked an
orange, they were those of unbelievers, not of girls. Among the peris of
his earthly paradise he was passionate and gallant. It is generally in
this aspect that he appears in the _Thousand and One Nights_, which, like
the _Thousand and One Days_, originally Persian in design, had been done
over into arabesques that, while intertwisting fable and fact, none the
less displayed the manners of a nation. Some of the stories are as
knightly as romaunts, others as delicate as lays; all were the
unconsidered trifles of a people who, when the Saxons were living in huts,
had developed the most poetic civilization the world has known, a social
order which, with religion and might for basis, had a superstructure of
art and of love.

It was this that louts in rusty mail went forth to destroy. But though
they could not conquer Islâm, the chivalry of the Muslim taught them how
to conquer themselves. From the victory contemporaneous civilization

With the louts were women. An army of Amazons set out for the Cross where
they found liberty, new horizons, larger life, and, in contact with the
most gallant race on earth, found also theories of love unimagined. In the
second crusade Eleanor, then Queen of France, afterward Queen of England,
alternated between clashes and amours with emirs. The example of a lady so
exalted set a fashion which would have been adopted any way, so
irresistible were the Saracens.[36]

It was therefore first in Byzance and then in Islâm that the Normans and
Anglo-Normans who in the initial crusade went forth to fight went
literally to school. They had gone on to sweep from existence inept bands
of pecculant Bedouins and discovered that the ineptity was wholly their
own. They had thought that there might be a few pretty women in the way,
only to find their own women falling in love with the foe. They had
thought Tours and Poictiers were to be repeated.

It was in those battles that Europe first encountered Islâm. Had not the
defeat of the latter resulted, the world might have become Muhammadan, or,
as Gibbon declared, Oxford might to-day be expounding the Koran. But
though the Moors, who otherwise would have been masters of Europe,
retreated, it is possible that they left a manual of chivalry behind. Even
had the attention been overlooked, already from Andalusia the code was
filtering up through Provence. Devised by a people who of all others have
been most chivalrous in their worship of women it surprised and then
appealed. Adopted by the Church, it became the sacrament of the preux
chevalier who swore that everywhere and always he would be the champion of
women, of justice and of right.

The oath was taken at an hour when justice was not even in the
dictionaries--there were none--at an epoch when every man who was not
marauding was maimed or a monk. At that hour, the blackest of all, there
was proposed to the crapulous barons an ideal. Thereafter, little by
little, in lieu of the boor came the knight, occasionally the paladin of
whom Roland was the type.

Roland, a legend says, died of love before a cloister of nuns. Roland
himself was legendary. But in the _Chanson de Roland_ which is the right
legend, he died embracing his sole mistress, his sword. Afterward a girl
asked concerning him of Charlemagne, saying that she was to be his wife.
The emperor, after telling of his death, offered the girl his son. The
girl refused. She declined even to survive. In the story of Roland that
is the one occasion in which love appeared. It but came and vanished with
a hero whose name history has mentioned but once and then only in a
monkish screed,[37] yet whose prowess romance ceaselessly celebrated,
inverting chronology in his behalf, enlarging for his grandiose figure the
limits of time and space, lifting his epic memories to the skies.

What Jason had been in mythology, Roland became in legend, the first
Occidental custodian of chivalry's golden fleece, which, he gone, was
found reducible to just four words--Death rather than dishonor.

Dishonor meant to be last in the field and first in the retreat. Honor
meant courage and courtesy, the reverencing of all women for the love of
one. It meant bravery and good manners. It meant something else. To be
first in the field and last in the retreat was necessary not merely for
valor's sake, but because courage was the surest token to a lady's favor,
which favor fidelity could alone retain. Hitherto men had been bold,
chivalry made them true. It made them constant for constancy's sake,
because inconstancy meant forfeiture of honor and any forfeiture

When that occurred the spurs of the knight were hacked from his heels, a
ceremony overwhelming in the simplicity with which it proclaimed him
unfit to ride and therefore for chivalry.

Yet though a man might not be false to any one, to some one he must be
true. If he knew how to break a lance but not how to win a lady he was
less a knight than a churl. "A knight," said Sir Tristram, "can never be
of prowess unless he be a lover." "Why," said the belle Isaud to Sir
Dinadan, "are you a knight and not a lover? You cannot be a goodly knight
except you are?" "Jesu merci," Sir Dinadan replied. "Pleasure of love
lasts but a moment, pain of love endures alway."

Sir Dinadan was right, but so was Sir Tristram, so was the belle Isaud. A
knight had to be brave, he had to be loyal and courteous in war, as in
peace. But he had to be also a lover and as a lover he had to be true.

     "L'ordre demande nette vie
     Chasteté et curtesye."

The demand was new to the world. Intertwisting with the silver thread
which chivalry drew in and in throughout the Middle Ages, it became the
basis of whatever is noble in love to-day. The sheen of that thread,
otherwise dazzling, shines still in Froissart and in Monstrelet, as it
must have shone in the tournaments, where, in glittering mail, men dashed
in the lists while the air was rent with women's names and, at each
achievement, the heralds shouted "Loyauté aux Dames," who, in their
tapestried galleries, were judges of the jousts.

Dazzling there it must have been entrancing in the halls and courts of the
great keeps where knights and ladies, pages and girls, going up and down,
talked but of arms and amours, or at table sat together, two by two, in
hundreds, with one trencher to each couple, feasting to the high
flourishes of trumpets and later knelt while she who for the occasion had
been chosen Royne de la Beaulté et des Amours, awarded the prizes of the
tourney, falcons, girdles or girls.

Life then was sufficiently stirring. But the feudal system was not devised
for the purposes of love, and matrimony, while not inherently prejudicial
to them, omitted, as an institution, to consider love at all. Love was not
regarded as compatible with marriage and a lady married to one man was
openly adored by another, whom she honored at least with her colors, which
he wore quite as openly in war and in war's splendid image which the
tournament was.

In circumstances such as these and in spite of ideals and injunctions, it
becomes obvious if only from the _Chansons de geste_, which are replete
with lovers' inconstancies, that the hacking of spurs could not have
continued except at the expense of the entire caste. The ceremony was one
that hardly survived the early investitures of the men-at-arms of God. It
was too significant in beauty.

The fault lay not with chivalry but with the thousand-floored prison that
feudalism was. In it a lady's affections were administered for her.
Marriage she might not conclude as she liked. If she were an heiress it
was arranged not in accordance with her choice but her suzerain's wishes
and in no circumstances could it be contracted without his consent. Under
the feudal system land was held subject to military service and in the
event of the passing of a fief to a girl, the overlord, whose chief
concern was the number of his retainers, could not, should war occur, look
to her for aid. The result being that whatever vassal he thought could
serve him best, he promptly gratified with the land and the lady, who of
the two counted least.[38]

The proceeding, if summary, was not necessarily disagreeable. Girls whose
accomplishments were limited to the singing of a lai or the longer romaunt
and who perhaps could also strum a harp, were less fastidious than they
have since become. Advanced they may have been in manners but in delicacy
they were not. Their conversation as reported in the fabliaux and novelle
was disquietingly frank. When, as occasionally occurred, the overlord
omitted to provide a husband, not infrequently they demanded that he
should. As with girls, so with widows. Usually they were remarried at once
to men who had lost the right to kill them but who might beat them
reasonably in accordance with the law.[39]

The law was that of the Church who, in authorizing a reasonable beating,
may have had in view the lady's age, which sometimes was tender. Legally a
girl could not be married until she was twelve. But feudalism had evasions
which the Church could not always prevent. Sovereign though she were over
villeins and vassals and suzerains as well, yet the high lords, sovereign
too, married when and whom they liked, children if it suited them and
there was a fief to be obtained.

They married the more frequently in that marriage was easily annulled.
Even the primitive Church permitted divorce. "Fabiola," said a saint,
"divorced her husband because he was vicious and married again."[40] In
the later Church matrimony was prohibited within the seventh degree of
consanguinity in which the nominal relationship of godfather and godmother
counted equally with ties of blood and created artificial sets of
brothers, sisters, cousins and remoter relatives, all of whom stood within
the prohibited degrees. Relationship of some kind it was therefore
possible to discover and also to invent, or, that failing, there was yet
another way. A condition precedent to matrimony was the consent, actual or
assumed, of the contracting parties. But as in the upper classes it was
customary to betroth children still in the cradle, absence of consent
could readily be alleged. As a consequence any husband that wished to be
off with the old wife in order to be on with the new, might, failing
relationship on his part, advance absence of consent on hers, the result
being that the chivalric injunction to honor all women for the love of
one, continued to be observed since one was so easily multiplied.[41]

Thereafter began the subsidence of the order which at the time represented
what heroism had in the past, with the difference, however, that chivalry
lifted sentiment to heights which antiquity never attained. The heights
were perhaps themselves too high. On them was the exaltation of whatever
is lofty--honor, courage, courtesy and love. It was the exaltation of love
that made Don Quixote station himself in the high road and prevent the
merchants from passing until they acknowledged that in all the universe
there was no one so beautiful as the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso. But it
was the exaltation of humor that made him answer a natural inquiry of the
merchants in regard to the lady by exclaiming: "Had I shown her to you
what wonder would it be to acknowledge so notorious a truth? The
importance of the thing lies in compelling you to believe it, confess it,
swear it, and maintain it without seeing her at all."

Exaltation lifted to a pitch so high could but squeak. The world laughed.
Chivalry outfaced by ridicule succumbed. It had become but a great piece
of empty armor that needed but a shove to topple. In the levelling
democracy of fire-arms it fell, pierced by the first bullet, yet surviving
itself in the elements of which the gentleman is made and in whatever in
love is noble.



The decalogue of the Zend-Avesta mentions many strange sins. The strangest
among them is sorrow. The Persian abhorred it. His Muhammadan victor, who
had learned from him much, learned also its avoidance. If it ever
perturbed the Moors, by the time Andalusia was theirs it had vanished. Joy
was a creed with them. Their poets made it the cardinal virtue. The
Aragonese and Provençals, whom they indoctrinated, made it the basis of
the _gaya cienca_--the gay science of love, and chivalry the parure of the

Before chivalry departed and very shortly after it appeared, that joy,
lifted into joie d'amour, glowed like a rose in the gloom of the world. It
humanized very notably. It dismissed much that was dark. It brought graces
hitherto unknown. It inspired loyalty, fealty and parage--the nobility of
noble pride--but particularly the worship of woman.

In the East, woman had also been worshipped. But not as she was in Europe
at this period. At no epoch since has she been as sovereign. Set
figuratively with the high virtues in high figurative spheres, she ruled
on earth only less fully than she reigned in heaven. The cultus,
instituted first by the troubadours, then adopted by royals, connected
consequently with pride of place, became fashionable among an aristocracy
for whose convenience the rest of humanity labored. Too elevating for the
materialism of the age that had gone and too elevated for the democracy of
the age that followed, it was comparable to a precipitate of the chemistry
of the soul projected into the heart of a life splendid and impermanent, a
form of existence impossible before, impossible since, a social order very
valiant, very courteous, to which the sense of rectitude had not come but
in which joy, unparalleled in history, really, if unequally, abounded.
Never more obvious, never either was it more obscure. It was abstruse. It
had its laws, its jurists, its tribunals and its code.

Chivalry required of the novice various proofs and preliminaries before
admitting him to knighthood. The gay science had also its requirements,
preparatory tests which young men of quality gave and primary instruction
which they received, before their novitiate could terminate. The tests
related to women married and single. By address in the lists, by valor in
war, by constant courtesy and loyalty, it was the duty of the aspirant to
please them. Pending the novitiate no word of love was permitted and any
advancement might be lost through an awkwardness of speech or gesture. But
the caprices of a lady properly endured and the tests undergone
unfalteringly, relations might ensue, in which case, if the lady were
single, the connection was not thought contrary to the best traditions,
provided that it was a prelude to marriage, nor, if the lady were already
married was it thought at variance with those traditions, provided that
the articles of the code were observed.[42]

Concerning the origin of the code history stammers. The chief authority,
Maître André, said that in Broceliande--a locality within the confines of
the Arthurian myth--a vavasour--quidam miles--met a lass--formosa
puella--who agreed to accept his attentions on condition that he
outjousted the Knights of the Round Table and got a falcon from them for
her. These labors accomplished and the vavasour rewarded--plenius suo
remuneravit amore--there was found attached to the falcon's claw, a
scroll, a holy writ, a code of love, a corpus juris amoris.[43]

The story is as imaginary as Broceliande. The code was probably derived
from some critique of pure courtesy then common in manuals of chivalry.
But its source is unimportant. Gradually promulgated throughout
Christendom it resulted in making love the subject of law for the
administration of which courts open and plenary were founded. These courts
which were at once academies of fine sentiments and parliaments of joy,
existed, Maître André stated, before Salahaddin decapitated a Christian
and lasted, Nostradamus declared, until post-Petrarchian days.[44]

The code is as follows:

          I. Causa conjugii ab amore non est excusatio recta.

         II. Qui non celat amare non potest.

        III. Nemo duplici potest amore ligari.

         IV. Semper amorem minui vel crescere constat.

          V. Non est sapidum quod amans ab invito sumit amante.

         VI. Masculus non solet nisi in plena pubertate amare.

        VII. Biennalis viduitas pro amante defuncto superstiti
             præscribitur amanti.

       VIII. Nemo, sine rationis excessu, suo debet amore privari.

         IX. Amare nemo potest, nisi qui amoris suasione compellitur.

          X. Amor semper ab avaritia consuevit domiciliis exulare.

         XI. Non decet amare quarum pudor est nuptias affectare.

        XII. Verus amans alterius nisi suæ coamantis ex affectu non cupit

       XIII. Amor raro consuevit durare vulgatus.

        XIV. Facilis perceptio contemptibilem reddit amorem, difficilis
             eum parum facit haberi.

         XV. Omnis consuevit amans in coamantis as pectupallescere.

        XVI. In repentina coamantis visione, cor tremescit amantis.

       XVII. Novus amor veterem compellit abire.

      XVIII. Probitas sola quemcumque dignum facit amore.

        XIX. Si amor minuatur, cito deficit et raro convalescit.

         XX. Amorosus semper est timorosus.

        XXI. Ex vera zelotypia affectus semper crescit amandi.

       XXII. De coamante suspicione percepta zelus interea et affectus
             crescit amandi.

      XXIII. Minus dormit et edit quem amoris cogitatio vexat.

       XXIV. Quilibet amantis actus in coamantis cogitatione finitur.

        XXV. Verus amans nihil beatum credit, nisi quod cogitat amanti

       XXVI. Amor nihil posset amori denegare.

      XXVII. Amans coamantis solatiis satiari non potest.

     XXVIII. Modica præsumptio cogit amantem de coamante suspicari

       XXIX. Non solet amare quem nimia voluptatis abundantia vexat.

        XXX. Verus amans assidua, sine intermissione, coamantis imagine

       XXXI. Unam feminam nihil prohibet a duobus amari, et a duabus
             mulieribus unum.

Of these articles, the translation of a few may suffice.

     The allegation of marriage is an insufficient plea against love.

     No one should love two people at the same time.

     Without exceeding good reason no one should be forbidden to love.

     No one need love unless persuasion invite.

     It is not seemly to love one whom it would be unseemly to marry.

     A new love banishes an old one.

     Love readily yielded is lightly held.

The establishment of courts for the maintenance of principles such as
these may seem unnecessary. Yet they had their raison d'être. In cases of
tort and felony the lord of a fief possessed the right of justice high and
low. There are crimes now which the law cannot reach. It was the same way
then. There were controversies which no mere man could adjust. To remedy
the defect the wives of the lords created tribunals of their own.

In the English dominions on the Continent generally, as also in Flanders,
Champagne and Provence, these courts were frequent. In describing them
Nostradamus said that "disputes arising from the beautiful and subtle
questions of love were submitted to illustrious ladies who, after
deliberation, rendered judgments termed, 'Lous arrêsts d'amours.'"

Of the beautiful and subtle questions here is one: A confidant charged by
a friend with messages of love found the lady so to his liking that he
addressed her in his own behalf. Instead of being repulsed he was
encouraged. Whereupon the injured party brought suit. Maître André,
prothonotary of the court, relates that the plaintiff prayed that the
fraud be submitted to the Countess of Champagne, who, sitting in banco
with sixty ladies, heard the complaint and, on deliberation, rendered
judgment as follows: "It is ordered that the defendants henceforth be
debarred the frequentation of honest people." Here is another instance. A
knight was charged by a lady not to say or do anything in her praise. It
so fell about that her name was lightly taken. The knight challenged the
defamer. Thereupon the lady contended that he had forfeited all claim to
her regard. Action having been brought the court decided that the defence
of a lady being never illicit the knight should be rehabilitated in favor
and reinstated in grace. Which, the prothonotary states, was done.

It was over these delicate matters, over others more delicate still, that
the Courts of Love claimed and exercised jurisdiction. Execution of the
decrees may seem to have been arduous. But judgments were enforced not by
a constabulary but by the community. Disregard of a decision entailed not
loss of liberty but loss of caste. In the case of a man, entrance was
denied him at the tournaments. In the case of a woman, the drawbridges
were up. Throughout the land there was no one to receive her. As a result
the delinquent was rare. So too was contempt of the jurists. Sometimes a
girl appeared before them. Sometimes a king.

To-day it all seems very trivial. But at the time marriage was a matter
concerning which the party most interested had the least to say. Love was
not an element of it and disinclination a detail. Moreover in the
apoplectic conditions of the world a woman's natural guardians were not
always at hand, the troubadour always was; the consequence being that a
lady was left to do more or less as she saw fit and it was in order that
she might do what was fittest that decretals were made.

They served another purpose. They set a standard which is observed to-day.
Article XI of the code: Non decet amare quarum pudor est nuptias
affectare,--It is not seemly to love one whom it would not be seemly to
marry, is one of the pivots of modern ethics. On it was constructed _Ruy
Blas_. The tale is tragic but then the entire realm of love is choked
with tragic tales, though it is less so when the precept is observed and
still less when there is regard for the injunction against double loving.

In addition, the provisions of the code were instrumental in originating
that regard for appearances which society previously had neglected and
from which contemporaneous refinement proceeds. Chivalry came with the
crusades; with the Courts of Love, good manners.

They had another merit. In guiding the affections they educated them. To
love and to be loved is not simple but complex. Love may come from mutual
attraction. That is common. It may come of natural selection, which is
rare. Natural selection presupposes a discernment that leads a man through
mazes of women to one woman in particular, to a woman who to him is the
one woman in all the world, to the woman who has been awaiting him and who
recognizes him when he comes. Or _vice versa_. In the Middle Ages it was
usually from the woman that the initial recognition proceeded. It was she
who did the selecting. In the best society she does so still.

To encourage her the Courts of Love authorized a form of contemplative
union in which lovers exchanged vows similar to those taken at the
investiture of a vassal. The knight knelt before the lady, put his hands
in hers and acknowledged himself her liegeman. The homage was formally
accepted. The knight received a kiss which was renewable every year. But
nothing more. In theory at least. Any further reward of fealty being due
to the sheer generosity of the lady who then was lord. The kiss however
was collectable. In the event of deferred payment action could be brought.
One was. By way of defence the defendant alleged that Mr. Danger was
present. Mr. Danger was the defendant's husband.[45]

These hymens of the heart, instituted by virtue of Article I, Causa
conjugii ab amore non est excusatio recta--Against love marriage is an
insufficient excuse--resulted in a sort of moral bigamy that was
sanctioned generally by custom, in Provence by the clergy, and which, like
marriage was contracted in the presence of witnesses. Gérard de
Roussillon, a mediæval writer, described a lady who while marrying one man
coincidentally gave a ring and promise of love to another. The proceeding
was strictly in accordance with the sentiment of the day which regarded
love as incompatible with marriage.

A case in point is contained in the reports of Martial d'Auvergne. A
knight loved a lady who could not accept his vows inasmuch as she loved
some one else. But she promised to do so if it so happened that she lost
the other man--a contingency which to-day would mean if he died or ran
away. Very differently the jurisprudence of the epoch interpreted it. The
lady married the man she loved whereupon the knight exacted fulfilment of
the agreement. Queen Eleanor, before whom the case was heard, decided in
his favor, on the ground, perhaps subtle, that the lady's husband, in
becoming her husband, became _ipso facto_, by that very act, amatorially

In a case not similar but cognate, judgment rendered by the Countess of
Champagne was as follows: "By these presents we declare and affirm that
love cannot exist between married people for the reason that lovers grant
everything unconstrainedly whereas married people are obliged to submit to
one another. Wherefore shall this decision, reached prudently in
conformity with the opinion of many other ladies, be to you all a constant
and irrefragible truth. So adjudged in the year of grace 1174, the third
day of the calends of May, seventh indiction."

