Clive Staples Lewis (29 November – 22 November ) was a British Epub, epub, If you cannot open raudone.info file on your mobile device. Support epubBooks by making a small PayPal donation download. Here, the incomparable C. S. Lewis examines human love in four forms: affection, the most . Download The Four Loves free ebook (pdf, epub, mobi) by C.S. Lewis Here, the incomparable C. S. Lewis examines human love in four.
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The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis - free #EPUB or #site download from raudone.info The Four Loves, by C. Lewis is based on love as defined by affection. C.S. Lewis's famous inspirational work on the nature of love. 'The Four Loves' divides love into four categories: Affection, Friendship, Eros and Charity. The first . C.S. Lewis's famous inspirational work on the nature of love. `The Four Loves' divides love into four categories: Affection, Friendship, Eros and Charity. The first .
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But the single English word "love" is used for several quite different things, as Professor Lewis demonstrates with his customary clarity and brilliance.
Limit the size to characters. However, note that many search engines truncate at a much shorter size, about characters. Your suggestion will be processed as soon as possible. Clive Staples. Clive Staples Lewis 29 November — 22 November was a British novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer, and Christian apologist.
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For natural loves that are allowed to become gods do not remain loves. They are still called so, but can become in fact complicated forms of hatred. Our Need-loves may be greedy and exacting but they do not set up to be gods. They are not near enough by likeness to God to attempt that. It follows from what has been said that we must join neither the idolaters nor the "debunkers" of human love.
Idolatry both of erotic love and of "the domestic affections" was the great error of Nineteenth Century literature. Browning, Kingsley, and Patmore sometimes talk as if they thought that falling in love was the same thing as sanctification; the novelists habitually oppose to "the World" not the Kingdom of Heaven but the home. We live in the reaction against this. The debunkers stigmatise as slush and sentimentality a very great deal of what their fathers said in praise of love.
They are always pulling up and exposing the grubby roots of our natural loves. But I take it we must listen neither "to the over-wise nor to the over-foolish giant". The highest does not stand without the lowest. A plant must have roots below as well as sunlight above and roots must be grubby. Much of the grubbiness is clean dirt if only you will leave it in the garden and not keep on sprinkling it over the library table. The human loves can be glorious images of Divine love. No less than that: but also no more--proximities of likeness which in one instance may help, and in another may hinder, proximity of approach.
Sometimes perhaps they have not very much to do with it either way. CHAPTER II Likings and Loves for the Sub-human Most of my generation were reproved as children for saying that we "loved" strawberries, and some people take a pride in the fact that English has the two verbs love and like while French has to get on with aimer for both.
But French has a good many other languages on its side. Indeed it very often has actual English usage on its side too. Nearly all speakers, however pedantic or however pious, talk every day about "loving" a food, a game, or a pursuit. And in fact there is a continuity between our elementary likings for things and our loves for people.
Since "the highest does not stand without the lowest" we had better begin at the bottom, with mere likings; and since to "like" anything means to take some sort of pleasure in it, we must begin with pleasure.
Now it is a very old discovery that pleasures can be divided into two classes; those which would not be pleasures at all unless they were preceded by desire, and those which are pleasures in their own right and need no such preparation. An example of the first would be a drink of water. This is a pleasure if you are thirsty and a great one if you are very thirsty. But probably no one in the world, except in obedience to thirst or to a doctor's orders, ever poured himself out a glass of water and drank it just for the fun of the thing.
An example of the other class would be the unsought and unexpected pleasures of smell--the breath from a bean-field or a row of sweet-peas meeting you on your morning walk. You were in want of nothing, completely contented, before it; the pleasure, which may be very great, is an unsolicited, super-added gift.
I am taking very simple instances for clarity's sake, and of course there are many complications. If you are given coffee or beer where you expected and would have been satisfied with water, then of course you get a pleasure of the first kind allaying of thirst and one of the second a nice taste at the same time. Again, an addiction may turn what was once a pleasure of the second kind into one of the first.
For the temperate man an occasional glass of wine is a treat--like the smell of the bean-field. But to the alcoholic, whose palate and digestion have long since been destroyed, no liquor gives any pleasure except that of relief from an unbearable craving. So far as he can still discern tastes at all, he rather dislikes it; but it is better than the misery of remaining sober.
Yet through all their permutations and combinations the distinction between the two classes remains tolerably clear. We may call them Need-pleasures and Pleasures of Appreciation. The resemblance between these Need-pleasures and the "Need-loves" in my first chapter will occur to everyone.
But there, you remember, I confessed that I had had to resist a tendency to disparage the Need-loves or even to say they were not loves at all. Here, for most people, there may be an opposite inclination. It would be very easy to spread ourselves in laudation of the Need-pleasures and to frown upon those that are Appreciatives: the one so natural a word to conjure with , so necessary, so shielded from excess by their very naturalness, the other unnecessary and opening the door to every kind of luxury and vice.
If we were short of matter on this theme we could turn on the tap by opening the works of the Stoics and it would run till we had a bathful. But throughout this inquiry we must be careful never to adopt prematurely a moral or evaluating attitude. The human mind is generally far more eager to praise and dispraise than to describe and define.
It wants to make every distinction a distinction of value; hence those fatal critics who can never point out the differing quality of two poets without putting them in an order of preference as if they were candidates for a prize.
