By henry t. Finck

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Primitive Love and Love-Stories

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On page 654 of the present volume reference is made to a custom prevalent in northern India of employing the family barber to select the boys and girls to be married, it being considered too trivial and humiliating an act for the parents to attend to. In pronouncing such a custom ludicrous and outrageous we must not forget that not much more than a century ago an English thinker, Samuel Johnson, expressed the opinion that marriages might as well be arranged by the Lord Chancellor without consulting the parties concerned. Schopenhauer had, indeed, reason to claim that it had remained for him to discover the significance and importance of love. His ideas on the relations between love, youth, health, and beauty opened up a new vista of thought; yet it was limited, because the question of heredity was only just beginning to be understood, and the theory of evolution, which has revolutionized all science, had not yet appeared on the horizon.

The new science of anthropology, with its various branches, including sociology, ethnology, and comparative psychology, has within the last two or three decades brought together and discussed an immense number of facts relating to man in his various stages of development--savagery, barbarism, semi-civilization, and civilization. Monographs have appeared in great numbers on various customs and institutions, including marriage, which has been discussed in several exhaustive volumes. Love alone has remained to be specially considered from an evolutionary point of view. My own book, Romantic Love and Personal Beauty, which appeared in 1887, did indeed touch upon this question, but very briefly, inasmuch as its subject, as the title indicates, was modern romantic love. A book on such a subject was naturally and easily written _virginibus puerisque_; whereas the present volume, being concerned chiefly with the love-affairs of savages and barbarians, could not possibly have been subjected to the same restrictions. Care has been taken, however, to exclude anything that might offend a healthy taste.

If it has been necessary in some chapters to multiply unpleasant facts, the reader must blame the sentimentalists who have so persistently whitewashed the savages that it has become necessary, in the interest of truth, to show them in their real colors. I have indeed been tempted to give my book the sub-title "A Vindication of Civilization" against the misrepresentations of these sentimentalists who try to create the impression that savages owe all their depravity to contact with whites, having been originally spotless angels. If my pictures of the unadulterated savage may in some cases produce the same painful impression as the sights in a museum's "chamber of horrors," they serve, on the other hand, to show us that, bad as we may be, collectively, we are infinitely superior in love-affairs, as in everything else, to those primitive peoples; and thus we are encouraged to hope for further progress in the future in the direction of purity and altruism.

Although I have been obliged under the circumstances to indulge in a considerable amount of controversy, I have taken great pains to state the views of my opponents fairly, and to be strictly impartial in presenting facts with accuracy. Nothing could be more foolish than the ostrich policy, so often indulged in, of hiding facts in the hope that opponents will not see them. Had I found any data inconsistent with my theory I should have modified it in accordance with them. I have also been very careful in regard to my authorities. The chief cause of the great confusion reigning in anthropological literature is that, as a rule, evidence is piled up with a pitchfork. Anyone who has been anywhere and expressed a globe-trotter's opinion is cited as a witness, with deplorable results. I have not only taken most of my multitudinous facts from the original sources, but I have critically examined the witnesses to see what right they have to parade as experts; as in the cases, for instance, of Catlin, Schoolcraft, Chapman, and Stephens, who are responsible for many "false facts" that have misled philosophers.

In writing a book like this the author's function is comparable to that of an architect who gets his materials from various parts of the world and fashions them into a building of more or less artistic merit. The anthropologist has to gather his facts from a greater variety of sources than any other writer, and from the very nature of his subject he is obliged to quote incessantly. The following pages embody the results of more than twelve years' research in the libraries of America and Europe. In weaving my quotations into a continuous fabric I have adopted a plan which I believe to be ingenious, and which certainly saves space and annoyance. Instead of citing the full titles of books every time they are referred to either in the text or in footnotes, I merely give the author's name and the page number, if only one of his books is referred to; and if there are several books, I give the initials--say Brinton, _M.N.W_., 130; which means Brinton's Myths of the New World, page 130. The key to the abbreviations will be found at the end of the volume in the bibliography, which also includes an author's index, separate from the index of subjects. This avoids the repetition of titles or of the customary useless "_loc. cit_.," and spares the reader the annoyance of constant interruption of his reading to glance at the bottom of the page.