In another case Ermengarde of Narbonne decided that the addition of the
marriage tie cannot invalidate a prior affair, _nisi_--unless the lady has
in mind to have done with love forever.

Decretals of this nature, however absurd they may seem, were at least
serviceable in the reforms they effected. According to the civil law if a
husband absented himself for ten years, the wife had the right to remarry.
According to the law of love, the absence of a lover, however prolonged,
did not release the lady from her attachment. The civil law authorized a
widow to remarry in a year and a day. The law of love exacted for the
heart a widowhood of twice that period. The civil law permitted a husband
to beat his wife reasonably. The law of love enforced for the lady

The resulting conditions, perhaps analogous to those of eighteenth-century
Italy where every woman of position had, in addition to a husband a
cavaliere servente, succeeded none the less in developing outside of
marriage and directly in opposition to it, the ideal of what marriage is,
the union not only of hands but of hearts. The Courts of Love might go,
their work endured. They made woman what she had been in republican Rome
and what she is to-day, the guide and associate of man.

Slowly thereafter they followed knight-errantry to its grave without
however meanwhile becoming what Hallam described as "fantastical
solemnities." "I never had," Hallam declared, "the patience to look at the
older writers who discussed this tiresome subject." In view of which his
opinions are not important, particularly as the Courts of Love so far from
becoming fantastic went to the other extreme. Instead of questions
beautiful and subtle, there arose others, highly realistic, together with
investigations _de visu_ which young gentlewomen treated in terms precise.

Before decadence set in, at a time when these establishments were at their
best and notwithstanding the ethical purport of their decisions,
misadventures occurred. Of these, one, commonly reported by all
authorities, is curious.

The Lord Raymond of Castel-Roussillon had for wife the Lady Marguerite.
Guillaume de Cabstain, a lad of quality came to their court where he was
made page to the countess and where, after certain episodes, he composed
for her the lai which runs:

     "Sweet are the thoughts
     That love awakes in me."

Etc. When Raymond heard the song he led Guillaume far from the castle, cut
his head off, put it in a basket, cut his heart out, put it also in a
basket, returned to the castle, had the heart roasted and had it served at
table to his wife. The Lady Marguerite ate without knowing what it was.
The repast concluded, Raymond stood up. He told his wife that what she had
eaten was the heart of the page. He fetched and showed her the head and
asked how the heart had tasted.

The Lady Marguerite, recognizing the head, replied that the heart had been
so appetizing that never other food or drink should take from her its
savor. Raymond ran at her with his sword. She fled away, threw herself
from a balcony and broke her skull.

The story, though commonly reported, has not been substantiated. It
occurred a long time ago and, it may be, never occurred at all. But as a
picture of mediæval love, life and death, it is exact. If it did not
occur, it might have. Joy's fingers are ever at its lips bidding farewell.
It was in that attitude that its parliaments departed.



Before joy and its parliaments had dispersed the general gloom, minstrels
went about singing distressed maidens, imprisoned women, jealous husbands,
the gamut of love and lore. Usually they sang to ears that were
indifferent or curious merely. But occasionally a knight errant overheard
and at once, lance in hand, he was off on his horse to the rescue. The
source of the minstrel's primal migration was Spain.

In the mediæval night, Spain, or, more exactly Andalusia, was brilliant.
On the banks of the Great River, Al-Ouad-al-Kebyr, subsequently renamed
Guadalquivir, twelve hundred cities shimmered with mosques, with enamelled
pavilions, with tinted baths, alcazars, minarets. From three hundred
thousand filigree'd pulpits, the glory of Allah and of Muhammad his
prophet were daily proclaimed.

At Ez Zahara, the pavilion of the pleasures of the Caliphs of Cordova,
forty thousand workmen, working for forty years, had produced a stretch
of beauty unequalled then and unexceeded since, a palace of dream, of
gems, of red gold walls; a court of alabaster fountains that tossed
quick-silver in dazzling sheafs; a patio of jasper basins in which floated
silver swans; a residence ceiled with damasquinures, curtained with
Isfahan silks; an edifice filled with poets and peris, an establishment
that thirteen thousand people served.[47]

Ez Zahara, literally, The Fairest, a caliph had built to the memory of a
love. It was regal. The caliphs were also. The reigns of some of them were
so prodigal that they were called honeymoons. At Seville and Granada were
other palaces, homes as they were called, but homes of flowers, of
whispers, of lovers or of peace. Throughout the land generally there was a
chain of pavilions and cities through which minstrels passed, going up and
down the Great River, serenading the banks that sent floating back wreaths
of melody, the sound of clear voices, the tinkle of dulcimers and lutes.
But most beautiful was Cordova. Under the Moors it eclipsed Damascus,
surpassed Baghdad, outshone Byzance. It was the noblest place on earth.

Throughout Europe at that time, the Moors and the Byzantines alone had
the leisure and the inclination to think. They alone read and alone
preserved the literature of the past. Together they supplied it to the
Renaissance. But from the Moors went poetry of their own. It was they who
invented rhyme.[48] Charmed with the novelty, they wrote everything in it,
challenges, contracts, treaties, diplomatic notes, and messages of love.
The composition of poetry was an occupation, usual in itself, which led to
unusual honors, to the dignity of office and high place. Ordinary
conversation not infrequently occurred in verse which was otherwise
facilitated by the extreme wealth of the language. Some of the
dictionaries known generally from their immensity as Oceans--which,
escaping later the unholy hand of the Holy Office,[49] the Escorial
preserved, were arranged not alphabetically but in sequence of rhyme. In
addition to the latter the Moors invented the serenade and for it the
dulcimer and guitar. They not only lived poetry and wrote it and talked it
but died of it. The unusual honors to which it led and which resulted in a
government of poets left them defenceless. Verse which was their glory was
also their destruction. Meanwhile it was from them that the world got
algebra and chivalry besides.

Chivalry has been derived from Germany. The Teutons invented the false
conception of honor--revenge for an affront, the duel and judgment by
arms. That is not chivalry or even bravery, it is bravado. Bravery itself,
perhaps the sole virtue of the early Teuton, was not the only one or even
the first that was required of the Moorish Rokh. To merit that title which
was equivalent to that of knight, many qualities were indispensable:
courtesy, courage, gentility, poetry, diction, strength, and address. But
courtesy came first. Then bravery, then gentility, in which was comprised
the elements that go to the making of the gentleman--loyalty,
consideration, the sense of justice, respect for women, protection of the
weak, honor in war and in love.[50]

These things the Teutons neither knew nor possessed. The Muslim did. Prior
to the first crusade, the male population of Christendom was composed of
men-at-arms, serfs, priests, monks. The knight was not there. But in
Sicily, at the court of the polished Norman kings where Saracens had
gone, particularly in Spain, and certainly at Poictiers, the knight had
appeared. The chivalry which he introduced was an insufficient gift to
barbarism. To it the Moors added perfumery and the language of flowers.

Muhammad's biographers state that there were but two things for which he
really cared--women and perfume. His followers the Moors could not do more
than do better. Other inventions of theirs being inadequate, they joined
to them the art of preserving perfume by distillation and the art, higher
still, of perfuming life with love. Muhammad was unable to convert
humanity to a belief in the uniqueness of Allah, but the Moors, for a
while at least, converted Europe to a belief that love was unique.
Muhammad created a paradise of houris and musk. More subtly the Moors
created a heaven on earth. It had its defects as everything earthly must
have, but such were its delights that the courtesan had no place in its
parks. For the first time in history a nation appeared that renounced
Venus Pandemos. For the first time a nation appeared among whom woman was
neither punished nor bought.[51]

In the Koran it is written: "Man shall have pre-eminence over woman
because of the advantages wherein God hath caused one of them to excel
the other. The honest women are obedient, careful in the absence of their
husbands. But those whose perverseness ye shall be apprehensive of,
rebuke, remove into separate apartments and chastise."

The Moors were devout. They were also schismatic. They had separated from
Oriental Islâm. Even in the privacy of the harem they would not have
struck a woman with a rose.

The harem was not a Muhammadan invention. It was a legacy from Solomon.
Originally the Muslim faith was a creed of sobriety that included a
deference to women theretofore unknown. Its subsequent corruption was due
to Assyria and the ferocious apostolicism of the Turk. The Islâmic
seclusion of women came primarily from an excess of delicacy. It was
devised in order that their beauty might not excite desires in the hearts
of strangers and they be affronted by the ardor of covetous eyes. That
ardor the Moors deflected with a talisman composed of the magic word
Masch-Allah which, placed in filigree on the forehead of the beloved was
supposed to indicate--and perhaps did--that her heart was not her own. In
Baghdad where men are said to have been so inflammable that they fell in
love with a woman at the rumor of her beauty, at even the mere sight of
the impress of her hand, it was not entirely unnatural that they should
have secluded those for whom they cared. With finer jealousy the Moors
suggested to the women who cared for them the advantage of secluding
themselves. To-day a woman who loves will do that unprompted.

In the suggestion of the Moors there was nothing emphatic. Usually girls
of position saw, to the day of their marriage, but relatives and womenfolk
whom the husband and his friends then routed with daggers of gold. But
access to Chain-of-Hearts was not otherwise always impossible. In default
of gold daggers there were silk ladders let down from high windows and up
which one might climb. In the local tales of love and chivalry, in the
story, for instance, of _Medjnoun and Leïlah_, in that of the _Dovazdeh
Rokh_--the Twelve Knights--many such ladders and windows appear, many are
the kisses, multiple are the furtive delights. Apart from them history has
frequent mention of Andalusian Sapphos, free, fervid, poetic, charming the
leisures of caliphs, or, after an exacter pattern of the Lesbian,
instructing other girls in what were called the keys of felicities--the
_divans_ of the poets, the art and theory of verse; more austerely still,
in mathematics and law.[52]

To please young women of that distinction, a man had to be something more
than a caliph, something else than violently brave. Necessarily he had to
be expert in fantasias with arms and horse, but he had to be also
discreet; in addition he had to be able to contend and successfully in the
moufâkhara, or tournaments of song--struggles of glory that proceeded
directly from Mekke where the verses of the victors were affixed with gold
nails to the doors of the Mosque. From these tournaments all modern poetry
proceeds. Acclimatized, naturalized and embellished in Andalusia, they
were imitated there by the encroaching Castilians who proudly but falsely
called themselves _los primeros padres de la poesia vulgar_.

At that time, the Provençal tongue, called the Limosin or Langue d'oc, was
spoken not only throughout the meridional provinces of France but
generally in Christian Spain.[53] Whatever was common to Spanish poetry
was common to that of Provence: both drank from the same source, the
overflowing cup of the Moors. The original form of each is that employed
in the _divans_ of the latter. There is in them also the tell-tale novelty
rhyme which, unknown to Greece and Rome, lower Latinity had not achieved.
In addition the Provençal and Spanish tensons, or contentions of song,
are but replicas of the moufâkhara, or struggles of glory, while the
minstrel going up and down the Great River is the obvious father of the
itinerant poets whom Barbarossa welcomed in Germany and from whom the
Minnesänger came. In Italy, Provençal verse was the foundation of that of
Dante and Petrarch. From it in England Chaucer proceeds. In Aragon it
founded the _gaya cienca_--the gay science, which passing into Provence
overspread the world. The passing was effected by the troubadour, a title
derived from _trobar_, to compose, whence troubadour, a composer of verse.

Technically the troubadour was not only a composer but a knight and not
merely that but the representative of chivalry in its supreme expression.
Poetry was the attribute of his order as joy was the parure of the preux
chevalier. But though except in bearing and appearance the knight did not
have to be poetic, the troubadour had to be poetic and chivalrous as well.
The vocation therefore, which in addition to these characteristics
presupposed also rank and wealth, was such that while a troubadour might
disdain to be king, there were kings, Alfonso of Aragon and
Coeur-de-Lion among others, who were proud to be troubadours.

Rank was not essentially a prerequisite. Poetry, exalting and fastidious,
occasionally stooped, lifting from the commonality a man naturally though
not actually born for the sphere. The Muse aiding, Bernard de Ventadour, a
baker's son; was raised to the lips of the rather volatile Queen Eleanor.
But the process, hazardous in itself, was infrequent. Royals were not
necessarily on a footing with troubadours, but the latter, who were the
peers of kings, required, for the maintenance of their position, abundant
means. They held it becoming to be ceaselessly lavish, to play high and
long, to dazzle not only in the tensons but in the banquets and jousts.
Impoverishment supervening they went forth in the crusades to die, or,
less finely, dropped back among the jongleurs, minstrels, strollers and
mere poets with whom subsequently they were generally confused. These
latter, sometimes stipendiary, sometimes donatable like jesters and fools,
told in their verse of great ladies whom they had never seen, or in the
quality of handy man attached themselves to women of rank, to whom they
gave songs in return for graces which included largesse, acquiring in
their society a knowledge more or less incomplete of the niceties of love
and occasionally, if their verse were good, the title of Maestro d'Amor.
Even so, only in the embroidery of legend were they troubadours.

The troubadours, the true masters and real doctors of the gay science, in
full armor, the visor up, the lance in bucket, rode from keep to keep,
from court to court, from one to another of the long string of castles
that stretched throughout Provence, throughout the English districts on
the Continent, throughout England as well, celebrating as they passed the
beauty of this châtelaine and of that, breaking lances for women, devising
new lays to their eyes, contending with rivals in duels of song,
challenging them in the tourneys, singing and killing with equal
satisfaction, leading generally a life vagabond, prodigal, puerile,
delightful, absurd and humanizing in the extreme.

Previously keeps and castles were lairs of rapine and of brutes,
conditions which chivalry and the Courts of Love remodelled. But the
coincidental influence of poetry expressed by the best and richest men of
the day had an effect so edulcifying that whatever crapulousness the
knight overlooked the troubadour extinguished.

Nothing is perfect. The system like all others had its defects. In keeps,
when tilts, feasts, and entertainments were over, the boudoir's more
relaxing atmosphere, that of the adjoining balconies and outlying gardens
as well, had also their effect. The presence there of a man whose one
object was to sing love and make it, the fact that he was a stranger and
of all men the stranger who but comes and passes, disturbs the
imagination most; the further fact that if he but so pleased he could in
his lays trail the fame of a lady from Northumbria to Lebanon, the
perfectly natural wish for such renown, the equally feminine
disinclination to be ignored when others were praised, the concomitant
desire to have a troubadour or a part of one, as one's very own, these
stimulants had consequences that were not always very ethical.

The troubadour's religion, intoxicating in itself, was love. That was his
creed, his vocation, his life, his death. Song was its vehicle, his
presence its introduction. He exhaled it. The perfume, always heady, but
which in its first fragrance had mended manners, turned acid and ended by
dissolving morals. They melted before it. The social conditions that
prevailed in the Renaissance and later in the Restoration and Regency,
proceeded directly from these poets who, meanwhile, in a cataclysm had

Their terrific ablation was due to an interconnection with the Albigenses,
a Languedoc sect who, in a jumble of Gnosticism and Manicheism, professed
that since evil is coeval with good it must be just as justifiable; hence
there is nothing blamable, everything is relative and morality--
unobligatory--a matter of taste.

Provence, always receptive to Orientalisms, was charmed with theories
that gave a mystic sanction to troubadourian views. Caught up and
repeated, discussed in tournament and tenson, the opinions of ladies and
lovers on the subject would have disturbed nobody, history would have
ignored them, had the original heretics been satisfied with the plaything
they had found. But they compared it to official religion. They also
questioned the prerogatives of the Holy See.

Indignantly the Papacy pitted Christianity against it, as already it had
pitted the latter against Islâm. In this instance with greater success.
From a thousand pulpits a new religious war was preached. The fanaticism
of Europe was aroused. Provence was stormed. Châteaux were levelled, vines
uprooted, the harvests of poetry and song destroyed. Sixty thousand people
were massacred. The Inquisition was founded. Plentifully the doctors of
the gay science were burned. In spite of chivalry, in spite of love, in
spite of verse, in spite of Muhammad, the Moors and the Madonna, Europe
was barbarous still.

The smoke, obscuring the sky, left but darkness. If anywhere there was
light, it was in Sicily, always volcanic, or in Tuscany, another Provence.
There surviving troubadours escaped and left a legacy which Dante,
Petrarch and Boccaccio diversely shared.



In the boyhood of Dante, Florence, the Flower City, was a place of much
beauty, of perfect calm, of almost perfect equality, of pleasurable and
polished life. There a brigade, the _Brigata Amorosa_, formed of a
thousand people, had a lord who was a Lord of Love. During one of their
recurrent festivals an entertainment was held at the home of Folco
Portinari. To such entertainments Boccaccio said that children frequently
accompanied their parents. To this particular entertainment, Dante, then a
lad of nine, came with his father. He found there a number of boys and
girls, among whom was Folco's daughter, Beatrice, a child with delicate
features whose speech and attitude were perhaps superserious for her age.

Dante looked at her. "At that moment," he afterward, wrote, "I may truly
say that the spirit of life which dwells in the most secret chambers of my
heart, trembled in such wise that the least pulses of my being shook....
So noble was her manner, that assuredly one might repeat of her the words
of Homer: 'She seemed born not of mortal but of God.'"

Years passed during which often he encountered her, without, however, a
word being interchanged. Subsequently, at a festival, she recognized him
and bowed--"so virtuously," he said, "that I thought myself lifted to the
limits of beatitude."

Another interval ensued. Again she met him. Dante was then twenty,
Beatrice nineteen. On this occasion she omitted to bow. The omission
affected him profoundly. It was even inspirational. He began to write, "so
well" said Boccaccio "that he effaced the fame of poets that had been and
menaced that of those to be."

In promenading his young glory he again encountered Beatrice, this time in
a house where a betrothal was being celebrated. On entering he was so
emotionalized that he had to lean against a wall. The women who were
present divined the reason. Beatrice was there. The situation amused them.
They laughed. Beatrice also laughed.[54] Whether or not it was her
betrothal that was being fêted is uncertain. It may have been. Shortly she
became the wife of Simon dei Bardi, _gentiluomo_.

Dante more profoundly affected than ever cursed the day on which they met:

     Io maledico il di ch'io vidi imprima
     La luce de' vostri occhi traditori.

To the melody of the imprecation, Petrarch, in honor of Laura, added a

     Benedetto sia l'giorno, e l'mese, e l'anno.

Both were unfortunate in their loves but of the two Dante's was the least
favored. It had nothing for sustenance. Yet, save for that one reproach,
it persisted. Its continuance was fully justified by the code, though, in
the absence of any reciprocity whatever, it was perhaps more vaporous than
any that the codifiers had considered.

Hitherto Dante had hoped but for a bow. Thereafter the hope seemed
ambitious. He ceased to expect so much. A woman, cognizant, as all
Florence was, of the circumstances said to him: "Since you barely dare to
look at Beatrice, what can your love for her be?" Dante answered: "The
dream of my love was in her salutation but since it has pleased her to
withhold it from me, my happiness now resides in what cannot be
withdrawn." "And what is that?" the donna asked. "In words that praise
her," he replied.

Seemingly instead of that, instead rather of limiting his previous
ambition to a salutation he might have supplanted Dei Bardi. Dante too was
_gentiluomo_. In addition he was famous. Had he asked, doubtless it would
have been given. But Dante, nourished on troubadourian verse and views,
held love to be incompatible with marriage. Afterward, if any Provençal
suggestion of extra-matrimonial possibilities presented itself, it was too
incongruous with the ideal to be detained. Even otherwise, shortly and
speedily Beatrice died and he very nearly died also.

The distraction of writing of her, of drawing angels that resembled her,
these occupations, combined with other incidents, consoled. Then presently
he had visions, among them one in which he saw that which decided him to
write nothing further until he could do so more worthily. "To that end,"
he said, "I labor all I can, as she well knows. Wherefore if it please
Him, through whom all things live, that my life be suffered to continue
yet awhile, I hope one day to say of her what has not been said of any
woman. After which may it please the Lord of Grace that my soul go hence
in quest of the Blessed Beatrice who now gazes continuously on the
countenance of Him qui est omnia secula benedictus. Laus Deo!"

