The sexual, more than any other physical element, corresponds to the Brunonian theory of life. It lies at the bottom of society's Esthetic feelings. A hidden world of ideals reveals itself in every gradation of sexual development. There may be seductions, rape, fierce tragedies of human passion, but the love of youth for youth is ever romantic, vivifying, idealistic, uplifting. So-called platonic love is an impossibility. Such a passion, or rather profession, becomes a simple friendship as soon as the sexual element is eliminated. But, on the other hand, an over-sensual, or purely sensual, love can neither be true nor lasting. Only that affection which rests on a twofold foundation of sexual desire and respect, on recognition of the social, moral, intellectual and psychical, as well as physical, charms of its object, can ever rise to the purity and strength of an emotion capable, not only of enjoying pleasure, but, of accepting suffering for the sake of its beloved object.
The Greeks represented love under two characters—one a love for the good and beautiful, in the abstract; the other a sexual passion pure and simple. Eros meant passion, lust, desire—the purely physical craving of aex for sex; and Agapse signified non-sexual love, friendship, affection, and tells us that Sir Walter Manny, in Edward Ill's time, "while stuck full of ladies' favors, fought like a very devil." Castilio thinks that Ferdinand of Spain would never have conquered Grenada had not Isabella and her Court been present at the siege; and not Cxkst nor Alexander could accomplish greater triumphs than Sir Lancelot or simple kindliness of feeling; but there can be no doubt that the most perfect type of the passion is that in which both sentiments are present.
•Sir Tristram; nor Hector nor Achilles put on a more martial front than the brave Sir Blandimor and Paridel, the fairy knights, fighting for the love of Florimel.
1 Comp. Grote, Friedlander, Suetonius, Moreau. Guizot, Leek y.
Love has been the theme of the ages. From the village laureate to the blind bard, who "hymned in canticles of deathless fire" the first passion of our foreparents in the garden of Eden. From Sappho to Shelley, and from Solomon to Suckling; from Pindar to Petrarch, and Sophocles to Shakspeare; line upon line and precept upon precept have been piled, till, as one quaintly observes, " the whole world hath scarce room for them.'-' Novelists have depicted it, and dramatists portrayed it, and maidens dreamed about it, and actors declaimed it, and ministers preached on it, and cynics ridiculed it, and philosophers analyzed it, and cuckolds cursed it, and women and men have died for it; and yet it stands as the inspiration and strongest moving impulse of humanity to-day, the most talked about and the least understood.
1 "Qui calidum testiculorum crasin habent," etc. 1 "Erotique Mel.," Paris, 1624.
1 " Amoris primum gradum visus habet, ut aspiciat rem amatam," It is very doubtful, indeed, whether the most acute, learned, scientifically metaphysical attempt to define love, according to the laws of modern logic, will be found, after all, very much superior, or more satisfying, than the dictum of early Medicine which made it an "affection of the forepart of the head, from want of moisture:" ob calejactionem spirituum para anterior capitis laborat ob consumplionem humidiiati*.