Not a few of the critics of my first book, ignoring the difference between a romantic love-story and a story of romantic love, fancied they could refute me by simply referring to some ancient romantic story. To prevent a repetition of that procedure I have adorned these pages with a number of love-stories, adding critical comments wherever called for. These stories, I believe, augment, not only the interest but the scientific value of the monograph. In gathering them I have often wondered why no one anticipated me, though, to be sure, it was not an easy task, as they are scattered in hundreds of books, and in scientific periodicals where few would look for them. At the same time I confess that to me the tracing of the plot of the evolution of love, with its diverse obstacles, is more fascinating than the plot of an individual love-story. At any rate, since we have thousands of such love-stories, I am perhaps not mistaken in assuming that the story of love itself will be welcomed as a pleasant change. H.T.F.

NEW YORK, October 27, 1899.



Origin of a Book Skeptical Critics Robert Burton Hegel on Greek Love Shelley on Greek Love Macaulay, Bulwer-Lytton, Gautier Goldsmith and Rousseau Love a Compound Feeling Herbert Spencer's Analysis Active Impulses Must be Added Sensuality the Antipode of Love The Word Romantic Animals Higher than Savages Love the Last, Not the First, Product of Civilization Plan of this Volume Greek Sentimentality Importance of Love


No Love of Romantic Scenery No Love in Early Religion Murder as a Virtue Slaughter of the Innocents Honorable Polygamy Curiosities of Modesty Indifference to Chastity Horror of Incest


Ingredients of Love.


All Girls Equally Attractive Shallow Predilection Repression of Preference Utility versus Sentiment A Story of African Love Similarity of Individuals and Sexes Primary and Secondary Sexual Characters Fastidious Sensuality is not Love Two Stories of Indian Love Feminine Ideals Superior to Masculine Sex in Body and Mind True Femininity and its Female Enemies Mysteries of Love,--An Oriental Love-Story


Juliet and Nothing but Juliet Butterfly Love Romantic Stories of Non-Romantic Love Obstacles to Monopolism Wives and Girls in Common Trial Marriages Two Roman Lovers


Rage at Rivals Women as Private Property Horrible Punishments Essence of True Jealousy Absence of Masculine Jealousy Persian and Greek Jealousy Primitive Feminine Jealousy Absence of Feminine Jealousy Jealousy Purged of Hate A Virtuous Sin Abnormal States Jealousy in Romantic Love


Women Who Woo Were Hebrew and Greek Women Coy? Masculine Coyness Shy but not Coy Militarism and Mediaeval Women What Made Women Coy? Capturing Women The Comedy of Mock Capture Why the Women Resist Quaint Customs Greek and Roman Mercenary Coyness Modesty and Coyness Utility of Coyness How Women Propose


Amorous Antitheses Courtship and Imagination Effects of Sensual Love


Girls and Flowers Eyes and Stars Locks and Fragrance Poetic Desire for Contact Nature's Sympathy with Lovers Romantic but not Loving The Power of Love


Comic Side of Love A Mystery Explained Importance of Pride Varieties and Germs Natural and Artificial Symptoms of Love


Egotism, Naked or Masked Delight in the Torture of Others Indifference to Suffering Exposing the Sick and Aged Birth of Sympathy Women Crueler than Men Plato Denounces Sympathy Sham Altruism in India Evolution of Sympathy Amorous Sympathy


Deification of Persons Primitive Contempt for Women Homage to Priestesses Kinship Through Females Only Woman's Domestic Rule Woman's Political Rule Greek Estimate of Women Man-Worship and Christianity


The Gallant Rooster Ungallant Lower Races of Men Egyptian Love Arabian Love The Unchivalrous Greeks Ovid's Sham Gallantry Mediaeval and Modern Gallantry "An Insult to Woman," Summary A Sure Test of Love


The Lady and the Tiger A Greek Love-Story Persian Love Hero and Leander The Elephant and the Lotos Suicide is Selfish


Erotic Assassins The Wisdom of Solomon Stuff and Nonsense Sacrifices of Cannibal Husbands Inclinations Mistaken for Affection Selfish Liking and Attachment Foolish Fondness Unselfish Affection