With these words, with which the _Vita Nuova_ ends, the _Divina Commedia_
is announced. Voltaire commended an imbecile for calling the latter a
monster. It is regrettable that there are not more like it. Other
imbeciles have called Beatrice an abstraction. That she lived is fully
attested. Dante admired a child who became a young woman from whom he
asked next to nothing, which, being refused, he asked nothing at all,
contenting himself with laudations. From that moment, Beatrice, who had
really been, ceased to really be. She became a personified worship.
Finally she died and her death was her assumption, an apotheosis in which
typifying the Eternal Feminine, she lifted the poet from sphere to sphere,
from glory to glory, to the heights where, imperishable, he stands.

Said Tennyson:

     King that hast reigned six hundred years and grown
     In power and ever growest ...
     I, wearing but the garland of a day
     Cast at thy feet one flower that fades away.

The tribute, perfect in itself, was perfectly deserved. There never was
such tenderness as Dante's. There never was such intensity. Save only in
the case of the human oceans that men call Homer and Shakespeare, there
never has been such greatness.

Homer engendered antiquity. From Dante modernity proceeds. Of
Shakespeare, England was born. Without resemblance to one another, on
their thrones in the ideal each sits alone. Behind them is the past, at
their feet the present, before them the centuries unroll. They are the
immortals. They have all time as we all have our day. It is from them we
get our daily bread. Their genius feeds our starving soul. Talent has
never done that. Talent makes us laugh and forget and yawn. Talent is
agreeable, it provides us with pleasures, with means of getting rid of
time. But to the heart it brings no message, for the soul it has no food.
It is ephemeral, not eternal. Only genius and its art endure.

The genius of Dante, Beatrice awoke, of his art she was the inspiration.
For that be she, as he called her, Blessed,--thrice Blessed since she did
not love him. Had she loved him, he could not have done better, that is
not possible, and he might have omitted to do as well.

Dante made Francesca say of Paolo:

     Questi che mai da me non fia diviso,
     La bocca mi baciò tutto tremente.

Francesca added:

_Quel giorno più non vi leggemmo avante_--we read no more that day. Nor on
any other. Had she, from whom Dante is equally inseparable, tremblingly
kissed his mouth, it may be that not their reading merely but his writing
would have ceased. But Dante, whom Petrarch called a miracle of nature,
was not Paolo. Far from attempting to kiss Beatrice he did not even aspire
to such a grace. He had, as the genius should have, everything, even to
sex, in his brain, a circumstance that might have preserved him from Gemma
Donati and la Gentucca,--the first, his wife; the second, another's--dual
infidelities for which, at the summit of Purgatory, Beatrice, who, in the
interim, had become very feminine, reproached him with slow scorn.

For punishment he beheld her. The spectacle of her beauty was such that
memories of his sins seared him like thin flames. He was in Purgatory. But
Beatrice who in a cloud of flowers--_un nuvola di fiori_--had come,
forgave him. Together then their ascension began. _Ella guardava suso, ed
io in lei._ She looked above and he at her. In the mounting his sins fell
by. As they did so her beauty increased. In proportion to his redemption
she became more fair.

That picture, at once real and ideal, displayed in its exquisiteness the
miracle of two hearts saving and embellishing each other. Set at the
threshold of modern life it prefigured what love was to be, what it is now
when it truly appears, but what it was long in becoming.

It had no part in the conceptions of Cecco Angioleiri, a poet
contemporaneous, very vulgar, consequently more popular, who "sat" his
heart on a donna and flung at her cries that were squeaks.

     Io ho in tal donna lo mio core assiso,
     Che chi dicesse: Ti fo imperadore,
     E sta che non la veggi per due ore,
     Io li direi: Va che to sia ucciso.

Other was Petrarch,

     From whose brain-lighted heart were thrown
     A thousand thoughts beneath the sun,
     Each lucid with the name of One.

The One was Laura. Petrarch, young, good-looking, already aureoled, saw
her first at matins in a church at Avignon. She too was young. Married, a
woman of position, of probable beauty, she was dark-eyed, fair-haired,
pensive, serene. With spells as gossamer as those of the Monna Bice, at
once she imparadised his heart. Precipitately he presented it to her. She
refused it.

Hughes de Sade, her husband, was a perfectly unsympathetic person, jealous
without reason, notoriously hard. Yet his excuse, if he had one, may have
resided in local conditions. Avignon stately and luxurious, was, Petrarch
declared, the gully of every vice. "There is here," he said, "nothing
holy, nothing just, nothing human. Decency and modesty are unknown."[55]

Yet he found them there. Laura represented both. In the profligacy of the
Papal city she at least was pure. She would have none of Petrarch, or,
more exactly, so little that hardly can it be said to count. Rebuffed he
departed. She beckoned him back, rebuffed him again and, alternately, for
twenty-one years, rebuffed and beckoned, preserving his love without
according her own, giving him an infrequent smile, now and then a nod from
a window, on one memorable occasion as much as the touch of her hand. Once
only, and that at their last interview her eyes looked longly in his. That
was all.

To be near her he purchased at Vaucluse an estate so gloomy that his
servants forsook him and where, such women as he saw, it mortified him to
look at. The expression is his own. Day after day he stood before her
gates, which he never entered, fully repaid, if among the orange trees
there, he but caught sight of her. On one occasion he met her by accident,
on another he was fortunate enough to be able to restore a glove which she
had dropped, again in a reunion where were assembled the ladies of
Avignon, a foreign prince marched up to the woman whom Petrarch's verses
had made famous and kissed her on the eyes. It was a prince's privilege.
Petrarch related the occurrence in a sonnet. It was incidents of this
character that form the bundle of poetry that immortalized them both.

Sometimes he rebelled. He went away, travelled, studied, worked. Whatever
he did, where-ever he were, always, in haunting constancy, she was before
him. Always her presence inhabited his eyes. He tried to vanquish the love
of woman in the love of God. In the struggle it was he who was defeated.
Even age, even death could not aid him. Laura ultimately had nine
children. She was growing old, certainly she was worn. To Petrarch always
she was in the first festival of her beauty.

     Blessed be the day and the month and the year,
     And the season, the hour, the minute,
     And the fair land and the spot itself where
     Her beautiful eyes subjected my spirit.

It was that which he had ever before him. It was that which made him what
he was, the foremost personality of his day. It was that which
distinguished him from other poets. Unlike anybody, every one wanted to
resemble him. It was love that did it. Dante told of love with an
intensity that was divine. Petrarch wrote with a comprehensiveness that
was human. There have been thousands of poets and but one Dante, myriads
of lovers and but one Petrarch. Whether Laura deserved his devotion must
be a matter of opinion. This alone is obvious. She made his life a combat
which antiquity would not have understood, which chivalry would not have
appreciated and which Dante did not experience. In antiquity love had for
form but the senses. That form chivalry draped with graces and Dante
dematerialized. In Petrarch, love was both of the flesh and of the spirit
in addition to being sincere. That was a great step. With him for the
first time there entered into history an honest man ardently in love with
an honest woman. To the superficial she has seemed but a coquette and he
merely sentimental. He were perhaps better regarded as creative, the
founder of the real love which is the love of the heart, the "_amour
éternel en un moment conçu_."

The quality of Laura's love, whether she loved him or whether she did not,
whether for that matter she was capable of loving at all, whether on the
other hand while loving him wholly she, like the woman in the sonnet of
Arvers who inspired the "_amour éternel_" preferred to remain "piously
faithful to the austere devoir," is immaterial and unimportant. Another
man would have abandoned her completely or carried her violently away.
Petrarch, too sincere for treason and too poetic for vulgarity, unfit in
consequence for either enterprise, became obsessed with a love that
developed into a delicate malady, a disease that sent him from his
studies, tormenting him into an incessant struggle with the most terrible
of all combatants--one's self. The malady had its compensations. It made
him the source of modern lyricism and the most conspicuous figure of his
day. In Milan when he appeared every head was uncovered. On the Pô, a
battle was interrupted that he might pass. At Venice his seat was at the
right of the doge. Rome's ghost revived in beauty for him and put a laurel
on his brow. It was his verse that induced these tributes. The verse was
inspired by love.

To Dante, love was what it had been to Plato, a mysterious initiation into
the secrets of the material world. To Petrarch it was a rebellion against
those very things. In Dante it was sublimated, in Petrarch it was
distilled. Laura stood at the parting of the roads, midway between the
symbolism of the _Divina Commedia_ and the freedom of the _Decamerone_.

The _Decamerone_ is the chronicle of a society in extremis of which the
Divine Comedy is the Last Judgment. One is the dirge of the past, the
other the dawn of the future. Between the gravity of the one and the
unconcern of the other is the distance of the poles. Separated but by
half a century the cantos are the antipodes of the novellas. In the former
is gloom, palpable and thick. In the latter is light, frivolous and clear.
One is mediæval, the other, modern. But one was constructed for all time,
the other for a day. If the _Decamerone_ still survive, it is through one
of Time's caprices.

Boccaccio wrote endlessly. He produced treatises theological, historical,
mystical. With his pen he built a vast monument. Time passed and in
passing loosed from the edifice a single stone. The rest it reduced to
dust. But that stone it sent rolling into posterity, regarding it, wrongly
or rightly as a masterpiece. A masterpiece is a thing that seems easy to
make and which no one can duplicate. The Queen of Navarre tried and failed
augustly. Indolent reviewers have summarized both efforts as gossip.
Boccaccio's work was at once that and something else. It was a viaticum
for the Middle Ages and a signal for the Renaissance.

Through Florence at that hour stalked the Black Pest. The narrow streets
were choked with corpses. The people were dying. So too was an epoch.
While grave-diggers were at work a page of history was being turned. On
the other side was a dawn which now is day. The knell of expiring night
Boccaccio answered with laughter. Into a shroud he tossed flowers. Of
these many were frail, some blood-red, others toxic; a few only were
white. From them come the odors that formed the moral atmosphere of
indifferent Italy, of careless France, of England after the Restoration.
They were the parterre on which gallantry grew.



Before the parterre of gallantry budded, at an epoch when the Middle Ages
were passing away, there appeared a man, known to amateurs of light opera
and of fairy tales as Bluebeard, but who, everywhere, save in the nursery
and the study, has been regarded as unreal.

Bluebeard was no more a creation of Perrault or of Offenbach than Don Juan
was a creation of Mozart or of Molière. Both really lived, but Bluebeard
the more demoniacally. According to the documents contained in what is
technically known as his _procès_, his name was Gilles de Retz and, at a
period contemporaneous with the apparition of Jehanne d'Arc, he was a
great Breton lord, seigneur of appreciable domains.[56]

At Tiffauges, one of his seats, the towers of the castle have fallen, the
drawbridge has crumbled, the moat is choked. Only the walls remain. Within
is an odor of ruin, a sensation of chill, a savor of things damned, an
impression of space, of shapes of sin, of monstrous crimes, of sacrilege
and sorcery. But in his day it probably differed very little from other
keeps except in its extreme fastidiousness. Gilles de Retz was a poet. In
a land where no one read, he wrote. At a time when the chief relaxation of
a baron was rapine, he preferred the conversation of thinkers. Very rich
and equally sumptuous, the spectacle which he presented must have been
that of a great noble living nobly, one who, as was usual, had his own
men-at-arms, his own garrison, pages, squires, the customary right of
justice high and low, but, over and above these things, a taste for
elegancies, for refinements, for illuminated missals, for the music of
grave hymns. He was devout. In addition to a garrison, he had a chapel
and, for it, almoners, acolytes, choristers. Necessarily a soldier, he had
been a brave one. In serving featly his God he had served loyally his
king. At the siege of Orléans, Charles VII rewarded him with the title and
position of Maréchal de France. It was lofty, but not more so than he.
Meanwhile, during the progress of the war, for which he furnished troops;
subsequently, in extravagant leisures at court; later, at Tiffauges, where
he resided in a manner entirely princely, he exhausted his resources.

The one modern avenue to wealth then open was matrimony. Gilles followed
it. But insufficiently. The dower of one lady, then of others, however
large, was not enough. He needed more. To get it he took a different
route. Contiguous to the avenue was a wider highway which, descending from
the remotest past, had at the time narrowed into a blind alley. In it was
a cluster of alchemists. They were hunting the golden chimera which Hermes
was believed to have found, and whose escaping memories, first satraps,
then emperors, had tried vainly to detain.

These memories Bacon sought in alembics, Thomas Aquinas in ink.
Experiments, not similar but cognate, had resulted in the theory that, at
that later day, success was impossible without the direct assistance of
the Very Low. The secret had escaped too far, memories of it had been too
long ablated to be rebeckoned by natural means. For the recovery of the
evaporated arcana it was necessary that Satan should be invoked. Satan
then was very real. The atmosphere was so charged with his legions, that
spitting was an act of worship. In the cathedrals, through shudders of
song, his voice had been heard inviting maidens to swell the red
quadrilles of hell. From encountering him at every turn man had become
used to his ways, and had imagined a pact whereby, in exchange for the
soul, Satan agrees to furnish whatever is wanted.

To get gold, Gilles de Retz prepared to enter into that pact. What were
the preliminary steps, more exactly, what were the preliminary thoughts,
that led this man, who had been devout and a poet, into the infamies which
then ensued, is problematic. It is the opinion of psychologists that the
most poignant excesses are induced by aspirations for superterrestrial
felicities, by a desire, human, and therefore pitiable, to clutch some
fringe of the mantle of stars. Psychologists may be correct, but
pathologists give these yearnings certain names, among which is
hæmatomania, or blood-madness. Caligula, Caracalla, Attila, Tamerlane,
Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Philip II had it. Complicated with
another disorder, it manifested itself in the Marquis de Sade. It was that
which affected Gilles de Retz.

Actuated by it, he lured alchemists to Tiffauges. With them from the
confines of the Sabbat, magicians came. Conjointly it is not improbable
that they succeeded then in really evoking Satan, whose response to any
summons consists, perhaps, not in a visible apparition, but in making men
as base as they have conceived him to be.

In the horrible keep something of the kind must have occurred. Gilles de
Retz became actually obsessed. His soul turned a somersault. Where the
scholar had been, a vampire emerged. Satan was believed to enjoy the blood
of the young. To minister to the taste, Gilles killed boys and girls. For
fourteen years he stalked them. How many he bagged is conjectural. He had
omitted to keep tally.

His first victim was a child whose heart he extracted, and with whose
blood he wrote an invocation to Satan. Then the list elongated
immeasurably. That lair of his echoed with cries, dripped with gore,
shuddered with sobs. The oubliettes were turned into cemeteries, the halls
reeked with the odor of burning bones. Through them the monster prowled,
virtuoso and vampire in one, determining how he might destroy not merely
bodies but souls, inventing fresh repasts of flesh, devising new tortures,
savoring tears as yet unshed, and, with them, the spectacle of helpless
agony, of unutterable fear, the contortions of little limbs simultaneously
subjected to hot irons and cold steel. Witnesses deposed that some of the
children cried very little, but that the color passed from their eyes.[57]

There is a limit to all things earthly. Precisely as no one may attain
perfection, so has infamy its bounds. There are depths beneath which there
is nothing. To their ultimate plane Gilles de Retz descended. There,
smitten with terror, he tried to grope back. It was too late. Leisurely,
after fourteen years of Molochism, the echo of the cries and odor of the
calcinated reached Nantes, with, for result, the besieging of Tiffauges,
the taking of Gilles, his arrest, trial, confession--a confession so
monstrous that women fainted of fright, while a priest, rising in horror,
veiled the face on a crucifix which hung from the wall--a confession
followed by excommunication and the stake.[58]

In this super-Neronian story Bluebeard is not apparent. Yet he is there.
It is he that is Gilles de Retz. Years ago at Morbihan in a Breton church
that dates from the fourteenth century, there was found a series of
paintings. One represents the marriage of Trophine, daughter of the Duc de
Vannes to a Breton lord. In another the lord is leaving his castle. As he
goes he warningly intrusts to his wife the key to a forbidden door. It is
spotted with blood. The scenes which follow represent the lady opening the
forbidden door and peering into a room from the rafters of which six women
hang. Then come the return of the lord, his questioning and menacing
glance, the tears of the lady, her prayers to her sister, the alarm given
by the latter, the irruption of her brothers and her rescue from that

The story which the paintings tell still endures in Brittany. It has
Gilles de Retz for villain. Yet for the honor of his race and of the land,
instead of his name that of Bluebart, the cognomen of a public enemy, was

In the story, Gilles de Retz, after marrying Catherine de Thouars, one of
the great heiresses of the day, subsequently and successively married six
other women. Whether he murdered them all or whether they died of delight
is not historically certain. The key spotted with blood obviously is
fancy. But like other fancies it might be truth. It symbolizes the eternal
curiosity of the eternal Eve concerning that which has been forbidden.



Nominally with Bluebeard the Middle Ages cease. In the parturitions of
that curious period order emerged from chaos, language from dialects,
nations from hordes, ideals from dirt. Mediævalism was the prelude,
mediocre and in minor key, to the great concert of civilization of which
the first chorus was the Renaissance, the second the Reformation, the
third the Revolution, and of which Democracy, the fourth, but presumably
not the last, is swelling now.

Meanwhile the world was haggard. The moral pendulum, that had oscillated
between mud and ether, was back again at the starting point. Death,
Fortune, Love, the three blind fates of life, were the only recognized
divinities. But beyond the monotonous fog that discolored the sky beauty
was waiting. With the fall of Constantinople it descended. The result was
the Renaissance. To the Renaissance many contributed; mainly the dead, the
artists of the past, but also the living, the prophets of the future.
Mediævalism was a forgetting, the Renaissance a recovery. It was an epoch
from which the mediocre, in departing, saw as it went the re-establishment
of altars to beauty. In the midst of feudal barbarism, at an hour when
France was squalid, Germany uncouth, when English nobles could barely
read, when Europe generally had a contempt for letters which was not due
to any familiarity with them, but when Italy--a century in advance of
other lands--was merely corrupt, at that hour, the wraiths of Greece
mingling with the ghosts of Rome, made the mistress of the old world
sovereign of the new. Not in might but in art and intellect, again the
Eternal City ruled supreme.

From the annals of the epoch bravi peer and swarm--soldati di gran
diavolo, men more fiendish than animal, artists that contrived to drape
the abominable with cloths which, if crimson, were also of gold; poets
refined by generations of scrupulous polish but disorganized by a form of
corruption that was the more unholy in that it proceeded not from the
senses but the mind.

For centuries luxury had been reaccumulating about them. To it, after the
fall of Byzance, an unterrified spirit of beauty came. In between was a
sense of equality, one that a recently discovered hemisphere was to
assimilate, but which meanwhile enabled a man of brains to rise from
nowhere to anything, permitting a mercer to breed popes and an apothecary
Lorenzo the Magnificent. These factors, generally unconsidered, induced a
tone that could change instantly from the suave to the tragic, the tone of
a people that had no beliefs except in genius and no prejudices except
against stupidity, a tone ethically nul and intellectually great, the only
imaginable one that could produce combinations artistic and viperish as
the Borgias, æsthetic and vulperine as the Medici. Monsters such as they,
did not astonish. Columbus, in enlarging the earth, and Copernicus in
unveiling the skies, had so astounded that the ability to be surprised was
lost. Men could only admire and create.

These occupations were not hindered by the pontiffs. What the latter were,
diarists and historians--Infessura and Gregorovius--have told. As their
pages turn, pagan Rome revives. The splendid palaces had crumbled, the
superb porticoes were dust. The victorious eagles of the victorious
legions had flown to their eyries forever. The shouting throngs, the ivory
chariots, the baths of perfume and of blood, these things long since had
vanished. There were friars where gladiators had been, pifferari in lieu
of augurs, imperias instead of vestals, in place of an emperor there was a
pope. In details of speech, costume and mode there were further
differences. Otherwise Rome was as pagan, murderous and gay. In the thick
air of the high-viced city the poison of the antique purple dripped.

But into the toxic a new ingredient had entered, a fresh element, a modern
note. In the Rome of Nero a sin was a prayer. In the Rome of Leo X it was
a taxable luxury. Anything, no matter what, was lawful provided an
indulgence were bought. The Bank of Pardons was established for the
obvious proceeds, but the latter were sanctified by their consecration to
art. Among the results is St. Peter's.

