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At which the company falling into a loud laughter; How! said Protogenes, can you believe that I at this time wage war against love, and that I do not rather fight for love against intemperate desire and lascivious wantonness, which, under the shelter of the most honest and fairest names that are, let themselves loose into the most shameful acts of inordinate lust and concupiscence? Then Daphnaeus: Do ye number wedlock and the conjunction of man [p. 258] and wife (than which there is no tie more sacred in this life) among the vile and dishonest actions of the world? Why truly, replied Protogenes, this same bond of wedlock, as being necessary for generation, is not undeservedly perhaps extolled by our grave politicians and lawgivers, and by them recommended to the multitude. But I must tell ye, if you mean true love, there is not a farthing's worth of it to be found among women. Nor do I believe that either you yourselves, or any other that dote so much as you pretend to do upon women and virgins, love them any otherwise than as flies love milk, or bees love honey-combs; or as cooks and butchers fat up calves and poultry in the dark, not out of any extraordinary affection which they bear to these creatures, but for the gain which they make of them. But as Nature prompts all men to the use of bread and meat with moderation and so far as may suffice the appetite, the excess of which becomes a vice, under the name of gluttony or gormandizing; thus it is natural for men and women to desire the pleasures of mutual enjoyment, but as for that impetuous concupiscence that hurries the greatest part of mankind with so much strength and violence, it is not properly called love. For love that is bred in a young and truly generous heart, by means of friendship, terminates in virtue; whereas all our desires towards women, let them be taken in the best sense he can, serve us only to reap the fruit of pleasure, and to assist us in the fruition of youth and beauty. As Aristippus testified to one that would have put him out of conceit with Lais, for that, as he said, she did not truly love him; no more, said he, am I beloved by pure wine or good fish, and yet I willingly make use of both. For the end of desire is pleasure and enjoyment. But love, having once lost the hopes of friendship, will neither tarry, nor cherish for beauty's sake that which is irksome, though never so gaudy in the flower of youth, if it bring not forth the fruit of a disposition propense to [p. 259] friendship and virtue. And therefore it is that you hear a certain husband in a tragedy thus talking to his wife:
Thou hat'st me? True;—and I thy proud disdain
Will brook with patience, careless of the pain,
So long as my dishonor gives me gain.

Now I take him to be not at all a more amorous man than this, that can endure, for the sake of his carnal pleasure, and not for gain, the plague of a curst ill-natured shrew, that is always scolding. The first of which love-martyrs Philippides the comedian thus derided in the person of Stratocles the rhetorician:

She lowers and growls and turns her tail
With fury so unkind,
The wittol blest would think himself,
To kiss her coif behind.

Now if this be the passion you talk of which is to be called Love, it is a spurious and effeminate love that sends us to the women's chambers, as it were to the Cynosarges at Athens. Or rather, as they say there is a sort of generous and true bred mountain eagle, which Homer calls the black eagle and eagle of prey, and then again there is another sort of bastard eagle, that takes fish and birds that are lazy and slow of flight, and wanting food makes a shrill and mournful noise for hunger; thus the true genuine love is that of boys, not flaming with concupiscence, as according to Anacreon the love of maids and virgins does, neither besmeared with odoriferous ointments, nor alluring with smiles and rolling glances; but you shall find him plain and simple and undebauched with pleasures in the schools of the philosophers, or in the wrestling-lists and places of public exercise, smart and generous in the chase of youth, and exhorting to virtue all that he finds to be fit objects of his diligence; whereas that other love, nice and effeminate, and always nestling in the bosoms and beds of women, pursuing soft pleasures, and wasted with unmanly delights, that have no gust of friendship or heavenly ravishment of [p. 260] mind, is to be despised and rejected of all mankind. This indeed Solon did, when he forbade slaves and servants the use of male familiarity and of dry ointment, but granted them the liberty to accompany with women; as looking upon friendship to be laudable and civil, but pleasure to be a vulgar thing and unbecoming a man born free. Whence it appears that to make love to a slave boy is ignoble and unworthy of a freeman ; for this is mere mischievous love of copulation, like the affection toward women.

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