German Testimony English Testimony Maiden Fancies Pathologic Love A Modern Sentiment Persians, Turks, and Hindoos Love Despised in Japan and China Greek Scorn for Woman-Love Penetrative Virginity


Darwin's Unfortunate Mistake Decoration for Protection War "Decorations," Amulets, Charms, Medicines Mourning Language Indications of Tribe or Rank Vain Desire to Attract Attention Objects of Tattooing Tattooing on Pacific Islands Tattooing in America Tattooing in Japan Scarification Alleged Testimony of Natives, Misleading Testimony of Visitors "Decoration" at the Age of Puberty "Decoration" as a Test of Courage Mutilation, Fashion, and Emulation Personal Beauty versus Personal Decoration De Gustibus non est Disputandum? Indifference to Dirt Reasons for Bathing Corpulence versus Beauty Fattening Girls for the Marriage Market Oriental Ideals The Concupiscence Theory of Beauty Utility is not Beauty A New Sense Easily Lost Again Moral Ugliness Beautifying Intelligence The Strange Greek Attitude


Definition of Love Why called Romantic.


Appetite and Longing Wiles of an Oriental Girl Rarity of True Love.


How Romantic Love is Metamorphosed Why Savages Value Wives Mourning to Order Mourning for Entertainment The Truth about Widow-Burning Feminine Devotion in Ancient Literature Wives Esteemed as Mothers Only Why Conjugal Precedes Romantic Love


I. Ignorance and Stupidity II. Coarseness and Obscenity III. War IV. Cruelty V. Masculine Selfishness VI. Contempt for Women VII. Capture and Sale of Brides VIII. Infant Marriages IX. Prevention of Free Choice X. Separation of the Sexes XI. Sexual Taboos XII. Race Aversions XIII. Multiplicity of Languages XIV. Social Barriers XV. Religious Prejudice


Bushman Qualifications for Love "Love in all Their Marriages," False Facts Regarding Hottentots Effeminate Men and Masculine Women How the Hottentot Woman "Rules at Home," "Regard for Women" Capacity for Refined Love Hottentot Coarseness Fat versus Sentiment South African Love-Poems A Hottentot Flirt Kaffir Morals Individual Preference for--Cows, Bargaining for Brides Amorous Preferences Zulu Girls not Coy Charms and Poems A Kaffir Love-Story Lower than Beasts Colonies of Free Lovers A Lesson in Gallantry Not a Particle of Romance No Love Among Negroes A Queer Story Suicides Poetic Love on the Congo Black Love in Kamerun A Slave Coast Love-Story The Maiden who Always Refused African Story-Books The Five Suitors Tamba and the Princess The Sewing Match Baling out the Brook Proverbs about Women African Amazons Where Woman Commands No Chance for Romantic Love Pastoral Love Abyssinian Beauty and Flirtation Galla Coarseness Somali Love-Affairs Arabic Influences Touareg Chivalry An African Love-Letter


Personal Charms of Australians Cruel Treatment of Women Were Savages Corrupted by Whites? Aboriginal Horrors Naked and not Ashamed Is Civilization Demoralizing? Aboriginal Wantonness Lower than Brutes Indifference to Chastity Useless Precautions Survivals of Promiscuity Aboriginal Depravity The Question of Promiscuity Why do Australians Marry? Curiosities of Jealousy Pugnacious Females Wife-Stealing Swapping Girls The Philosophy of Elopements Charming a Woman by Magic Other Obstacles to Love Marriage Taboos and "Incest" Affection for Women and Dogs A Horrible Custom Romantic Affliction A Lock of Hair Two Native Stories Barrington's Love-Story Risking Life for a Woman Gerstaecker's Love-Story Local Color in Courtship Love-Letters.