It was in a very different light that Luther contemplated them. The true
founder of modern society, radical as innovators must be, dangerous as
reformers are, it was with actual fury that he attacked the sale, attacked
confession, the entire doctrine of original sin. The hysteria of
asceticism was as inept to him as the celibacy of the priesthood; love he
declared to be no less necessary than food and he preached to men, saying,
"If women are recalcitrant, tell them others will consent; if Esther
refuse, let Vashti approach."[60]

Beauty, emerging meanwhile from her secular tomb, had uttered a new Fiat
Lux. Spontaneously as the first creation there resulted another in which
art became an object of worship. Suddenly, miraculously yet naturally,
there sprang into being a race of sculptors inferior only to Pheidias, a
race of painters superior even to Apelles, real artists who were great men
in an epoch really great. It was said of Raphael that he had resuscitated
the corpse of Rome. Benvenuto Cellini was absolved of a murder by Paul III
on the ground that men like him were above the law. Julius II launched
anathemas at any sovereign who presumed, however briefly, to lure from him
Michel Angelo. Charles V, ruler of a realm wider than Alexander's, stooped
and restored a brush which Titian had dropped, remarking as he did so,
that only by an emperor could an artist be properly served.

The epoch in which appeared these exceptional beings and with them
lettered bandits comparable only to tigers in the gardens of Armide--the
age which produced in addition to them, others equally, if differently,
great, approached in its rare brilliance that of Pericles. Even Plato was

"Since God has given us the Papacy," said Leo X, "let us enjoy it." In the
enjoyment he had Plato for aid. An estray from Byzance, tossed thence on
the shores of the mediæval Dead Sea, translated in the Florentine Academy,
printed in the Venetian metropolis of pleasure and dedicated to the
scholar pope, no better aid to enjoyment could he or any one have had. In
the mystic incense of the liturgy to Aphrodite was what prelates and
patricians, the people and the planet long had needed, a doctrine of love.

In the _Republic_ Plato stated that those who contemplate the immutable
essence of things possess knowledge not views. That was precisely what was
wanted. But what was wanted Plato did not perhaps very adequately supply.
Hitherto love had been regarded sometimes as the fusion of souls sometimes
as that of the senses. There had been asceticism. There had also been
license. Plato, from whom something more novel was wanted, seemed to offer
but an antidote to both. In the _Symposion_ love was represented as the
rather vulgar instinct of persistence and beauty, one and indivisible,
alone divine. Moreover, from the austere regions of that abstraction came
no explanation of the charm which feminine loveliness exercises over man.
On the other hand, Plato had told of two Aphrodites, one celestial, the
other common, a distinction which doctors in quintessences utilized for
the display of two forms of love, one heavenly, the other mundane,
simianizing in so doing, what is human, humanizing that which is divine
and succeeding between them in producing for the world the modern
conception of platonic affection, which, in so far as it relates to the
reciprocal relations of men and women, not for a moment had entered
Plato's sky-like mind.

The doctors were Ficino--a Hellenist whom Cosmo dei Medici had had
trained for the sole purpose of translating Plato--and Bembo, a prelate,
who already had written for Lucrezia Borgia a treatise on love. What
Ficino advanced Bembo expounded.

Bembo's commentary was to the effect that earthly loveliness is a
projection of celestial beauty irradiated throughout creation. Falling as
light falls it penetrates the soul and repercuted creates love, which
consequently is a derivative of divine beauty transmitted through a
woman's eyes. To man the source of that beauty is, however, not the soul
but the flesh. From this error disillusion proceeds. For the rightful
enjoyment of beauty cannot consist in material satisfaction from which
satiety, weariness, and aversion result, but rather in disinterestedness,
which is the chief factor in abiding delight.[61]

The theory, casuistic and subtle, appealed momentarily to a society that
had no theories at all. It particularly appealed to women. Matrimony had
not always been propitious to them. Barring death or annulment the brand
of the ceremony was ineffaceable. In England Henry VIII maintained the
brand but, by means of divorce which he prescribed for himself, he
rendered it cumulative, a process which Parliament, subsequently
petitioned by Milton, regularized. In Italy meanwhile the pseudo-platonism
which Ficino and Bembo were expounding, omitted any interference with it.
In the corpus juris amoris matrimony was held to be incompatible with love
and pseudo-platonism, going a step further, eliminated even the
possibility of it. Pseudo-platonism maintained that if happiness consists
in love and love consists in yielding, yielding itself has its degrees.
There is the yielding of the body and of the soul, the yielding of the one
without the other, the yielding of the second without the first.
Platonism, as interpreted by pseudo-platonists, was the yielding of the
second, matrimony the yielding of the first. But into that yielding it had
already shown that not delight but its contrary enters.

On fanciful tenets such as these the moral bigamy of Provence returned,
with the difference that it enabled a lady to be as intangible to her
husband as she had supposedly been to her knight. A historian has related
that a woman of position, married to a man morally inferior and otherwise
objectionable, encountered these tenets and coincidentally, in a person of
greater distinction, encountered also her ideal. Together, in the most
perfect propriety, they departed and, with analogous couples of their
acquaintance, assembled in a villa where, reversing the _Decamerone_,
they philosophized agreeably on the charm of the new distinction between
love and love, one of which, the love matrimonial, was worldly and mortal
while the other, vivifying to the soul, was divine.[62]

Thereafter spiritual elopements became frequent. But not general. It was
not every woman that was capable of putting but her soul in the arms of a
lover nor was it every lover whom the ethereality of the proceeding
pleased. Dilettantes of crystal flirtations became, like poets,
omnipresent and yet rare. The majority that entered the mazes of the
immaterial did so with no other object than that of getting out. When one
of the parties did not lose her head the other lost his temper.

La Bruyère had not then come, but there are maxims which do not need
expression to be appreciated and then as since men contended that when a
woman's heart remained unresponsive it was because she had not met the one
who could make it beat. Others, less finely, insisted that a woman who
could love and would not should be made to. Love then had its martyrs,
platonism its agnostics. That, though, was perhaps inevitable. Platonism,
whether real or imaginary, has always been less a theory than a melody; as
such unsuited to every voice. But at the time it was serviceable. It
deodorized, however partially, an atmosphere supercharged with pagan
airs. It turned some women into saints, others into sisters of charity
that penetrated the poverties of the heart and distributed there the
fragrance of a divine largesse. In that was its beauty and also its
defect. Being in its essence poetic, it could appeal only to epicures. To
mere kings like Henry VIII, to felons like Henri III, to the vulgar
generally, to people incapable of sentiment and eager only for sensations,
as the vulgar always are, it was Greek, unapproachable when not unknown.
There were virtuose that drew from it delicious accords, there were others
that with it executed amazing _pas seuls_. Otherwise its exponents in
attempting to convert life into a fancy ball and love in a battle of
flowers failed necessarily. The flowers wilted, the dancers departed, the
music ceased. The moral pendulum swung again from ether to earth.

In the downward trend Venice perhaps assisted. Venice then was a salon
floored with mosaics where Europe and Asia met. Suspended between earth
and sky, unique in construction, orientally corrupt, byzantinely fair, a
labyrinth of liquid streets and porphyry palaces in which masterpieces
felt at ease, it was the ideal city of the material world, a magnet of
such attraction that the hierodules of the renaissant Aphrodite, whose
presence Rome had found undesirable, made it their home. Qualified,
naïvely, perhaps, but with much courtesy, as Benemeritæ, they exercised a
sway which history has not forgotten and became the renegades of
pseudo-platonic love. To enjoy their society, to sup for instance with the
bella Imperia, whose blinding beauty is legendary still, or with Tullia
d'Aragona, who had written a tract of the "Infinity of Perfect Love,"
princes came and lingered enchanted by their meretricious charm.

Platonism had its renegades but it had also its saints--Leonora d'Este,
Vittoria Colonna, Marguerite of France, the three Graces of the

Marguerite of France, surnamed the Marguerite des Marguerites, was a
flower that had grown miraculously among the impurities of the Valois
weeds. Slightly married to a Duc d'Alençon and, at his death, as slightly
to a King of Navarre, she held at Pau a little court where, Marot, her
poet and lackey, perhaps aiding, she produced the _Heptaméron_, a
collection of nouvelles modelled after the _Decamerone_, a bundle of
stories in which the characters discuss this and that, but mainly love,
particularly the love of women "qui n'ont cherché nulle fin que

Honnesteté was what Marguerite also sought. In days very dissolute, a
sense of exclusiveness which whether natural or acquired is the most
refining of all, suggested, it may be, her device:--_Non inferiora
secutus_. She would have nothing inferior. One might know it from her
portraits which bear an evident stamp of reserve. In them she has the air
of a great lady occupied only with noble things. All other things,
husbands included, were to her merely abject.

The impression which her portraits provide is not reflected in the
phraseology of the _Heptaméron_. The fault was not hers. She used the
current idiom. Prelates at the time employed in the pulpit expressions
which to-day a coster would avoid. Terms that are usual in one age become
coarse in the next. But, if her language was rude, her sentiments were
elevated. In her life she loved but once and then, idolatrously. The
object was her brother, the very mundane François I{er}, who, on a
window-pane wrote with a diamond--the proper pen for a king--Toute femme
varie, an adage to which legend added Bien fol est qui s'y fye and
Shakespeare variously adapted.

Neither the adage nor its supplements applied to Marguerite. The two loves
of pseudo-platonism she disentangled from their subtleties and, with
entire simplicity, called one good, the other evil. Hers was the former.
She was born for it, said Rabelais.

In the _Heptaméron_ it is written: "Perfect lovers are they who seek the
perfection of beauty, nobility and grace and who, had they to choose
between dying and offending, would refuse whatever honor and conscience

There is the _Non inferiora secutus_ expounded. The device may have
appealed to Leonora d'Este. Tasso said that when he was born his soul was
drunk with love. Leonora intoxicated it further. Of a type less
accentuated than Marguerite she was not more feminine but more gracious.
At Ferrara, in the wide leisures of her brother's court, Tasso,
Stundenlang, as Goethe wrote, sat with her.

"Vita della mia vita," he called her in the easy rime amorose with which
in saluting her he saluted the past, Dante and Petrarch, and saluted too
the future, preluding behind the centuries the arias wherewith Cimarosa,
Rossini and Bellini were to enchant the world. A true poet and a great
one, Byron said of him:

     Victor unsurpassed in modern song
     Each year brings forth its millions but how long
     The tide of generations shall roll on
     And not the whole combined and countless throng
     Compose a mind like thine?

The treasures of that mind he poured at Leonora's feet. The cascade
enraptured her and Italy. Rome that for Petrarch had recovered the old
crown of pagan laurel saw there another brow on which it might be placed.
Before that supreme honor came Leonora died and Tasso, who for fifteen
years had served her, was insane.

Beauty may be degraded, it cannot be vulgarized. With the beauty of their
lives and love, time has tampered but without marring the perfection of
which both were made and to which at the time the love of Vittoria Colonna
and Michel Angelo alone is comparable.

Michel Angelo, named after the angel of justice, as Raphael was after the
angel of grace, separated himself from all that was not papal and
marmorean. Only Leonardo da Vinci who had gone and Ludwig of Bavaria who
had not come, the one a painter, the other a king, but both poets were as
isolating as he. He was disfigured. Because of that he made a solitude and
peopled it grandiosely with the grandeur of the genius that was his,
displaying in whatever he created that of which art had hitherto been
unconscious, the sovereignty not of beauty only but of right.

Balzac wrote abundantly to prove the influence that names have on their
possessors. In the curious prevision that gave Michel Angelo his name
there was an ideal. He followed it. It led him to another. There he knelt
before Vittoria Colonna who represented the soul of the Renaissance as he
did the conscience. The love that thereafter subsisted between them was,
if not perfect, then almost as perfect as human love can be; a love
neither sentimental nor sensual but gravely austere as true beauty ever

Since the days of Helen, love had been ascending. Sometimes it fell.
Occasionally it lost its way. There were seasons when it passed from
sight. But always the ascent was resumed. With Michel Angelo and Vittoria
Colonna it reached a summit beyond which for centuries it could not go. In
the interim there were other seasons in which it passed from sight.
Meanwhile like Beauty in the mediæval night it waited. From Marguerite of
France it had taken a device:--_Non inferiora secutus_.



The modern history of love opens with laughter, the rich faunesque laugh
of François I{er}. In Italy he had lost, as he expressed it,
everything--fors l'honneur. For his consolation he found there gallantry,
which Montesquieu defined as love's light, delicate and perpetual lie.

Platonism is the melody of love; gallantry the parody. Platonism
beautifies virtue, gallantry embellishes vice. It makes it a marquis,
gives it brilliance and brio. However it omit to spiritualize it does not
degrade. Moreover it improves manners. Gallantry was the direct cause of
the French Revolution. The people bled to death to defray the amours of
the great sent in their bill. Love in whatever shape it may appear is
always educational.

Hugo said that the French Revolution poured on earth the floods of
civilization. Mignet said that it established a new conception of things.
Both remarks apply to love. But before it disappeared behind masks,
patches, falbalas and the guillotine, to reappear in the more or less
honest frankness which is its Anglo-Saxon garb to-day, there were several
costumes in its wardrobe.

In Germany, and in the North generally, the least becoming fashions of the
Middle Ages were still in vogue. In Spain was the constant mantilla.
Originally it was white. The smoke of the auto-da-fé had, in blackening
it, put a morbid touch of hysteria beneath. In France, a brief bucolic
skirt, that of Amaryllis, was succeeded by the pretentious robes of
Rambouillet. In England, the Elizabethan ruff, rigid and immaculate--when
seen from a distance--was followed by the yielding Stuart lace. Across the
sea fresher modes were developing in what is now the land of Mille Amours.

In Italy at the moment, gallantry was the fashion. François I{er} adopted
it, and with it splendor, the magnificence that goes to the making of a
monarch's pomp. In France hitherto every castle had been a court than
which that of the king was not necessarily superior. François I{er} was
the first of French kings to make his court first of all courts, a place
of art, luxury, constant display. It became a magnet that drew the
nobility from their stupid keeps, detaining them, when young, with
adventure; when old, with office, providing, meanwhile, for the beauty of
women a proper frame. Already at a garden party held on a field of golden
cloth the first Francis of France had shown the eighth Henry of England
how a king could shine. He was dreaming then of empire. The illusion,
looted at Pavia, hovered over Fontainebleau and Chambord, royal residences
which, Italian artists aiding, he then constructed and where, though not
emperor, for a while he seemed to be.

Elsewhere, in Paris, in his maison des menus plaisirs--a house in the rue
de l'Hirondelle--the walls were decorated with salamanders--the fabulous
emblems of inextinguishable loves; or else with hearts, which, set between
alphas and omegas, indicated the beginning and the end of earthly aims.
The loves and hearts were very many, as multiple as those of Solomon.
Except by Brantôme not one of them was compromised. François I{er} was the
loyal protector of what he called l'honneur des dames, an honor which
thereafter it was accounted an honor to abrogate for the king.[63]

"If," said Sauval, "the seraglio of Henri II was not as wide as that of
François I{er}, his court was not less elegant."

The court at that time had succumbed to the refinements of Italy. Women
who previously were not remarkable for fastidiousness, had, Brantôme
noted, acquired so many elegancies, such fine garments and beautiful
graces that they were more delectable than those of any other land.
Brantôme added that if Henri II loved them, at least he loved but one.

That one was Dianne de Poytiers. Brantôme suspected her of being a
magician, of using potable gold. At the age of seventy she was, he said,
"aussy fraische et aussy aymable comme en l'aage de trente ans." Hence the
suspicion, otherwise justified. In France among queens--de la main
gauche--she had in charm but one predecessor, Agnes Sorel, and but one
superior, La Vallière. The legendary love which that charm inspired in
Henri II had in it a troubadourian parade and a chivalresque effacement.
In its fervor there was devotion, in its passion there was poetry, there
was humility in its strength. At the Louvre, at Fontainebleau, on the
walls without, in the halls within, on the cornices of the windows, on the
panels of the doors, in the apartments of Henri's wife, Catherine de'
Medici, everywhere, the initials D and H, interlaced, were blazoned.
Dianne had taken for device a crescent. It never set. No other star
eclipsed it. When she was sixty her colors were still worn by the king who
in absence wrote to her languorously:

     Madame ma mye, je vous suplye avoir souvenance de celuy quy n'a
     jamais connu que ung Dyeu et une amye, et vous assurer que n'aurez
     poynt de honte de m'avoyr donné le nom de serviteur, lequel je vous
     suplye de me conserver pour jamès.[64]

Dianne too had but ung Dyeu et un amy--one God and one friend. It was not
the king. More exactly it was a king greater than he. This woman who
fascinated everybody even to Henri's vampire-wife was, financially,
insatiable. The exactions of the Pompadour and the exigencies of the Du
Barry were trumpery beside the avidity with which she absorbed castles,
duchies, provinces, compelling her serviteur to grant her all the vacant
territories of the realm--a fourth of the kingdom. At his death, beautiful
still, "aussy fraische et aussy belle que jamais," she retreated to her
domain, slowly, royally, burdened with the spoils of France.

Brantôme was right. She did drink gold. She was an enchantress. She was
also a precedent for women who in default of royal provinces for
themselves got royal dukedoms for their children.

By comparison Catherine de' Medici is spectral. In her train were perfumes
that were poisons and with them what was known as moeurs italiennes,
customs that exceeded anything in Suetonius and with which came
hybrid-faced youths whose filiation extended far back through Rome,
through Greece, to the early Orient and who, under the Valois, were
mignons du roi. Apart from them the atmosphere of the queen had in it
corruption of decay, an odor of death from which Henri II recoiled as from
a serpent, issued, said Michelet, from Italy's tomb. Cold as the blood of
the defunct, at once sinister and magnificent, committing crimes that had
in them the grandeur of real majesty, the accomplice if not the instigator
of the Hugenot massacre, Satan gave her four children:--François II, the
gangrened husband of Mary Stuart; Charles IX, the maniac of St.
Bartholomew; Henri III who, pomp deducted, was Heliogabalus in his quality
of Imperatrix, and the Reine Margot, wife of Henri IV.

It would have been interesting to have seen that couple, gallant,
inconstant, memorable, popular, both, to employ a Gallicism, franchement
paillards. But it would have been curious to have seen Margot, as a
historian described her, carrying about a great apron with pockets all
around it, in each of which was a gold box and in each box, the embalmed
heart of a lover--memorabilia of faces and fancies that hung, by night, at
her bed.[65]

"All the world published her as a goddess," another historian declared,
"and thence she took pleasure all her life in being called Venus Urania,
as much to show that she participated in divinity as to distinguish her
love from that of the vulgar, for she had a higher idea of it than most
women have. She affected to hold that it is better practised in the spirit
than in the flesh, and ordinarily had this saying in her mouth:
'Voulez-vous cesser d'aimer, possédez la chose aimée.'"[66]

The historian added: "I could make a better story about it than has ever
been written but I have more serious matters in hand."

What Dupleix omitted Brantôme supplied. To the latter the pleasure of but
beholding Margot equalled any joy of paradise.

Henri IV must have thought otherwise. He tried to divorce her. Margot
objected. The volage Henri had become interested in the beaux yeux of
Gabrielle d'Estrées. Margot did not wish to be succeeded by a lady whom
she called "an ordinary person." But later, for reasons dynastic, she
consented to abdicate in favor of Marie de Medici, and, after the divorce,
remained with Henri on terms no worse than before, visited by him, a
contemporary has stated, reconciled, counselled, amused.[67]

Gabrielle, astonishingly delicate, deliciously pink, apparently very
poetic, but actually prosaic in the extreme, entranced the king who
ceaselessly had surrendered to the fair warriors of the Light Brigade.
But to Gabrielle the surrender was complete. He delivered his sword to mes
chers amours, as he called her, mes belles amours, regarding as one yet
multiple this fleur des beautés du monde, astre clair de la France, whose
portrait, painted as he expressed it in all perfection, was in his soul,
his heart, his eyes--temporarily that is, but, while it lasted, so
coercive that it lifted this woman into a sultana who shared as consort
the honors of the triumphal entry of the first Bourbon king into the Paris
that was worth to him a mass.

"It was in the evening," said L'Estoile, "and on horseback he crossed the
bridge of Notre Dame, well pleased at the sight of all the people crying
loudly 'Live the King!' And, it was laughingly, hat in hand, that he bowed
to the ladies and demoiselles. Behind him was a flag of lilies. A little
in advance, in a magnificent litter, was Gabrielle covered with jewels so
brilliant that they offended (offusquoient) the lights."

