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Historia Amoris: A History of Love, Ancient and Modern   By: (1855-1921)

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By Mr. Saltus

MARY MAGDALEN THE POMPS OF SATAN IMPERIAL PURPLE THE ANATOMY OF NEGATION THE PERFUME OF EROS VANITY SQUARE

HISTORIA AMORIS

A History of Love Ancient and Modern

By EDGAR SALTUS

NEW YORK MITCHELL KENNERLEY MCMVI

Copyright 1906 By EDGAR SALTUS

HISTORIA AMORIS

PART ONE

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

PART TWO

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

HISTORIA AMORIS

Part One

PART I

I

SUPER FLUMINA BABYLONIS

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 occurred.

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... Continue reading book >>




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