Where Women Propose Bornean Caged Girls Charms of Dyak Women Dyak Morals Nocturnal Courtship Head Hunters A-Wooing Fickle and Shallow Passion Dyak Love-Songs The Girl With the Clean Face Fijian Refinements How Cannibals Treat Women Fijian Modesty and Chastity Emotional Curiosities Fijian Love-Poems Serenades and Proposals Suicides and Bachelors Samoan Traits Courtship Pantomime Two Samoan Love-Stories Personal Charms of South Sea Islanders Tahitians and Their White Visitors Heartless Treatment of Women Two Stories of Tahitian Infatuation Captain Cook on Tahitian Love Were the Tongans Civilized? Love of Scenery A Cannibal Bargain The Handsome Chiefs Honeymoon in a Cave A Hawaiian Cave-Story Is this Romantic Love? Vagaries of Hawaiian Fondness Hawaiian Morals The Helen of Hawaii Intercepted Love-Letters Maoris of New Zealand The Maiden of Rotorua The Man on the Tree Love in a Fortress Stratagem of an Elopement Maori Love-Poems The Wooing-House Liberty of Choice and Respect for Women Maori Morals and Capacity for Love


The Red Lover The Foam Woman The Humpback Magician The Buffalo King The Haunted Grove The Girl and the Scalp A Chippewa Love-Song How "Indian Stories" are Written Reality versus Romance Deceptive Modesty Were Indians Corrupted by Whites? The Noble Red Man Apparent Exceptions Intimidating California Squaws Going A-Calumeting Squaws and Personal Beauty Are North American Indians Gallant? South American Gallantry How Indians Adore Squaws Choosing a Husband Compulsory "Free Choice" A British Columbia Story The Danger of Coquetry The Girl Market Other Ways of Thwarting Free Choice Central and South American Examples Why Indians Elope Suicide and Love Love-Charms Curiosities of Courtship Pantomimic Love-Making Honeymoon Music in Indian Courtship Indian Love-Poems More Love-Stories "White Man Too Much Lie" The Story of Pocahontas Verdict: No Romantic Love The Unloving Eskimo.


"Whole Tracts of Feeling Unknown to Them" Practical Promiscuity "Marvellously Pretty and Romantic" Liberty of Choice Scalps and Field-Mice A Topsy-Turvy Custom Pahária Lads and Lasses Child-Murder and Child-Marriage Monstrous Parental Selfishness How Hindoo Girls are Disposed of Hindoos Far Below Brutes Contempt in Place of Love Widows and Their Tormentors Hindoo Depravity Temple Girls An Indian Aspasia Symptoms of Feminine Love Symptoms of Masculine Love Lyrics and Dramas I. The Story of Sakuntala II. The Story of Urvasi III. Malavika and Agnimitra IV. The Story of Savitri V. Nala and Damayanti Artificial Symptoms The Hindoo God of Love Dying for Love What Hindoo Poets Admire in Women The Old Story of Selfishness Bayadères and Princesses as Heroines Voluntary Unions not Respectable


The Story of Jacob and Rachel The Courting of Rebekah How Ruth Courted Boaz No Sympathy or Sentiment A Masculine Ideal of Womanhood Not the Christian Ideal of Love Unchivalrous Slaughter of Women Four More Bible Stories Abishag the Shunammite The Song of Songs


Champions of Greek Love Gladstone on the Women of Homer Achilles as a Lover Odysseus, Libertine and Ruffian Was Penelope a Model Wife? Hector and Andromache Barbarous Treatment of Greek Women Love in Sappho's Poems Masculine Minds in Female Bodies Anacreon and Others Woman and Love in Aeschylus Woman and Love in Sophocles Woman and Love in Euripides Romantic Love, Greek Style Platonic Love of Women Spartan Opportunities for Love Amazonian Ideal of Greek Womanhood Athenian Orientalism Literature and Life Greek Love in Africa Alexandrian Chivalry The New Comedy Theocritus and Callimachus Medea and Jason Poets and Hetairai Short Stories Greek Romances Daphnis and Chloe Hero and Leander Cupid and Psyche








"Love is always the same. As Sappho loved, fifty years ago, so did people love ages before her; so will they love thousands of years hence."

These words, placed by Professor Ebers in the mouth of one of the characters in his historic novel, An Egyptian Princess, express the prevalent opinion on this subject, an opinion which I, too, shared fifteen years ago. Though an ardent champion of the theory of evolution, I believed that there was one thing in the world to which modern scientific ideas of gradual development did not apply--that love was too much part and parcel of human nature to have ever been different from what it is to-day.