However much or little the gems then affected the lights, later they
pleased the Medician Marie. She draped herself with them. In the interim a
divorce had been got from Margot. Death had brought another from
Gabrielle. The latter divorce poison probably facilitated. Gabrielle,
through the sheer insolence of her luxury had made herself hated by the
poverty-stricken Parisians. The detail is unimportant. There was another
hatred that she had aroused. Not Henri's however. When she died he
declared that the root of his love, dead with her, would never grow
again--only to find it as flourishing as ever, flourishing for this woman,
flourishing for that, budding ceaselessly in tropic profusion, until the
dagger put by Marie in the hand of Ravaillac, extirpated it, but not its
blossoms, which reflowered at Whitehall.

Henri's daughter, Henriette de France, was mother of Charles the Second.

The latter's advent in Puritan England effected a transformation for which
history has no parallel. In the excesses of sanctimoniousness in which the
whole country swooned, it was as though piety had been a domino and the
Restoration the stroke of twelve. In the dropping of masks the world
beheld a nation of sinners where a moment before had been a congregation
of saints.

Previously, in the Elizabethan age, social conditions had made up in
winsomeness what they lacked in severity. Whitehall, under James, became a
replica, art deducted, of the hermaphroditisms of the Valois court.
Thereafter the quasi-divinity of the sovereign evaporated in a contempt
that endured unsatiated until Charles I, who had discovered that a king
can do no wrong, discovered that he could lose his head. In the amputation
a crown fell which Cromwell disdained to gather. Meanwhile the false
spirit of false godliness that generated British cant and American
hypocrisy made a nation, as it made New England, glum. In Parliament where
a Bible lay open for reference, it was resolved, that no person should be
admitted to public service of whose piety the House was not assured. In
committees of ways and means, members asked each other had they found the
Lord. Amusements were sins; theatres, plague-spots; trifles, felonies; art
was an abomination and love a shame.[68]

Israel could not have been more depressing than England was then. A
reaction was indicated. Even without Charles it would have come. But when
the arid air was displaced by the Gallic atmosphere which he brought,
England turned a handspring. The godliness that hitherto had stalked
unchecked was flouted into seclusion. Anything appertaining to Puritanism
was jeered away. Only in the ultra-conservatism of the middle-classes did
prudery persist. Elsewhere, among criminals and courtiers, the new fashion
was instantly in vogue. The memoirs and diaries of the reign disclose a
world of rakes and demi-reps, a life of brawls and assignations, much
drink, high play, great oaths, a form of existence summarizable in the
episode of Buckingham and Shrewsbury in which the former killed the
latter, while Lady Shrewsbury, dressed as a page, held the duke's horse,
and approvingly looked on.

The Elizabethan and intermediate dramatists, mirroring life as they saw
it, displayed infidelity as a punishable crime and constancy as a
rewardable virtue. By the dramatists of the Restoration adultery was
represented as a polite occupation and virtue as a provincial oddity. Men
wooed and women were won as readily as they were handed in to supper,
scarcely, Macaulay noted, with anything that could be called a preference,
the men making up to the women for the same reason that they wore wigs,
because it was the fashion, because, otherwise, they would have been
thought city prigs, puritans for that matter. Love is not discernible in
that society though philosophy is. But it was the philosophy of Hobbes who
taught that good and evil are terms used to designate our appetites and

Higher up, Charles II, indolent, witty, debonair, tossing handkerchiefs
among women who were then, as English gentlewomen are to-day, the most
beautiful in the world, was suffering from that nostalgia for mud which
affected the fifteenth Louis.

The Du Barry, who dishonored the scaffold as well as the throne, has a
family likeness to Nell Gwynne. Equally canaille, the preliminary
occupations of these grisettes differed only in taste. One sold herrings,
the other hats. The Du Barry's sole heirs were the cocottes of the Second
Empire. From Nell, the dukes of St. Albans descend. From Barbara Palmer
come the dukes of Grafton; from Louise de la Querouaille, the dukes of
Richmond; from Lucy Walters, the dukes of Buccleuch. These ladies, as Nell
called them, were early miniatures of the Chateauroux and the Pompadour.
Like them they made the rain and the fine weather, but, though dukes also,
not princes of the blood. Charles cared for them, cared for others, cared
for more but always cavalierly, indifferent whether they were constant or
not, yet most perhaps for Nell, succumbing ultimately in the full
consciousness of a life splendidly misspent, apologizing to those that
stood about for the ridiculous length of time that it took him to die,
asking them not to let poor Nelly starve and bequeathing to the Georges
the excellence of an example which those persons were too low to grasp.

Anteriorly, before Charles had come, at the period of London's extremest
piety, Paris was languishingly sentimental. Geography, in expanding
surprises, had successively disclosed the marvels of the Incas, the elder
splendors of Cathay and the enchantments of fairyland. Then a paradise
virgin as a new planet swam into the general ken. In Perrault's tales,
which had recently appeared, were vistas of the land of dreams. Directly
adjoining was the land of love. Its confines extended from the Hôtel de

In that house, to-day a department store, conversation was first
cultivated as an art. From the conversation a new theory of the affections
developed. For the first time people young and old learned the precious
charm of sentiment. The originator, Mme. de Rambouillet, was a woman of
much beauty who, in days very lax, added to the allurement of her
appearance the charm of exclusiveness. It was so novel that people went to
look at it. Educated in Italy, imbued with its pretentious elegancies,
saturated with platonic strains, physically too fragile and
temperamentally too sensitive for the ribald air of a reckless court, she
drew society to her house, where, without perhaps intending it she
succeeded in the chimerical. Among a set of people to whom laxity was an
article of faith she made the observance of the Seventh Commandment an
object of fashionable meditation. She did more. In gallantry there is a
little of everything except love. To put it there is not humanly
possible. Mme. de Rambouillet did not try. She did better. She inserted

In her drawing-room--historically the first salon that the world
beheld--this lady, in conjunction with her collaborators, exacted from men
that deference, not of bearing merely, but of speech, to which every woman
is entitled and which, everywhere, save only in Italy, women had gone
without. Hitherto people of position had not been recognizable by their
manners, they had none; nor by their language which was coarse as a string
of oaths. They were known by the elegance of their dress. In the Hôtel de
Rambouillet, and thereafter little by little elsewhere, they became known
by the elegance of their address. It was a great service and an enduring
one and though, through the abolition of the use of the exact term, it
faded the color from ink, it yet induced the lexical refinement from which
contemporaneous good form proceeds. In polishing manners it sandpapered
morals. It gave to both the essential element of delicacy which they
possess to-day. Subsequently, under the dissolvent influences of
Versailles and through ridicule's more annihilating might, though manners
persisted morals did not. But before the reaction came attar of rose was
really distilled from mud. Gross appetites became sublimated. Instead of
ribaldry there were kisses in the moonlight, the caress of eyes from which
recklessness had gone. Petrarchism returned, madrigals came in vogue, the
social atmosphere was deodorized again. Into gallantry an affected
sentimentality entered, loitered awhile and languished away. Women,
hitherto disquietingly solid, became impalpable as the Queens of Castile
whom it was treason to touch. Presently, when, in the _Précieuses
Ridicules_, Molière laughed at them, the shock was too great, they
disintegrated. In the interim, sentiment dwindled into nonsense and love,
evaporating in pretentiousness, was discoverable, if anywhere, only on a

That surprising invention was the work of Mlle. de Scudéry, one of the
affiliated in the Hôtel de Rambouillet. A little before, Honoré d'Urfé had
written a pastoral in ten interminable volumes. Entitled _Astrée_ it was a
mirror for the uncertain aspirations of the day, a vast flood of
tenderness in which every heart-throb, every reason for loving and for not
loving, every shape of constancy and every form of infidelity, every joy,
every deception, every conscience twinge that can visit sweethearts and
swains was analyzed, subdivided and endlessly set forth. To a world still
in fermentation it provided the laws of Love's Twelve Tables, the dream
after realism, the high flown after the matter of fact. Its vogue was
prodigious. Whatever it omitted Mlle. de Scudéry's _Clélie_, another
novel, equally interminable, equally famous, equally forgotten, supplied.

The latter story which was translated into all polite tongues, Arabic
included, taught love as love had never been taught before. It taught it
as geography is taught to-day, providing for the purpose a Carte du
Tendre, the map of a country in which everything, even to I hate you, was
tenderly said.

A character described it.

     The first city at the lower end of the map is New Friendship. Now,
     inasmuch as love may be due to esteem, to gratitude, or to
     inclination, there are three cities called Tenderness, each situated
     on one of three different rivers that are approached by three
     distinct routes. In the same manner, therefore, that we speak of
     Cumes on the Ionian Sea and Cumes on the Sea of Tyrrhinth, so is
     there Tenderness-on-Inclination, Tenderness-on-Esteem, and
     Tenderness-on-Gratitude. Yet, as the affection which is due to
     inclination needs nothing to complete it, there is no stopping place
     on the way from New Friendship there. But to go from New Friendship
     to Tenderness-on-Esteem is very different. Along the banks are as
     many villages as there are things little and big which create that
     esteem of which affection is the flower. From New Friendship the
     river flows to a place called Great Wit, because it is there that
     esteem generally begins. Beyond are the agreeable hamlets of Pretty
     Verses and Billets Doux, after which come the larger towns of
     Sincerity, Big Heart, Honesty, Generosity, Respect, Punctuality, and
     Kindness. On the other hand, to go from New Friendship to
     Tenderness-on-Gratitude, the first place reached is Complaisance,
     then come the borough of Submission, and, next, Delicate-Attentions.
     From the latter Assiduousness is reached and, finally, Great
     Services. This place, probably because there are so few that get
     there is the smallest of all. But adjoining it is Obedience and
     contiguous is Constancy. That is the most direct route to
     Tenderness-on-Gratitude. Yet, as there are no routes in which one may
     not lose one's way, so, if, after leaving New Friendship, you went a
     little to the right or a little to the left, you would get lost also.
     For if, in going from Great Wit, you took to the right, you would
     reach Negligence, keeping on you would get to Inequality, from there
     you would pass to Lukewarm and Forgetfulness, and presently you would
     be on the lake of Indifference. Similarly if, in starting from New
     Friendship you took to the left, one after another you would arrive
     at Indiscretion, Perfidiousness, Pride, Tittle-Tattle, Wickedness
     and, instead of landing at Tenderness-on-Gratitude, you would find
     yourself at Enmity, from which no boats return.

The vogue of _Astrée_ was enormous. That of _Clélie_ exceeded it.
Throughout Europe, wherever lovers were, the map of the Pays du Tendre was
studied. But its indications, otherwise excellent, did not prevent Mlle.
de Scudéry from reaching Emnity herself. The Abbé d'Aubignac produced a
history of the Kingdom of Coquetry in which were described Flattery
Square, Petticoat Lane, Flirtation Avenue, Sweet Kiss Inn, the Bank of
Rewards and the Church of Good-by. Between the abbé and the demoiselle a
conversation ensued relative to the priority of the idea. It was their
first and their last. The one real hatred is literary hate.

Meanwhile the puerilities of _Clélie_ platitudinously repeated across the
Channel, resulted at Berlin in the establishment of an Academy of True
Love. Then, into the entire nonsense, the _Cid_ blew virilly a resounding

In that splendid drama of Corneille, Rodrigue and Chimène, the hero and
heroine, are to love what martyrs were to religion, all in all for it and
for nothing else whatever. They moved to the clash of swords, to the
clatter of much duelling, a practice which Richelieu opposed. Said

     En vain contre le Cid un ministre se ligue,
     Tout Paris pour Chimène a les yeux de Rodrigue.

They merited the attention. Theirs was real love, a love struggling
between duty and fervor, one that effected the miracle of an interchange
of soul, transferring the entity of the beloved into the heart of the
lover and completed at last by a union entered into with the pride of
those who recognize above their own will no higher power than that of God.
Admirable and emulative the beauty of it passed into a proverb:--"C'est
beau comme le Cid."

The Cid was a Spaniard. But of another age. Melancholy but very proud, the
Spaniard of the seventeenth century lived in a desert which the
Inquisition had made. The Holy Office that had sent Christ to the Aztecs
brought back Vizlipoutzli, a Mexican deity whose food was hearts. His
carnivorousness interested the priests at home. They put night around
them, a night in which there was flame, fireworks of flesh at which a
punctilious etiquette required that royalty should assist and which, while
inducing the hysteria that there entered into love, illuminated the path
of empire from immensity to nothingness.

At the close of the seventeenth century, Spain, bankrupt through the
expulsion of the Jews, barren through loss of the Moors, was a giant,
moribund and starving. Only the Holy Office, terribly alive, was terribly
fed. Every man was an object of suspicion and every man was suspicious.
The secret denunciation, the sudden arrest, the dungeon, the torture, the
stake, these things awaited any one. The nation, silent, sombre, morbid,
miserably poor, none the less was draped proudly enough in its tatters.
The famine, haughty itself, that stalks through the pages of Cervantes is
the phantom of that pride. Beside it should be placed the rigid ceremonial
of an automaton court where laughter was neither heard nor permitted,
where men had the dress and the gravity of mutes, where women counted
their beads at balls, where a minutious etiquette that inhibited a queen
from looking from a window and assumed that she had no legs, regulated
everything, attitudes, gifts, gestures, speech, the etiquette of the
horrible Escorial through which gusts of madness blew.

Other courts had fools. The court of Spain had Embevecidos, idiots who
were thought to be drunk with love and who, because of their condition,
were permitted, like grandees, to wear the hat in the presence. On
festivals there were other follies, processions semi-erotic, wholly
morbid, through cathedrals haunted by entremetteuses, through chapels in
which hung Madonnas that fascinated and shocked, Virgins that more nearly
resembled Infantas serenaded by caballeros than queens of the sky and
beneath whose indulgent eyes rendez-vous were made by lovers whom,
elsewhere, etiquette permitted only the language of signs.[69]

To journey then from Madrid to Paris was like passing from a picture by
Goya to a tale of Perrault. Paris at the time was marvelling at two
wonders, an earthly Olympus and real love. The first was Versailles, the
second La Vallière. Louis XIV created the one and destroyed the other.
Already married, attentive meanwhile to his brother's wife, he was
coincidentally épris with their various maids of honor. Among them was a
festival of beauty in the festival of life, a girl of eighteen who had
been made for caresses and who died of them, the only human being save
Louis XIV that ever loved the fourteenth Louis. Other women adulated the
king. It was the man that Louise de la Vallière adored. To other women his
sceptre was a fan. To her it was a regret. Could he have been some mere
lieutenant of the guards she would have preferred it inexpressibly. The
title of duchess which he gave her was a humiliation which she hid beneath
the name of Soeur Louise de la Miséricorde. For her youth which was a
poem of love had the cloister for climax. That love, a pastime to him, was
death to her. At its inception she fled from it, from the sun, from the
Sun-King, and flinging at him a passionate farewell, flung herself as
passionately into a convent.

Louis stormed it. If necessary he would have burned it. He strode in
booted and spurred as already he had stalked into Parliament where he
shouted:--"L'Etat c'est moi." Mlle. de la Vallière c'était lui aussi. The
girl, then prostrate before a crucifix, was clinging to the feet of a
Christ. But her god was the king. He knew it. When he appeared so did she.
For a moment, Louis, he to whom France knelt, knelt to her. For a moment
the monarch had vanished. A lover was there. From a chapel came an odor of
incense. Beyond, a knell was being tolled. For background were the scared
white faces of nuns, alarmed at this irruption of human passion in a
retreat where hearts were stirred but by the divine. A moment only. Louis,
with his prey, had gone.

Thereafter for a few brief years, this girl who, had she wished could have
ruled the world, wanted, not pomp, not power, not parade, love, merely
love, nothing else. It was very ambitious of her. Yet, precisely as
through fear of love she had flung herself into a cloister, at the loss of
it she returned there, hiding herself so effectually in prayer that the
king himself could hardly have found her--had he tried. He omitted to.
Louis then was occupied with the Marquise de Montespan. Of trying he never
thought. On the contrary. Mme. de Montespan was very fetching.

A year later, in the Church of the Carmélites, in the presence of the
patient queen, of the impatient marquise, of the restless court--complete,
save for Louis who was hunting--Mlle. de la Vallière, always semi-seraphic
but then wholly soul, saw the severe Bossuet slowly ascend the pulpit, saw
him bow there to the queen, make the sign of the cross and, before he
motioned the bride to take the black veil which was a white shroud, heard,
above the sobs of the assistants, his clear voice proclaim:--

     'Et dixit qui sedebat in throno: Ecce nova facio omnia.'

Behind the bars, behind the veil, wrapped in that shroud, for thirty-six
years Louise de la Miséricorde, dead to love and dead to life, expiated
her ambition.

The fate of Louis Quatorze was less noble. The Olympus in which he was
Jupiter with the Montespan for Venus became a prison. The jailer was Mme.
de Maintenon. Intermediately was the sun. That was his emblem. About him
the spheres revolved. To him incense ascended. A nobody by comparison to
Alexander, unworthy of a footnote where Cæsar is concerned, through sheer
pomp, through really royal magnificence, through a self-infatuation at
once ridiculous and sublime, through the introduction of a studied
politeness, a ceremonial majestic and grave, through a belief naïvely
sincere and which he had the ability to instil, that from him everything
radiated and to him all, souls, hearts, lives, property, everything,
absolutely belonged, through these things, in a gilded balloon, this pigmy
rose to the level of heroes and hung there, before a wondering world, over
a starving land, until the wind-inflated silk, pierced by Marlborough,

In the first period Versailles was an opera splendidly given, the
partition by Lully, the libretto by Molière, in which the monarch, as
tenor, strutted on red heels, ogling the prime donne, eyeing the house,
warbling airs solemn yet bouffe. In the second the theatre was closed.
Don Juan had turned monk. The kingdom of Louis XIV was no longer of this
world. It was then only that he was august. In the first period was the
apogee of absolutism, the incarnation of an entire nation in one man who
in pompous scandals, everywhere imitated, gave a ceremonious dignity to
sin. Over the second a biblical desolation spread.



To the cradle of the eighteenth century came the customary gifts, in
themselves a trifle unusual. Queen Anne sent the dulness of perfect
gentility. Queen Maintenon gave bigotry. Louis XIV provided the spectacle
of a mythological monster. But Molinos, a Spanish fairy, uninvited at the
christening, malignantly sent his blessing. The latter, known as quietism,
was one of love's aberrations. It did not last for the reason that nothing
does. Besides the life of a century is long enough to outgrow many things,
curses as well as blessings. For the time being, however, throughout
Europe generally and in certain sections of America, quietism found

The new evangel, originally published at Rome, had a woman, Mme. Guyon,
for St. Paul. Its purport Boileau summarized as the enjoyment in paradise
of the pleasures of hell. As is frequently the case with summaries, that
of Boileau was not profound. Diderot called it the true religion of the
tender-hearted. Diderot sometimes nodded. Quietism was not that. A little
before rose-water had been distilled from mud. Quietism reversed the
process. From the lilies of mysticity it extracted dirt. In itself an
etherealized creed of predeterminism, it put fatalism into love. The added
ingredient was demoralizing. Already Maria d'Agreda, a Spanish nun, had
written a tract that made Bossuet blush. The doctrine of Molinos made him
furious. Against it, against Mme. Guyon, against Fénélon who indorsed her,
against all adherents, he waged one of those memorable wars which the
world has entirely forgotten. It had though its justification. Morbid as
everything that came from Spain, quietism held that temptations are the
means that God employs to purge the soul of passion. It taught that they
should not be shunned but welcomed. The argument advanced was to the
effect that, in the omnisapience of the divine, man is saved not merely by
good works but by evil deeds, by sin as well as by virtue.

In the Roman circus, the Christian, once subtracted from life, was
subtracted also from evil. What then happened to his body was a matter of
indifference to him. In quietism that indifference was solicited before
subtraction came. It was disclosed as a means of grace to the living.
Through the exercise of will, or, more exactly through its extinction, the
Christian was told, to separate soul from body. The soul then, asleep in
God, lost to any connection between itself and the flesh, was indifferent,
as the martyr, to whatever happened.

The result is as obvious as it was commodious. The body, artificially
released from all restraint and absolved from any responsibility, was free
to act as it listed.

In discussing the doctrine, Fénélon declared that there are souls so
inflamed with the love of God and so resigned to His will that, if they
believed themselves damned, they would accept eternal punishment with

For propagating this insanity Fénélon was accorded the honors of a
bishopric which was exile. Mme. Guyon received the compliment of a _lettre
de cachet_ which was prison. The Roman Inquisition cloistered Molinos.
That was fame. The doctrine became notorious. Moreover, there was in it
something so old that it seemed quite new. Society, always avid of
novelties, adopted it. But presently fresher fashions supervened. In
France these were originated by the Regent, in England by Germany.

At the accession of Louis XIV, Germany, for nearly thirty years, had been
a battlefield. The war waged there was in the interests of religion. The
Holy Office was not unique in its pastimes. There was fiendishness
everywhere, cruelty married to mania, in which Germany joined. Germany
employed the serviceable rack, the thumbscrew, the wheel, vats of vitriol,
burning oil, drawing and quartering. Occasionally there were iron cages in
which the wicked were hung on church steeples with food suspended a little
higher, just out of reach. Occasionally also criminals were respited and
released when, through some miracle of love there were those that agreed
to marry them.[70]

That indulgence occurred after the Peace of Westphalia. Germany, then,
decimated and desolate, was so depopulated that the Franconian Estates
legalized bigamy. Every man was permitted two wives. Meanwhile barbarism
had returned. Domestic life had ceased. Respect for women had gone. Love
had died with religion. From the nervous strain recovery was slow. It was
a century before the pulse of the people was normal. Previously love,
better idealized by the Minnesänger than by the minstrel, had been put on
a pedestal from which convulsive conditions shook it. Later, when it arose
again, it was in two forms which, while distinct, were not opposed. In one
was the influence of France, in the other the native Schwärmerei. The
former affected kings, the latter appealed to urbaner folk among whom it
induced an attitude that was maudlin when not anarchistic. The
anarchistic attitude was represented by artists generally. For these love
had no laws and its one approach was the swift current running from New
Friendship to Tenderness-on-Inclination. Similarly the conservatives
landed at a village that Clélie overlooked, Tenderness-on-Sympathy, a spot
where, through sheer contagion, everybody engaged in duels of emotion
during which principals and seconds fell on each other's neck, wept,
embraced, swore affection auf immerdar--beyond the tomb and, in the
process, discovered elective affinities, the Wahlverwandtschaften of which
Goethe later told, relationships of choice that were also anarchistic.

The influence of France brooded over courts. At Versailles love strolled
on red heels through a minuet. In the grosser atmosphere of the German
Residenzen it kicked a chahut in sabots. In all the world there was but
one Versailles. In Germany there were a hundred imitations, gaunt, gilded,
hideous barracks where Louis Quatorze was aped. In one of them, at
Karlsruhe, the Margrave Karl Wilhelm peopled a Teuton Trianon with
nameless nymphs. In another, at Dresden, the Elector Augustus of Saxony
became the father of three hundred and fifty children. At Mannheim,
Bayreuth, Stuttgart, Brunswick, Darmstadt, license was such that the Court
of Charles the Second would have seemed by comparison puritan. Beyond
them, outside their gates and garden vistas, the people starved or, more
humanely, were whipped off in herds to fight and die on the Rhine and
Danube. But within, at the various Wilhelmshöhe and Ludwigslust, kinglets
danced with their Frauen. At Versailles it was to the air of Amaryllis
that the minuet was walked. In the German Residenzen it was to the odor of
schnapps that women chahuted.

The women lacked beauty. They lacked the grace of the Latin, the charm of
the Slav, the overgrown angel look of the English, the prettiness that the
American has achieved. But in girlhood generally they were endearing,
almost cloying, naturally constant and, when otherwise, made so by man and
the spectacle of court corruption.

European courts have always supplied the neighborhood with standards of
morals and manners. Those of eighteenth-century Germany were coarse. The
tone of society was similar. "Berlin," an observer wrote, "is a town
where, if fortis may be construed honest, there is neither vir fortis nec
foemina casta. The example of neglect of all moral and social duties
raised before the eyes of the people by the king show them vice too
advantageously.[71] In other words and in another tongue, similar remarks
were made of Hanover.[72] From there came George the First. After him
trooped his horrible Herrenhausen harem.

Since the departure of Charles the Second, London life had been relatively
genteel. Throughout the Georgian period it was the reverse. The memoirs of
the period echo still with shouts and laughter, with loud, loose talk,
with toasts bawled over brimming cups, with the noise of feasting, of
gaming and of pleasure. The pages turn to the sound of fiddles. From them
arises the din of an immense Sir Roger de Coverley, in which the dancers
go up and down, interchanging hearts and then all hands round together. In
England at the time a king, however vulgar, was superterrestrial, a lord
was sacro-sanct, a gentleman holy and a lady divine.

The rest of the world was composed of insects, useful, obsequious,
parasitic that swarmed beneath a social order less coarse than that of
Germany, less amiably than that of France, but as dissolute and reckless
as either, a society of macaronis and rouged women, of wits and prodigals,
of dare-devils and fatted calves, a life of low scandals in high places,
of great fortunes thrown into the gutter, of leisurely suppers and sudden
elopements--runaways that had in their favor the poetry of the
post-chaise, pistol-shots through the windows and the dignity of danger--a
life mad but not maudlin, not sober but strong, free from hysteria and
sentimentality, and in which, apart from the bacchanalian London world,
there must have been room, as there always is, for real love and much
sweetness besides, yet which, in its less alluring aspect was very
faithfully followed by colonial New York. Meanwhile the world that made
the pace and kept it, saw it reflected back from boards and books, in
plays and novels, some of which are not now even mentionable. That pace,
set by a boozing sovereign is summarizable in a scene that occurred at the
death-bed of Queen Caroline, when the latter told old George II. to marry
again, while he blubbered: "Non, non, j'aurai des maîtresses," and she
retorted, "Ah! mon Dieu! Cela n'empêche pas."[73]

These Germans talked French. It was the fashion, one adopted in servile
homage of the Grand Monarque. At the latter's departure the Regency came.
With the Restoration England turned a moral handspring. With the Regency,
France turned a double one. The Regency was the first act of the
Revolution. The second was Louis Quinze. The third was the Guillotine--a
climax for which great ladies rehearsed that they might die, as they had
lived, with grace.

Moscow, meanwhile, was a bloody sewer, Vienna a reconstruction of the
cities that overhung the Bitter Sea. In Paris were the beginnings of
humanitarianism, the commencements of to-day, preludes quavering and
uncertain, hummed over things intolerably base, but none the less audible,
none the less there. In them was the dawn of liberty, the rebirth of real
love, an explosion of evil but also of good.

Said Tartuffe:

     Le scandale du monde est ce qui fait l'offense
     Et ce n'est pas pécher que pécher en silence.

Under the Maintenon régime the theory had been very fully exploited.
Multiple turpitudes were committed but in the dark. Under the Regency they
occurred openly, unhypocritically, in the daylight. The mud that was there
was dried by the sun. It ceased to be unwholesome. Though vile it was not
vicious. Moreover, in the air was a carnival gayety, put there by the
Regent, who, while not the best man in the world was not the worst, an
artistic Lovelace that gave the tone to a Neronian society, already in
dissolution, one that Law tossed into the Niagara of bankruptcy and
Cartouche held up, a society of which Béranger said:

     Tous les hommes plaisantaient,
     Et les femmes se prêtaient
       A la gaudriole.

Mme. de Longueville being in the country was asked, would she hunt. Mme.
de Longueville did not care for hunting. Would she fish, would she walk,
would she drive? No, she would not. Mme. de Longueville did not care for
innocent pleasures. Mme. de Longueville was a typical woman of the day.
Life to such as she was a perpetual bal d'opéra and love, the image of
Fragonard's Cupid, who, in the picture of the Chemise enlevée, divested it
of modesty with a smirk.[74]

Modesty then was neither appreciated nor ingrained. The instinct of it was
lacking. It was a question of pins, a thing attachable or detachable at
will. Women of position received not necessarily in a drawing-room, or
even in a boudoir but in bed. In art and literature there was an equal
sans-gêne. In affairs of the heart there was an equivalent indifference.
There was no romance, no dream, no beyond. Chivalric ideals were regarded
as mediæval bric-a-brac and fine sentiments as rubbish. Even gallantry
with its mimic of being jealous and its pretended constancy was vieux jeu.
Love, or what passed for it, had become a fugitive caprice, lightly
assumed and as readily discarded, without prejudice to either party.

     On s'enlace. Puis, un jour,
     On s'en lasse. C'est l'amour.

It had, however, other descents, a fall to depths of which history
hitherto had been ignorant. Meanwhile the Regent had gone. Louis XV had
come. With him were the real sovereigns of the realm, Mme. de Chateauroux,
Petticoat I; the Pompadour, Petticoat II; the Du Barry, Petticoat
III--legitimatized queens of love, with courts of their own, with the
rights, prerogatives and immunities of princesses of the blood, the
privilege of dwelling with the king, of receiving foreign ambassadors and
of pillaging France.

"Sire," said Choiseul, "the people are starving." Louis XV answered: "I am

The boredom came from precocious pleasures that had left him, without
energy or conviction, a cold, dreary brute, Asiatic and animal, a sort of
Oriental idol gloomy and gilded, who, while figuratively a spoke in the
wheel of monarchy then rolling down to '89, personally was a minotaur in a
feminine labyrinth which he filled, emptied, renewed, indifferent to the
inmates as he was to his wife,[75] wringing for the various Petticoats
prodigal sums from a desolate land, supplying incidentally to fermiers
généraux and grands seigneurs an example in Tiberianism which, assured of
immunity, they greedily followed and, generally, making himself so
loathed that when he died, delight was national.

It was in those days that Casanova promenaded through palace and cottage,
convent and inn, inveigling in the course of the promenade three thousand
women, princesses and soubrettes, abbesses and ballet girls, matrons and
maids. The promenade, which was a continuous sin, he recited at length in
his memoirs. During the recital you see a hideous old man, slippered and
slovenly, fumbling in a box in which are faded ribbons, rumpled notes,
souvenirs and gages d'amour.

Richelieu was another of that type which the example of the throne had
created and which de Sade alone eclipsed. It was then there appeared in
Petersburg, in Vienna, in London, wherever society was, a class of men,
who depraved women for the pleasure of it, and a class of women who
destroyed men for destruction's sake, men and women who were the hyenas of
love, monsters whose treachery was premeditated and malignant, and who,
their object attained, departed with a laugh, leaving behind but ruin.
Ruin was insufficient. Something acuter was required. That something was
found by de Sade.

In ways which Bluebeard had but outlined, the Marquis de Sade, lineal
descendant of Petrarch's Laura, mingled kisses with blood. Into affection
he put fright, into love he struck terror, he set the infernal in the

It was the logical climax to which decadence had groped and to it already
the austere guillotine was attending.

There love touched bottom. It could not go lower. But though it could and
did remount it did not afterward reach higher altitudes than those to
which it had previously ascended. In the eighteenth century the possible
situations of its infinite variety were, at least temporarily, exhausted.
Thereafter the frailties of great ladies, the obscurer liaisons of lesser
ones, attachments perfect and imperfect, loves immaculate and the reverse,
however amply set forth, disclose no new height. As the pages of
chronicles turn and faces emerge, lovers appear and vanish. In the various
annals of different lands their amours, pale or fervid as the case may be,
differ perhaps but only in atmosphere and accessories. On antecedent types
no advance is accomplished. Recitals of them cease to enlighten. Love had
become what it has since remained, a harper strumming familiar airs,
strains hackneyed if delicate, melodies very old but always new, so novel
even that they seem original. To the music of it history discloses fresher
mouths, further smiles, tears and kisses. History will always do that.
Wrongly is it said that it repeats itself. Except with love it never
does. In life as in death change is the one thing constant. Between them
love alone stands changeless. Since it first appeared it has had many
costumes, a wardrobe of tissues of every hue. But in character it has not
altered. Influences favorable or prejudicial might degrade it or exalt. In
abasements and assumptions love, like beauty, being one and indivisible,
remained unchangeably love. What varied was the costume.



"To renounce your individuality, to see with another's eyes, to hear with
another's ears, to be two and yet but one, to so melt and mingle that you
no longer know are you you or another, to constantly absorb and constantly
radiate, to reduce earth, sea, and sky and all that in them is to a single
being, to give yourself to that being so wholly that nothing whatever is
withheld, to be prepared at any moment for any sacrifice, to double your
personality in bestowing it--that is love."

So Gautier wrote, very beautifully as was his beautiful custom. But in
this instance inexactly. That is not love. It is a description, in gold
ink, of one of love's many costumes. Every poet has provided one. All give
images and none the essence. Yet that essence is the sphinx's riddle. Its
only OEdipus is philosophy.

Philosophy teaches that the two fundamental principles of thought are
self-preservation and the preservation of the species. Every idea that has
existed or does exist in the human mind is the result of the permutations
and combinations of these two principles and their derivatives. Of the two
the second is the stronger. Its basis is a sentiment which antiquity
deified, primitive Christianity scorned, chivalry nimbused and the
Renaissance propelled over the paths easy or perilous which it has since
pursued. But into the precise nature of that sentiment metaphysics alone
has looked. Plato was the first that analyzed it. For the few thereafter
the rich courses of his Banquet sufficed. They regaled themselves on it.
But for humanity at large, to whom the feast was Greek, there was only the
descriptions of poets and the knowledge, agreeable or otherwise, which
personal experience supplied. In either case the noumenon, the Ding an
sich, the thing in itself, escaped. It was too tenuous perhaps for
detention or else too obvious. Plato himself did not grasp it.

The omission Schopenhauer discerned. Schopenhauer was an idealist. The
forms of matter and of man he arranged in two categories, which he called
Representation and Will. In his system of philosophy everything not
produced by the one is the result of the other. Among the effects of the
latter is love.[76]

This frivolity--the term is Schopenhauer's--is, he declared, a
manifestation of the Genius of the Species, who, behind a mask of
objective admiration, deludes the individual into mistaking for his own
happiness that which in reality concerns but the next generation. Love is
Will projecting itself into the creation of another being and the precise
instant in which that being emerges from the original source of whatever
is into the possibilities of potential existence, is the very moment in
which two young people begin to fancy each other. The seriousness with
which on first acquaintance they consider each other is due to an
unconscious meditation concerning the child that they might create. The
result of the meditation determines the degree of their reciprocal
inclinations. That degree established, the new being becomes comparable to
a new idea. As is the case with all ideas it makes an effort to manifest
itself. In the strength of the effort is the measure of the attraction.
Its degrees are infinite while its extremes are represented by Venus
Pandemos and Venus Urania--ordinary passion and exalted affection. But in
its essence love is always and everywhere the same, a meditation on the
composition of the next generation and the generations that thence
proceed--_Meditatio compositionis generationis futuræ e qua iterum pendent
innumeræ generationes_.

The character of the meditation, its durability or impermanence, is,
Schopenhauer continued, in direct proportion to the presence of
attributes that attract. These attributes are, primarily, physical.
Attraction is induced by health, by beauty, particularly by youth, in
which health and beauty are usually combined, and that because the Genius
of the Species desires above all else the creation of beings that will
live and who, in living, will conform to an integral type. After the
physical come mental and temperamental attributes, all of which, in
themselves, are insufficient to establish love except on condition of more
or less perfect conformity between the parties. But as two people
absolutely alike do not exist, each one is obliged to seek in another
those qualities which conflict least with his or her own. In the
difficulty of finding them is the rarity of real love. In connection with
which Schopenhauer noted that frequently two people, apparently well
adapted to one another, are, instead of being attracted, repelled, the
reason being that any child they might have would be mentally or
physically defective. The antipathy which they experience is induced by
the Genius of the Species who has in view only the interests of the next

To conserve these interests, nature, Schopenhauer explained, dupes the
individual with an illusion of free will. In affairs of the heart the
individual believes that he is acting in his own behalf, for his own
personal benefit, whereas he is but acting in accordance with a
predetermined purpose for the accomplishment of which nature has instilled
in him an instinct that moves him to her ends, and so forcibly that rather
than fail he is sometimes compelled to sacrifice what otherwise he would
do his utmost to preserve--honor, health, wealth and reputation. It is
illusion that sets before his eyes the deceiving image of felicity. It is
illusion which convinces him that union with some one person will procure
it. Whatever efforts or sacrifices he may consequently make he will
believe are made to that end only yet he is but laboring for the creation
of a predetermined being who has need of his assistance to arrive into
life. But, once the work of nature accomplished, disenchantment ensues.
The illusion that duped him has vanished.

According to Schopenhauer love is, therefore, but the manifestation of an
instinct which, influenced by the spirit of things, irresistibly attracts
two people who, through natural conformity, are better adapted to
conjointly fulfil nature's aims than they would be with other partners.
Schopenhauer added that in such circumstances, when two individuals
complete each other and common and exclusive affection possesses them
both, their affection represents a special mission delegated by the Genius
of the Species, one which consequently assumes a character of high
elevation. In these cases, in addition to physical adaptation there is, he
noted, a mental and temperamental concordance so adjusted that the parties
alone could have achieved nature's aims. In actuating them to that end the
Genius of the Species desired, for reasons which Schopenhauer described as
inaccessible, the materialization of a particular being that could not
otherwise appear. In the series of existing beings that desire had no
other sphere of action than the hearts of the future parents. The latter,
seized by the impulsion, believe that they want for themselves that which
as yet is but purely metaphysical, or, in other words, beyond the circle
of actually existing things. In this manner, from the original source of
whatever is, there then darts a new being's aspiration for life which
aspiration manifests itself in the actuality of things by the love of its
potential parents, who, however, once the object of the Genius of the
Species attained, find, to their entire astonishment, that that love is no
more. But meanwhile, given that love, and the potential parents may become
so obsessed by it that they will disregard anything which, ordinarily,
would interfere.

This disregard, Schopenhauer further explained, is due to the Genius of
the Species to whom the personal interests of the individual, laws,
obstacles, differences of position, social barriers and human conventions
are so many straws. Caring only for the generation to be lightly he
dismisses them. It is his privilege, Schopenhauer declared. Our existence
being rooted in him, he has over us a right anterior and more immediate
than all things else. His interests are supreme.

"That point," Schopenhauer concluded, "antiquity perfectly understood when
it personified the Genius of the Species as Eros, a divinity who, in spite
of his infantile air, is hostile, cruel, despotic, demoniac and none the
less master of gods and of man.

     'Tu, deorum hominumque tyranne, Amor!'"

For a philosopher Schopenhauer is very graphic. It is his great charm and
possibly his sole defect. In the superabundance of his imagination there
was not always room for the matter of fact. Then too he had a theory.
Everything had to yield to it. The trait, common to all metaphysicians,
von Hartmann shared. In the latter's _Philosophie des Unbewussten_ the
Genius of the Species becomes the Unconscious, the same force with a
different name, a sort of anthropomorphic entity lurking on the back
stairs of Spencer's Unknowable and from there ruling omnipotently the
lives and loves of man.

Both systems are ingenious. They are profound and they are admirable.
They have been respectfully received by the doct. But in their metaphysics
of the heart there is a common error. Each confounds instinct with
sentiment. Moreover, assuming the validity of their hypothetical idol,
there are phenomena left unexplained, the ordinary case for instance of an
individual inspiring but not requiting another's love. In one of the two
parties to it the entity obviously has erred. According to Schopenhauer
and von Hartmann the entity is the unique cause of love, which itself is
an instinct that deludes into the furtherment of nature's aims. But in an
unrequited affection such furtherment is impossible. In which event if
philosophy is not at fault the entity must be; the result being that it
lacks the omnipotence claimed. Demonstrably it has some power, it is even
clear that that power is great, but in the same sense that occultists deny
that death is, so may true lovers deny that the entity exists. For them it
is not. Without doubt it is the modern philosophic representative of Eros,
but of Eros Pandemos, son and heir of the primitive Aphrodite whom Plato

Love does not proceed from that source. The instinct of it certainly does
but not sentiment which is its basis. Commonly instinct and sentiment are
confused. But, if a distinction be effected between their manifestations,
it will be recognized that though desire is elemental in both, in
instinct desire is paramount while in sentiment it is secondary and
frequently, particularly in the case of young women, it is dormant when
not absent, even though they may be what is termed "wildly in love."
Instinct is a primitive and general instigation, coeval and conterminous
with life. Love is a specific emotion, exclusive in selection, more or
less permanent in duration and due to a mental fermentation in itself
caused by a law of attraction, which Plato called imeros and Voltaire the
myth of happiness invented by Satan for man's despair.

Imeros is the longing for love. The meditation which Schopenhauer
described may enter there, and usually does, whether or not the parties
interested are aware of it. But it need not necessarily do so. When
Héloïse was in her convent there could have been no such meditation, yet,
she loved Abailard as fervently as before. Moreover, when the work of
nature is accomplished, disenchantment does not, as Schopenhauer insisted,
invariably ensue. Disenchantment results when the accomplishing is due to
instinct but not when sentiment is the cause. Had instinct alone prevailed
humanity would hardly have arisen from its primitive state. But the
evolution of the sentiment of love, in developing the law of attraction,
lifted men from animality, angels from the shames of Ishtar, and
heightened the stature of the soul.