It so happened that I began to collect notes for a paper on "How to Cure Love." It was at first intended merely as a personal experiment in emotional psychology. Afterward it occurred to me that such a sketch might be shaped into a readable magazine article. This, again, suggested a complementary article on "How to Win Love"--a sort of modern Ovid in prose; and then suddenly came the thought,

"Why not write a book on love? There is none in the English language--strange anomaly--though love is supposed to be the most fascinating and influential thing in the world. It will surely be received with delight, especially if I associate with it some chapters on personal beauty, the chief inspirer of love. I shall begin by showing that the ancient Greeks and Romans and Hebrews loved precisely as we love."

Forthwith I took down from my shelves the classical authors that I had not touched since leaving college, and eagerly searched for all references to women, marriage, and love. To my growing surprise and amazement I found that not only did those ancient authors look upon women as inferior beings while I worshipped them, but in their descriptions of the symptoms of love I looked in vain for mention of those supersensual emotions and self-sacrificing impulses which overcame me when I was in love. "Can it be," I whispered to myself, "that, notwithstanding the universal opinion to the contrary, love is, after all, subject to the laws of development?"

This hypothesis threw me into a fever of excitement, without the stimulus of which I do not believe I should have had the courage and patience to collect, classify, and weave into one fabric the enormous number of facts and opinions contained within the covers of Romantic Love and Personal Beauty. I believed that at last something new under the sun had been found, and I was so much afraid that the discovery might leak out prematurely, that for two years I kept the first half of my title a secret, telling inquisitive friends merely that I was writing a book on Personal Beauty. And no one but an author who is in love with his theme and whose theme is love can quite realize what a supreme delight it was--with occasional moments of anxious suspense--to go through thousands of books in the libraries of America, England, France, and Germany and find that all discoverable facts, properly interpreted, bore out my seemingly paradoxical and reckless theory.


When the book appeared some of the critics accepted my conclusions, but a larger number pooh-poohed them. Here are a few specimen comments:

"His great theses are, first, that romantic love is an entirely modern invention; and, secondly, that romantic love and conjugal love are two things essentially different.... Now both these theses are luckily false."

"He is wrong when he says there was no such thing as pre-matrimonial love known to the ancients."

"I don't believe in his theory at all, and ... no one is likely to believe in it after candid examination."

"A ridiculous theory."

"It was a misfortune when Mr. Finck ran afoul of this theory."

"Mr. Finck will not need to live many years in order to be ashamed of it."

"His thesis is not worth writing about."

"It is true that he has uttered a profoundly original thought, but, unfortunately, the depth of its originality is surpassed by its fathomless stupidity."

"If in the light of these and a million other facts, we should undertake to explain why nobody had anticipated Mr. Finck's theory that love is a modern sentiment, we should say it might be because nobody who felt inspired to write about it was ever so extensively unacquainted with the literature of the human passions."

"Romantic love has always existed, in every clime and age, since man left simian society; and the records of travellers show that it is to be found even among the lowest savages."


While not a few of the commentators thus rejected or ridiculed my thesis, others hinted that I had been anticipated. Several suggested that Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy had been my model. As a matter of fact, although one of the critics referred to my book as "a marvel of epitomized research," I must confess, to my shame, that I was not aware that Burton had devoted two hundred pages to what he calls Love-Melancholy, until I had finished the first sketch of my manuscript and commenced to rewrite it. My experience thus furnished a striking verification of the witty epitaph which Burton wrote for himself and his book: "Known to few, unknown to fewer still." However, after reading Burton, I was surprised that any reader of Burton should have found anything in common between his book and mine, for he treated love as an appetite, I as a sentiment; my subject was pure, supersensual affection, while his subject is frankly indicated in the following sentences:

"I come at last to that heroical love, which is proper to men and women ... and deserves much rather to be called burning lust than by such an honorable title." "This burning lust ... begets rapes, incests, murders." "It rages with all sorts and conditions of men, yet is most evident among such as are young and lusty, in the flower of their years, nobly descended, high fed, such as live idly, at ease, and for that cause (which our divines call burning lust) this mad and beastly passion ... is named by our physicians heroical love, and a more honorable title put upon it, Amor nobilis, as Savonarola styles it, because noble men and women make a common practice of it, and are so ordinarily affected with it." "Carolus à Lorme ... makes a doubt whether this heroical love be a disease.... Tully ... defines it a furious disease of the mind; Plato madness itself."

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