The advance effected is as notable as it is obvious, but its final term is
probably still remote. Ages ago the sphinx was disinterred from beneath
masses of sand under which it had brooded interminably. In its simian
paws, its avian wings, in its body which is that of an animal, in its face
which is that of a sage, before Darwin, before history, in traits great
and grave, the descent of man was told.

There remains his ascent. Future monuments may tell it. Meanwhile
evolution has not halted. Undiscernibly but indefatigably its advance
proceeds. Its culmination is not in existing types. If humanity descends
from apes, from humanity gods may emerge. The story of Olympus is but a
tale of what might have been and what might have been may yet come to
pass. Even now, if the story were true and the old gods could return, it
is permissible to assume that they would evaporate to ghostland eclipsed.
The inextinguishable laughter which was theirs is absent from the prose of
life. Commerce has alarmed their afflatus away. But the telegraph is a
better messenger than they had, the motor is surer than their chariots of
dream. In contemporary homes they could have better fare than ambrosia and
behold faces beside which some of their own might seem less divine. The
prodigies of electricity might appear to them more potent than the
thunderbolts of Zeus and, at the sight of modern engines, possibly they
would recall the titans with whom once they warred and sink back to their
sacred seas outfaced.

In the same manner that we have exceeded them it is also permissible to
assume that posterity will exceed what we have done. From its parturitions
gods may really come, beings that is, who, could contemporaneous man
remain to behold them, would regard him as he regards the ape.

That advance, if effected, love will achieve. In its history, already
long, yet relatively brief, it has changed the face of the earth. It has
transformed laws and religions. It has reversed and reconstructed every
institution human and divine. As yet its evolution is incomplete. But when
the final term is reached, then, doubtless, the words of the Apocalypse
shall be realized, for all things will have been made anew.



  ABAILARD and Héloïse, story of, 136-137

  ACADEME of Athens, 46;
    of Mitylene, 46, 47;
    its teaching to women, 58-59

  ACTIUM, 93

  ADAM and EVE, married before mated, 1;
    their union a Persian conceit, 1

  ADULTERY, as represented by the Restoration Dramatists, 223

  ALARIC, 120

  ALCHEMY, 193



  ÆSCULAPIUS, created to heal the body, 65

  AFFINITIES, Elective, 241

  AGREDA, 238

  ALEXANDER, his bad influence on Greek worship of beauty, 59;
    his _decensus Averni_, 63-64;
    the prototype of the Roman Cæsars, 64

  ALBIGENSES, the, 175

  ANACREON, his treatment of love, 54;
    compared with Sappho's singing, 54


  ANDRÉ, Maître, 152

  ANDROMEDA, the Friend of Sappho, 47

  ANNE, Queen, 237



  ANTONY, 90;
    his treatment of Cleopatra, 91;
    his conquest by Cleopatra, 91-92;
    his marriage with Cleopatra, 92;
    his divorce of Octavia, 93;
    war with Octavius, 93-94;
    deserted by Cleopatra, 93;
    his ruin by Cleopatra, 94-95


  APHRODITE, worship of, in Greece, 31, 32;
    De Musset on, 31;
    Homer's idea of, different from Hesiod's, 31;
    Hesiod's, 34;
    death of, in Greece, 64;
    inspired sculpture in her death, 64;
    Urania, 28-40;
    Pandemos, 55;
    Pandemos, love inspired by, 67;
    Urania, love inspired by, 67;
    degraded by Rome, 104

  APIS, 104

  APOLLONIUS of Tyana, his view of Helen of Troy, 36

  AQUINAS, Thomas, 193

  "ARABIAN Nights, The," 139-140

  ARABS, in Spain, 163-167

  ARAGON, the source of the _gaya cienca_, 172

  ARISTOPHANES, 29; Athenian women in, 42;
    his explanation of the duality of love, 69-70


  ARMENIA, its contribution to Babylon, 3

  ART, Greek, bad influence of, on the worship of Aphrodite, 32

  ARTHUR, King, story of, 152

  ASCETICISM, its persistence, 118-119

    ruled in Judæa, 11;
    reviled by the Hebrew Prophets, 11, 12

  ASPASIA, the age of, 53-64;
    her relation with Pericles, 56;
    her story, 56-57;
    the ruler of Pericles, 62;
    her power over Pericles, 63;
    what she did for woman, 62;
    her revelation of womanly power, 63

    came to Rome from Syria, 104

  ASTRONOMY, relation to love, 68

  ATHENS, in the age of Pericles, 59-60;
    and Sparta, duel between, 60-61

  ATTHIS, lover of Sappho, 49

  ATTILA, 121;
    his death, 121

  ATTRACTION, the law of, 259

  AUGUSTUS, age of, 101-106;
    his turpitude, 102

  BAAL, 10, 11

  BACON, Friar, 193

  BABYLON, influence of Semiramis on, 3;
    influence of Nineveh on, 3, 4;
    contribution of Armenia to, 3;
    the daughters of, 4;
    the inspirer of Solomon, 13

  BACCHUS, Antony's tutelary god, 91

  BEATRICE and Dante, 98;
    Dante's love for, 177-180

  BEAUTY, the religion of Greece, 28, 29;
    its worship by the Greeks, 58-59;
    its stimulating force, 70-71;
    the secret of life, 87;
    the secret of death, 87;
    at the beginning of the Reformation, 201;
    as advanced by Ficino and expounded by Bembo, 204, 205;
    may be degraded but never vulgarized, 211

  BEMBO, 204

  BÉRANGER, on Society, 249

  BERTHEFLEDE, story of, 125

  BLUEBEARD, 191-197;
    an example of hæmatomania, 194-196

  BOCCACCIO, 177, 178;
    the Decameron of, 188-190;
    his work the signal for the Renaissance, 189-190

  BOEOTIA, the scene of Lesbian rites, 46

  BORGIAS, the, 200

  BOSSUET, 135;
    and Quietism, 238

  BRAHMANISM, its evil influence on the poetry of the Vedas, 9


  BRANTÔME, 215, 216, 217, 219

  BUDDHA, his teachings the same as Christ's, 113

  BYZANCE, in the Middle Ages, 139;
    the teacher of English civilization, 141

  CÆSAR, JULIUS, his treatment of women, 85;
    his temperament, 89;
    Cato's opinion of, 89;
    his treatment of Cleopatra, 89

  CÆSARS, the palace of, abandoned to orgies, 106

  CALIGULA, his vileness, 102



  CALYPSO, 38, 39;
    added coquetry to love, 53

  CARTHAGE, worship of Venus in, 6, 7

  CASANOVA, Jacques, 248

  CATHERINE of Siena, 132

  CATILINE, his evil influence on Rome, 84-85

  CATO, his expression on woman's position in Rome, 79;
    his opinion of Cæsar, 89

  CATULLUS, his passing away with the republic, 97-98;
    his songs, 97-98

  CELIBACY, penalized by the Greeks, 116;
    taxed by the Romans, 116;
    inculcated by the Church, 116;
    how viewed variously, 116-117;
    the ideal of the early Christians, 120



  CHALDÆA, the ideas of, with regard to Nature, 3;
    originated picture of Pandora, 40

  CHAMPAGNE, Countess of, 160

  CHARAXUS, story of his love for Rhodopis, 45-46

  CHARLES II of England, his influence on England, 221-224;
    his court, 223;
    his mistresses, 224

  CHASTITY, the pride of Spartan women, 44

  CHATEAUROUX, Mme. de, 247

  CHIVALRY, origin of, 138;
    Muslim, 141;
    adopted by the Church, 142;
    Age of, how it regarded love, 145-146;
    ridiculed out of existence, 149;
    killed by the invention of gunpowder, 149;
    code of love in, 153-155;
    its merits, 158;
    Courts of Love, 155;
    subtle case in, 156;
    other cases, 158-160;
    wrongly derived from Germany, 167;
    rightly originated in the Moors, 167-168

  CHRIST, the new messenger of love, 111;
    the bringer of good news, 111-112;
    his teaching, 112-113;
    preceded by Buddha, 113;
    his opinion of woman, 113;
    his treatment of woman, 115;
    women the brides of, 133

  CHRISTIANITY, unable to better Homeric faith, 30;
    Roman hatred of, 120;
    misinterpreted by the early Church, 135;
    conquered by Muhammadanism, 138

  CHRISTIANS, Roman persecution of, 118-119

  CHRYSOSTOM, on woman, 128

  CHURCH, Early Christian, corner-stone of, 112

  CHURCH, the, adopts the code of Chivalry, 142

  CHURCH, the Early, its struggles, 119

  CHURCH, the later, its restrictions on marriage, 147, 148;
    its divorce laws, 148

  CICERO, his exposition of stoicism, 108

  CINDERELLA, story of, in the story of Rhodopis, 45-46

  CIRCE, 38, 39

  CLEMENT, 118

  CLEMENT of Alexandria, 113

  CLEOPATRA, Isis unveiled, 86;
    her beauty, 88;
    her headiness, 89;
    how treated by Cæsar, 89;
    how treated by Antony, 91;
    her conquest of Antony, 91-92;
    her ambitious dreams, 92;
    her desertion of Antony, 93;
    her schemes for Octavius, 94;
    her evil influence on Antony, 94-95;
    her death, 96

  CLOISTER, the, 128-129

  CONSTANTINOPLE, the Fall of, 198;
    its consequences, 199-200

  CONVENTS, of Corinth and Miletus, 58


  COQUETRY, the kingdom of, by the Abbé d'Aubignac, 229

  CORDOVA, Caliphs of, 164-165

  CORINNA, 100

  CORINTH, the hetairæ of, 56;
    convents of, 58

  CORNEILLE, his _Rodrigue and Chimène_, 230;
    his _Cid_, 230-231


  COURTS of Love, 155-157


  CRUSADES, the, 138

  CYNTHIA and Propertius, 98

  DANTE, and Beatrice, 98;
    his idea of Fortune, 33;
    his poetry founded in Provençal verse, 172;
    his early life and career, 177-184;
    Voltaire's opinion of, 181;
    Tennyson's opinion of, 181;
    his influence, 182;
    and Petrarch, compared, 186-187

  D'AUBIGNAC, Abbé, his Kingdom of Coquetry, 229

  D'AUVERGNE, Martial, 159

  DECAMERONE, Il, its scope and influence, 188-90


  DE MUSSET, on Aphrodite, 31


  DIVANS, the, of the Moors, 171

  DIVORCE, in Greece in Sappho's time, 43;
    not obligatory under the Cæsars, 103;
    how obtained under the Cæsars, 103;
    under the later Church, 148;
    in England under Henry VIII, 204;
    in Italy, 205

  DON QUIXOTE, 148-149

  DU BARRY, Duchesse de, 244, 247

  DUPLEIX, his account of Margot of France, 219

  D'URFÉ, HONORÉ, his pastoral, 227

  ECCLESIASTICUS, his view of woman, 10

  EGYPT, position of women in, 45;
    influence of women of, 46;
    its acceptance of beauty, 87-88;
    the gods of, 87-88

  ELEANOR of England, 141

  ELEUSINIAN mysteries, 57;
    Epiphanies, 72-73

  ENGLAND, born of Shakespeare, 182;
    divorce in, 204-205;
    Puritan, 221;
    Elizabethan, 221-222;
    Early Stuart, 221;
    Cromwellian, 222;
    under the Georges, 243

  ENNIUS, 105

  EPICURUS, 29, 61

  ERATO, finds freedom in Lesbos, 46

  ERINNA, 47

  ERMENGARDE of Narbonne, 160

  EROS, degraded by Rome, 104


  EUROPE, after the fall of Rome, 126;
    how influenced by Islâm, 141-142;
    before the Renaissance, 198-199;
    in the eighteenth century, 244-245

  EURYDICE and Orpheus, 30

  EVE, suggested by Hesiod's Pandora, 40


  EWALD, on "The Song of Songs," 15

  EZ ZAHARA, 164-165

  FABIOLA, 147

  FAMILY, the, the outcome of a better treatment of, 2

  FÉNÉLON, and Quietism, 239

  FEUDALISM, its origin, 125;
    its bad influence on woman, 146;
    marriage under, 146-147

  FICINO, 203-204

  FLORENCE, in the time of Dante, 177


  FRANCESCA and Paolo, 182

  FRANÇOIS I, the king of Gallantry, 213, 214;
    the Court of, 214

  FRIGHT, early man's first sensations, 2

  GABRIELLE d'Estrées, 219-220

  GALLANTRY, as defined by Montesquieu, 213;
    the parody of love, 213;
    embellishes vice, 213;
    the direct cause of the French Revolution, 213;
    adopted by François I, 214

  GAUTIER, THÉOPHILE, his definition of love, 251

  GAY Science, the, 164-176;
    founded in Aragon, 172

  GENIUS, ascetic, 117

  GEORGE II of England, 244

  GERMANY, at the time of Louis XIV, 239-240;
    love in, in the eighteenth century, 240-244;
    aping of Louis XIV, 241

  GERSON, his catalogue of ravishment, 133

  GLYCERA, 57, 58

  GORGO, lover of Sappho, 49

  GOSPELS, the, 113;
    the lost gospels, 113

  GRANADA, palaces of, 165

  GREECE, worship of Ishtar in, 6;
    a gay nation, 28;
    and Judæa, contrasted, 28;
    had many creeds, but one religion, 28;
    amours of, a part of its worship of beauty, 29;
    its gods real to it, 29-30;
    women in, in Sappho's time, 41-42;
    beautiful women deified in, 58;
    sale of beauty in, 59;
    its decadence, 64

  GREEK poetry, its splendors, 61

  GREEKS, the, their appreciation of this world's gifts, 57


  GREGOROVIUS, his description of Rome, 200-201

  GUYON, Mme., and Quietism, 237-239


  HADRIAN, 108


  HALLAM, his opinion of knight-errantry, 161-162

  HARLOTS, in Rome, 80-81

  HECATE, 28

  HELEN of Troy, her place in poetry, 34-35;
    her influence on the Greek people, 35;
    her degradation an evil influence, 35;
    her idealization a source of inspiration, 35-36;
    as viewed by Apollonius of Tyana, 36;
    and Menelaus, 36-37;
    and Paris, 37;
    as a man's property, 37

  HENRY IV, of France, 218;
    and Gabrielle d'Estrées, 219-220


  HERODOTUS, on Ishtar, 5, 6

  HESIOD, his idea of Aphrodite, 31;
    Eve suggested by his Pandora, 40

  HETAIRA, the, 55

  HETAIRÆ, the girls of the, 56-57

  HÉLOÏSE and Abelard, story of, 136-137

  HEPTAMÉRON, the, 209-210

  HERMAS, 118

  HERMITS, the outcome of Christianity, 116

  HOME, the outcome of a better treatment of woman, 2

  HOMER, 28;
    his influence on Greek thought, 29;
    his faith in beauty, 29;
    _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_ of, 30;
    his idea of Aphrodite, 31;
    _Odyssey_ and _Iliad_, morality of, 38;
    the sirens of, 39-40

  HONOR, the chivalrous meaning of, 143

  HORACE, his view of the _Iliad_, 38;
    compared with Sappho, 47;
    "the little fat man," 98-99;
    his art as sung by Ponsard, 99-100

  HORUS, 87


  HUNS, their invasion of Rome, 121

  _Iliad_, the, its view of woman, 62-63

  IMMORTALITY, love of, 70

  INFANTICIDE, in Rome, 118

  INQUISITION, founded, 176

  ISHTAR, her influence in the world, 4;
    history of, 5, 6;
    worship of, identical with the Hindu Kama-dasi, 6;
    in Greece, 6;
    rites of, 6, 7

  ISIS, 87, 88

  ISLÂM, its influence on Europe, 141-142

  ISLAMISM, treatment of women under, 169-170

  JEHOVAH, the evolution of, among the Jews, 11, 12

  JEWS, their view of woman, 10;
    their prophets reviled the worship of Ashtaroth, 11, 12;
    evolution of Jehovah among the, 11, 12;
    their message for Rome, 110-11

  JOY, the Parliaments of, 150-163

  JUDÆA, did not honor women, 10;
    the position of the patriarch in, 10;
    and Greece, contrasted, 28

  JULIUS II, 202

  JUVENAL, 103

  KAMA-DASI, the Hindu, identical with worship of Ishtar, 6

  KNIGHTHOOD, its meaning, 144


  KORAN, a precept in, 168-169

    its effect on Sparta and Greece, 63

  LAIS, her epitaph, 58;
    wealth of, 59

  LAURA and Petrarch, 183-188;
    the quality of her love, 187-188;
    her position between Dante and Boccaccio, 188

  LA VALLIÈRE, 232-233

    her character, 210

  LEO X, 201;
    his expression of the Papacy, 202


  LESBOS, the women of, 44-45;
    women of, influenced by Egypt, 46

  L'ESTOILE, PIERRE DE, 219, 220

  LIFE, Definition of, 70

  LONDON, in the Georgian period, 243

  LONGINUS, his reverence for Sappho, 47

  LONGUEVILLE, Mme. de, 245-246

  LORENZO, the Magnificent, 200

  LOUIS XIV, of France, 232-234;
    his mistresses, 232-236;
    his kingdom, 236

  LOUIS XV, of France, 247

  LOVE, absent from Eden, 1;
    evolution of, in history, 7, 8;
    evil influence of theology on, 8;
    the Gospel of, "The Song of Songs" viewed as, 13, 14;
    its change in Sappho's time, 54;
    Plato's view of, 65-66;
    in the _Phædrus_ of Plato, 66;
    in the _Symposium_ of Plato, 66;
    argument on, by Plato, 66-67;
    not every love divine, 67;
    two loves in the human body, 67;
    in relation to astronomy, 68;
    religion, intermediary of, 68;
    duality of, explained by Aristophanes, 68;
    Socrates's statement of the essence of, 69-70;
    exerted in happiness in immortality, 70;
    higher mysteries of, 71;
    its value to life, 71-72;
    how regarded by Plato, 74;
    the new ideal of, through Christ, 111;
    dispersed the darkness of the Middle Ages, 138;
    how regarded in the Age of Chivalry, 145-146;
    exalted under Feudalism, 148;
    joy of, its humanizing influence, 150;
    Courts of, 155-157;
    code of, in chivalry, 153-155;
    its merits, 158;
    cases of, in chivalry, 158-160;
    a picture of, in mediæval times, 162-163;
    the religion of the troubadours, 175;
    to Petrarch, 188;
    to Dante, 189;
    as viewed by Boccaccio, 188-190;
    as viewed by Plato, 203;
    Platonic, 205-206;
    as influenced by Platonism, 205-207;
    as influenced by Venice, 207;
    as shown by Marguerite of France, 209-210;
    a high summit reached in Michael Angelo and Vittoria Colonna, 212;
    _non inferiora secutus_, 212;
    in the seventeenth century, 213-236;
    its modern history opens with laughter, 213;
    its melody in Platonism, its parody in gallantry, 213;
    always educational, 213;
    in Spain, Germany, France, and England in the seventeenth century, 214;
    under François I, 215;
    under Henry IV, of France, 218-222;
    its degradation under the Restoration, 224;
    the Scudéry map of, 228-230;
    in the eighteenth century, 237-250;
    in Germany in the eighteenth century, 241;
    the dawn of its rebirth in the eighteenth century, 245;
    the lowest depths of, 249;
    changes in form but never in character, 250;
    as defined by Gautier, 251;
    the subject for philosophy, 251;
    its basis, 252;
    first analyzed by Plato, 252;
    its nature elaborated by Schopenhauer, 252-257;
    a manifestation of the Genius of Species, 253;
    its nature is will for the purpose of creation, 253;
    used by Nature as a means to an end, 254-255;
    Nature's veil of illusion, 255;
    the manifestation of an instinct, 255;
    its purpose, the materialization of a particular being, 256;
    wrongly diagnosed by Schopenhauer, 259-260;
    its advance in evolution, 260;
    modern, 260-261

  LOVERS, Socrates's ideal, 171




  LUTHER, the true founder of modern society, 201

  LYCURGUS, his laws on marriage, 44

  MACAULAY, 222, 223

  MACON, second council of, on woman, 127

  MACROBIUS, his description of Roman Saturnalia, 75-76

  MACÆNAS, lackey of Augustus, 102

  MAHABHÂRATA, the, The Vedic history of love, 7, 8

  MAN, early, his attitude toward Nature, 2, 3;
    pleasure not known to him, 2

  MANU, laws of, on marriage, 8

  MARGOT, wife of Henry IV of France, 218-219

  MARGUERITE of France, 208;
    the Heptaméron of, 209-210

  MARIUS, 120

  MARRIAGE, laws of Manu on, 8;
    position of women in Greece in, 42;
    in Sparta, 44;
    in Rome, 79-80;
    under the Cæsars, 103;
    Lex Pappea Poppoea, 103;
    as viewed by the Early Christian Church, 114;
    St. Sebastian on, 114;
    St. Augustine on, 114;
    made incumbent by Hebrew law, 116;
    St. Paul on the dignity of, 119-120;
    under the feudal system, 146-147;
    how restricted by the later Church, 147-148;
    in days of chivalry, 157


  MATRIMONY, as interpreted by later Platonism, 205

  MEDLIÆVALISM, the prelude to the Renaissance, 198



  MENELAUS, and Helen of Troy, 36-37

    his love for Vittoria Colonna, 211-212

  MIGNET, 213

  MILETUS, convents of, 58

  MINSTRELS, the, 164

  MITHRA, 104

  MODESTY, in the eighteenth century, 246

  MOLIÈRE, his ridicule of the _Précieuses_, 227

  MOLINOS, 135;
    his Quietism, 237

  MOLOCH, 10, 11

  MONASTERIES, 128-129

  MONTESPAN, Marquise de, 234-235

  MONTESQUIEU, his definition of gallantry, 213

  MOORS, in Spain, 163-167;
    their learning and poetry, 166;
    originated chivalry, 167-168;
    their power in Europe, 168;
    their treatment of women, 169-170

  MORBIHAN, the paintings in, 196

  MOSES, his view of woman, 10, 11

  MOSLEMS, chivalry of, 141

  MUHAMMAD, conquers Persia, 139;
    the two things he really cared for, 168

  NATURE, early man, attitude toward, 2



  NEPENTHE, an Egyptian drug, 36

  NINEVEH, its influence on Babylon, 3, 4

  NOSTRADAMUS, 153, 155

  NUNS, 131

    a model citizen, 93;
    his opinion of Cleopatra, 93;
    war with Antony, 93-94;
    his design against Cleopatra, 95;
    defeated by Cleopatra's death, 95-96

    Homer's service to, 38

  _Odyssey_, the, its view of woman, 63

  OLYMPUS, kindly to its worshippers, 30;
    influence of the gods of, on Greek mind, 33


  ORPHEUS, and Eurydice, 30

  OSIRIS, 87, 88

  OVID, his picture of Sappho, 51;
    his "Art of Love," 100;
    poet of pleasure, 100-101;
    his banishment, 101

  PALLAS, 59


  PANDORA, 40;
    picture of, of Chaldæan origin, 40

  PANTHEON, Roman, a lupanar, 105

  PAPACY, the, its war against the troubadours, 176;
    as expressed by Leo X, 202

  PARIS, and Helen, 37

  PARIS, love in, under François I, 215

  PATRIARCH, the, his position in Judæa, 10

  PAUL III, 202

  PAUL, St., his humiliation of woman, 114;
    on the dignity of marriage, 119-120;
    his view of Christianity, 134-135

  PERICLES, his relation with Aspasia, 56;
    his deification, 61;
    Age of, the period of Greek decline, 61

  PERSEUS, on Roman thought and life, 104

  PETRARCH, his poetry, 172;
    and Laura, 183-188;
    and Dante compared, 186-187;
    his love for Laura, 187-188

  PHÆDRUS, 73-74;
    its theory of Beauty, 73-74

  PHAON, his relation with Sappho, 49-51

  PHEIDIAS, influence of his Zeus on Æmilius Paulus, 31-32

  PHILIP of Macedon, 63


  PHOENICIA, furnished girls for Greek harems, 6

  PHRYNE, 57;
    as Aphrodite, 57;
    her acquital before the Areiopagus, 57-58;
    Praxiteles's statue of, 58;
    her wealth, 59

  PINDAR, 61

  PLATO, his opinion of Sappho, 47;
    healer of the mind, 65;
    his teaching, 65;
    his view of love, 65-66;
    his _Phædrus_ and _Symposion_, 65-66;
    his _Phædrus_, 73-74;
    his theory of beauty in the _Phædrus_, 73-74;
    his _Republic_, 202;
    his _Symposion_, 203

  PLATONISM, its view of matrimony interpreted, 205;
    its influence on love, 206-207;
    its three saints, 201;
    the melody of love, 213;
    beautifies virtue, 213

  PLEASURE, a later growth in man, 2

  POMPADOUR, Mme. de, 247


  PONSARD, his poem on Horace, 99-100

  PRAXITELES, his Aphrodite, 32-33;
    his statue of Phryne, 58

  PROPERTIUS and Cynthia, 98

  PROVENÇAL, poetry, 171-172;
    the foundation of Dante and Petrarch, 172

  PROVENCE, its troubadourian dogmas, 175-176

  PSYCHE, story of, 30



  QUIETISM, the teaching of, 237-289

  RADEGONDE, Story of, 130-131

  RAMBOUILLET, Hôtel de, 225

  RAMBOUILLET, Madame de, 225-226;
    her influence, 227

  RAPHAEL, 202


  RAYMOND, Lord, of Castel-Roussillon, 162-163

  REFORMATION, the, its influence on love, 201

  RELIGION, love's intermediary, 68

  RENAISSANCE, the, due to Greek thought, 60;
    woman under, 151-152;
    the three Graces of, 208

  RENAN, on "The Song of Songs," 15

  RESTORATION, the time of, 222-223

  RETZ, GILLES DE, 191-197

  REVOLUTION, the French, the effect of Gallantry, 213

  RHODOPIS, story of her relation with Charaxus, 45-46;
    the original of Cinderella, 45


  ROLAND, the story of, 142-143

  ROMANS, their primal characteristics, 75-76;
    the Saturnalia of, 75-76

  ROME, mission of, 75;
    love secondary in, 75;
    its treatment of the strange gods, 76-77;
    its attitude to slaves and children, 77;
    its treatment of women, 77-78;
    St. Augustine's view of, 82;
    puritan in poverty, 82-83;
    Sylla's immoral influence on, 83-84;
    Catiline's bad influence on, 84-85;
    the Triumvirate of, 90;
    in the Augustan age, 101-106;
    amusements of, 101;
    under the Emperors, 101-109;
    degraded Eros into Cupid, 104;
    degraded Aphrodite into Venus, 104;
    later gods of, 104-105;
    degraded under Imperialistic sway, 105;
    its Pantheon a lupanar, 105;
    its delight in sensuality, 106-107;
    its palaces abandoned to orgies, 106-107;
    more abandoned than Nineveh or Babylon, 108;
    Imperialistic, compared with age of Pericles, 109;
    first barbarian who invaded, 110;
    the message of the Jews for, 110-111;
    persecution of early Christians, 118-119;
    its fall, 120;
    its hatred of Christianity, 120;
    invaded by the Huns, 121;
    its antiquity dead, 121;
    the elements that went to make its greatness, 125;
    its dissolution, 125;
    European darkness after fall of, 126-127;
    as described by Gregorovius, 200-201;
    under the Papacy, 201

  ROUND Table, Knights of, 152


  RUY BLAS, 157-158

  SADE, Marquis de, 248-249

  SALAMIS, battle of, 60;
    its influence on Greece, 60

  SALVATION, in weakness, 134

  SAPPHO, 41-45;
    how appreciated by the ancients, 47;
    the girl Plato, 47;
    poems of, 48;
    sources of Odes of, 48;
    portraits of, 48-49;
    lover of Atthis, 49;
    lover of Gorgo, 49;
    contemporary knowledge of, 49;
    her relation with Phaon, 49-50;
    as told by Swinburne, 50;
    as pictured by Ovid, 51;
    emancipated love, 53;
    her singing of love, 54;
    her influence on the relation of women, 55

  SAUVAL, 215


  SCHOPENHAUER, his exposition of love, 252-257;
    his error, 259-260

  SCIENCE, the Gay, 150-151;
    founded in Aragon, 172

  SCUDÉRY, Mlle. de, 227;
    her map of love, 228-230

  SEMIRAMIS, her influence on Babylon, 3

  SENECA, 103;
    his condemnation of vice, 108-109

  SEVILLE, palaces of, 165

  SHAKESPEARE, his influence, 182

  SIRENS, the Homeric, 39-40

  SLAVES in Rome, 77

  SOCIETY, after the fall of Rome, 126-127

  SOCRATES, his statement of the essence of love, 69-70;
    his ideal lovers, 71-72;
    his discourse on love, 70-72;

  SOLOMON, his view of woman, 11;
    wholly Babylonic, 13

  SOLON, his opinion of Sappho, 47

  "SONG OF SONGS," The, the Gospel of love, 13, 14;
    exposition of, as a drama of love, 14, 15;
    reset as a love drama, 15-27


  SORROW, a sin, 150

  SPAIN, the home of Moorish chivalry, 170-171;
    at the close of the seventeenth century, 231-233;
    Court of, at end of seventeenth century, 232

  SPARTA, condition of women in, 43-44;
    and Athens, rivalry between, 60-61

  ST. AUGUSTINE, his view of Rome, 82;
    on marriage, 114

  ST. BASILIUS, his praise of Homer, 38

  STOICISM, in Rome, 108

  STRABO, on Ishtar, 5, 6;
    his view of Sappho, 47, 49

  ST. SEBASTIAN, on marriage, 114

  SUETONIUS, his character of Caligula, 102;
    his Prince and Beast, 107

  SWINBURNE, compared with Sappho, 47;
    his "Ode to Aphrodite," 50

  SYLLA, his moral destruction of Rome, 83-84

  TACITUS, on women, 81

  TANIT, 5

  TASSO, 210;
    his love for Leonora d'Este, 210-211

  TENDERNESS-on-Sympathy, in Germany, 241

  TENNYSON, his opinion of Dante, 181


  THAIS, monument to, 58

  THEBES, 63;
    its fall, 61

  THEMISTOCLES, son of, 61-62

  THEOLOGY, its base influence on love, 8

  THERESA, St., story of, 132-133

  TIBERIUS, his laws on women, 81

  TOURNAMENTS, 144-145

  TRISTRAM and Isaud, 144

  TROUBADOURS, the, 172-174;
    their religion, 175;
    opposed by the Papacy, 176

  VEDAS, the, on love, 7, 8;
    the poetry of, deformed by Brahmanism, 9

  VENICE, its evil influence on love, 207


  VENUS, worship of, 6;
    name of Hebrew origin, 7;
    her indifference to mortal aspirations, 33-34


  VERSAILLES, 232, 235


  VIRGIN, the, aspirations to, 133;
    the _Regina angelorum_, 133;
    reflected in art, 134


    her character, 211

  VOLTAIRE, his opinion of the _Divina Commedia_, 181


  WESTPHALIA, Peace of, 240

  WIDOWS, under code of chivalry, 161

  WIVES, treatment of, in Sappho's time, 53-54

  WOMAN, early treatment of, 1, 2;
    family life, the outcome of better treatment of, 2;
    common property once, 2;
    man's early treatment of, 2;
    not honored in Judæa, 10;
    incarnated sin to the Jews, 10;
    as viewed by Ecclesiasticus, 10;
    as viewed by Moses, 10, 11;
    as viewed by Solomon, 11;
    worshipped in the Renaissance, 15;
    a man's chattel, 37;
    as viewed by Homer, 39-40;
    beginning of her emancipation, 40;
    what she represented in Greece, 58;
    her development through Aspasia, 62;
    how viewed by the _Iliad_, 62-63;
    how viewed by the _Odyssey_, 62-63;
    treatment of, by Rome, 77-78;
    her legal and actual position in Rome, 78;
    her supremacy in Rome, 78-79;
    her position stated by Cato, 79;
    position of, in Rome compared with her position in Greece, 79;
    hampered by Roman laws, 80-81;
    Christ's opinion of, 113;
    little thought of by St. Paul, 114;
    her treatment of Christ, 115;
    condition of, in dark ages, 127;
    how regarded by the second council of Macon, 127;
    St. Chrysostom on, 128;
    retreat to cloister, 129;
    legend of a, 131-132;
    her enfranchisement in the Middle Ages, 135-136;
    her condition in the Crusade times, 141;
    the arbiter of knightly honor, 143-144;
    badly influenced by Feudalism, 146;
    Courts of Love for, 155-157;
    Code of Love for, 153-155;
    marriage of, in days of chivalry, 157;
    her position in days of chivalry, 158;
    knightly homage for, 158-159;
    widows under code of chivalry, 161;
    position of, in Italy, 161;
    beloved by Muhammad, 168;
    the Koran on, 168-169;
    Moorish treatment of, 169-170;
    seclusion under Islamism, 169-170;
    her position in Italy in Bembo's time, 204-205

  WOMEN, lost in the deluge, 10;
    in Greece in Sappho's time, 41-42;
    of Lesbos, 44-45;
    Sappho's influence on, 55;
    deification of, in Greece, 58;
    Tacitus on, 81;
    laws of Tiberius on, 81;
    married, reverenced in Rome, 81-82;
    Cæsar's treatment of, 85;
    as brides of Christ, 133;
    in Germany in eighteenth century, 242;
    morals of, in Germany, 242;
    in the eighteenth century, 246


  ZEND AVESTA, the decalogue of the, 150


[1] Herodotus, I., 199.

[2] Strabo, XVI., xi., 532. Baruch, VI. Justinus, XVIII. St. Augustin:
Civit. Dei, IV., 10. Eusebius: Vita Constantini, III., 53-56. _Cf._
Juvenal, Satir. 9: Nam quo non prostat femina templo?

[3] Renan: Le Cantique des Cantiques.

[4] Paraleipomena, XIII.

[5] Philostratus: Apollonius Tyanensis, IV., 16.

[6] Ethica S. Basilii.

[7] Bérard: Les Phéniciens et l'Odyssée.

[8] Opera et Dies, 70.

[9] Xenophon: de Republica Lacedæmoniorum.

[10] Rossetti, D. G.

[11] Epistolæ Heroïdum, XV.

[12] Athenæus, XIII. Musonius: de Luxu. Becker: Charikles.

[13] Saturnalia, III., 9.

[14] Leg. XII Tabularum, Tab. quinta. "Veteres voluerunt foeminas etiam
perfectæ ætatis, propter animi lævitatem, in tutela esse. Itaque, si quis
filio filiæve testamento tutorem dederit, et ambo ad pubertatem
pervenerint, filius quidem desinit habere tutorem, filia vero nihilominus
in tutela permanet."

[15] Valerius Maximus, II., i. Pliny, XIV., 13.

[16] "Juris humani et divini communicatio."--Modestin.

[17] Leg. XII. Tabularum. Valerius Maximus, VI., i. Livy, X., 31; XXV., 2.
Tacitus: Annal., II., 85. Ulpianus: de Ritu Nuptiarum.

[18] Cicero: de Arusp. Quod in agro Latiniensi auditus est strepitus cum
fremitu. _Ibid_: Providete ne reipublica status commutetur.

[19] Michelet: Histoire Romaine. Saltus: Imperial Purple.

[20] Plutarch: Antonii vita. _Cf._ Michelet, _op. cit._

[21] Suetonius: Augustus, XVIII. Velleius Paterculus, II. lxxxiii. Vergil:
Æneid, VIII. Horace: Epod., 9.

[22] Cod. 2, de inutil. Stipulat.

[23] Matthew xvi. 21.

[24] Stromata, III., 6-9.

[25] Timothy ii. 11-12. 1 Corinthians ix. 9. 1 Corinthians vii. 38.

[26] Concil. Trident., sess. XXIV., canon 10.

[27] Augustin: De bono conjugio.

[28] Matthew xix. 12. Revelations xiv.

[29] St. Justin: Apolog., I., 14, 35.

[30] Clement: Strom., III., 6. Hermas: Similit., IX., ii. "Nobiscum dormi
non ut maritus, sed ut frater." Hermas: Visio, I., 2. "Conjugi tuæ quæ
futura est (incipit esse) soror tua."

[31] Boetius, Lib. XVII. Quidam dominus quem vidi, primam sponsarum
carnalem cognitionem ut suam petebat. Du Cange: _Marchetum_. Marcheto
mulieris dicitur virginalis pudicitiæ violatio et delibatio.

[32] Récits des Temps Mérovingiens.

[33] Acta Sanctorum.

[34] Michelet: Histoire de France.

[35] I Corinthians xii. 7-9.

[36] Michaud: Histoire des Croisades.

[37] Eginhard: Vita Karoli IX.

[38] Summa Hostiensis, IV. De Sponsalibus.

[39] Beaumanoir, LVII. "Tout mari peut battre sa femme, pourvu que ce soit
modérément et sans que mort s'ensuivre."

[40] St. Jerome: Vita S. Fabiolæ.

[41] Juris Pontificii Analecta.

[42] Ste. Palaye: L'ancienne Chevalerie.

[43] Maître André, chapelain de la cour royale de France. Manuscrit de la
Bibliothèque nationale, No. 8758.

[44] "Des personnages de grands renoms estant venus visiter le pape
Innocent III à Avignon, furent ouïr les definitions et sentences d'amour
prononcées par les dames."--Nostradamus.

[45] Martial d'Auvergne: Les Arrêts d'Amour.

[46] Assises de Jérusalem.

[47] Conde: Historia de la dominacion de los Arabes en España.

[48] "Ex Arabibus versum simili sono concluendorum artem accepimus." Huet.

[49] "De orden del cardenal Cisneros se abrazaron mas de ochenta mil
volùmenes como si no tuvieran mas libros que su Alcoran."--Aledrès;
Descripcion de España.

[50] "... Fue muy buen caballero, y se decia de él que tenia las diez
prendas que distinguen à los nobles y generosos, que consisten en bondad,
valentia, caballeria, gentileza, poesia, bien hablar, fuerza, destreza en
la lanza, en la espada y en el tirar del arco." Conde, II., 63.

[51] "Dans les pays soumis à l'Islam on ne voit aucune femme
publique."--Viardot: Hist. des Arabes.

[52] Conde, II., 93.

[53] Escolano: Historia de Valencia. "La lengua maestria de la España es
la lemosina."

[54] "Con l'altre donne mia vista gabbate."

[55] Epistolæ sine titulo.

[56] Lobineau: Histoire de Bretagne.

[57] Manuscrit de la Bibl. nationale, No. 493, F.

[58] Saltus: The Pomps of Satan.

[59] Michelet: Hist. de France.

[60] Luther: Tisch-Reden.

[61] Castiglione: Il Cortegiano. Ficino: Il comento sopra il convito.

[62] Firenzuola: Ragionamenti.

[63] Sauval: Mémoires Historiques concernant les amours des rois de

[64] Guiffrey: "Lettres inédites."

[65] Tallemant des Reaux: Historiettes.

[66] Dupleix: Histoire de Louis XIII.

[67] Pierre de l'Estoile: Mémoires et journaux.

[68] Macaulay: "History of England."

[69] Saint-Victor: L'Espagne sous Charles II.

[70] Menzel: Germany.

[71] Earl Malmesbury's Diaries and Correspondence.

[72] Scherr: Deutsche Kulturgeschichte.

[73] Hervey: Memoirs.

[74] Goncourt: La Femme au dix-huitième siècle.

[75] "Il lui fit sept enfants sans lui dire un mot."--d'Argenson.

[76] Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung.

Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _underscore_.

Superscripted letters are shown in {brackets}.

Some quotes are opened with marks but are not closed. Obvious errors
have been silently closed, while those requiring interpretation have
been left open.

The following misprints have been corrected:
  "at" corrected to "as" (page 131)
  "hubsands" corrected to "husbands" (page 169)
  "Wmen" corrected to "Women" (page 215)
  "it" corrected to "is" (page 260)
  "Sapho" corrected to "Sappho" (index)
  "at" corrected to "as" (index)
  "teh" corrected to "the" (index)

The following spellings have been standardized in the index:
  "Heloïse" standardized to "Héloïse"
  "Muhammedanism" standardized to "Muhammadanism"
  "Islam" standardized to "Islâm"
  "HEPTAMERON" standardized to "HEPTAMÉRON"
  "MUHAMMED" standardized to "MUHAMMAD"
  "GERARD" standardized to "GÉRARD"
  "SCUDERY" standardized to "SCUDÉRY"
  "Mohammed" standardized to "Muhammad"

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