We must do nothing of the sort about the pleasures. The reality is too complicated. We are already warned of this by the fact that Need-pleasure is the state in which Appreciative pleasures end up when they go bad by addiction. For us at any rate the importance of the two sorts of pleasure lies in the extent to which they foreshadow characteristics in our "loves" properly so called. The thirsty man who has just drunk off a tumbler of water may say, "By Jove, I wanted that.
The man who passes the sweet-peas in his morning walk is more likely to say, "How lovely the smell is. It is easy to see why. Shakespeare has described the satisfaction of a tyrannous lust as something Past reason hunted and, no sooner had, Past reason hated. But the most innocent and necessary of Need-pleasures have about them something of the same character--only something, of course.
They are not hated once we have had them, but they certainly "die on us" with extraordinary abruptness, and completely. The scullery tap and the tumbler are very attractive indeed when we come in parched from mowing the grass; six seconds later they are emptied of all interest.
The smell of frying food is very different before and after breakfast. And, if you will forgive me for citing the most extreme instance of all, have there not for most of us been moments in a strange town when the sight of the word GENTLEMEN over a door has roused a joy almost worthy of celebration in verse? Pleasures of Appreciation are very different.
They make us feel that something has not merely gratified our senses in fact but claimed our appreciation by right. The connoisseur does not merely enjoy his claret as he might enjoy warming his feet when they were cold. He feels that here is a wine that deserves his full attention; that justifies all the tradition and skill that have gone to its making and all the years of training that have made his own palate fit to judge it. There is even a glimmering of unselfishness in his attitude.
He wants the wine to be preserved and kept in good condition, not entirely for his own sake. Even if he were on his death-bed and was never going to drink wine again, he would be horrified at the thought of this vintage being spilled or spoiled or even drunk by clods like myself who can't tell a good claret from a bad.
And so with the man who passes the sweet-peas. He does not simply enjoy, he feels that this fragrance somehow deserves to be enjoyed. He would blame himself if he went past inattentive and undelighted.
It would be blockish, insensitive. It would be a shame that so fine a thing should have been wasted on him. He will remember the delicious moment years hence. He will be sorry when he hears that the garden past which his walk led him that day has now been swallowed up by cinemas, garages, and the new by-pass. Scientifically both sorts of pleasure are, no doubt, relative to our organisms.
But the Need-pleasures loudly proclaim their relativity not only to the human frame but to its momentary condition, and outside that relation have no meaning or interest for us at all. The objects which afford pleasures of appreciation give us the feeling--whether irrational or not--that we somehow owe it to them to savour, to attend to and praise it. But we should never feel this about a Need-pleasure: never blame ourselves or others for not having been thirsty and therefore walking past a well without taking a drink of water.
How the Need-pleasures foreshadow our Need-loves is obvious enough. In the latter the beloved is seen in relation to our own needs, just as the scullery tap is seen by the thirsty man or the glass of gin by the alcoholic. And the Need-love, like the Need-pleasure, will not last longer than the need. This does not, fortunately, mean that all affections which begin in Need-love are transitory.
The need itself may be permanent or recurrent. Another kind of love may be grafted on the Need-love. Moral principles conjugal fidelity, filial piety, gratitude, and the like may preserve the relationship for a lifetime. But where Need-love is left unaided we can hardly expect it not to "die on us" once the need is no more. That is why the world rings with the complaints of mothers whose grown-up children neglect them and of forsaken mistresses whose lovers' love was pure need--which they have satisfied.
Our Need-love for God is in a different position because our need of Him can never end either in this world or in any other. But our awareness of it can, and then the Need-love dies too. Why should they not have been sincere? They were desperate and they howled for help. Who wouldn't? What Appreciative pleasure foreshadows is not so quickly described. First of all, it is the starting point for our whole experience of beauty. It is impossible to draw a line below which such pleasures are "sensual" and above which they are "aesthetic".
The Four Loves (Electronic book text, ePub ed)
The experiences of the expert in claret already contain elements of concentration, judgment, and disciplined perceptiveness, which are not sensual; those of the musician still contain elements which are. There is no frontier--there is seamless continuity--between the sensuous pleasure of garden smells and an enjoyment of the countryside or "beauty" as a whole, or even our enjoyment of the painters and poets who treat it.
And, as we have seen, there is in these pleasures from the very beginning a shadow or dawn of, or an invitation to, disinterestedness. Of course in one way we can be disinterested or unselfish, and far more heroically so, about the Need-pleasures: it is a cup of water that the wounded Sidney sacrifices to the dying soldier. But that is not the sort of disinterestedness I now mean. Sidney loves his neighbour. But in the Appreciative pleasures, even at their lowest, and more and more as they grow up into the full appreciation of all beauty, we get something that we can hardly help calling love and hardly help calling disinterested, towards the object itself.
It is the feeling which would make a man unwilling to deface a great picture even if he were the last man left alive and himself about to die; which makes us glad of unspoiled forests that we shall never see; which makes us anxious that the garden or bean-field should continue to exist. We do not merely like the things; we pronounce them, in a momentarily God-like sense, "very good. It has revealed to me a deficiency in our previous classification of the loves into those of Need and those of Gift.
There is a third element in love, no less important than these, which is foreshadowed by our appreciative pleasures. This judgment that the object is very good, this attention almost homage offered to it as a kind of debt, this wish that it should be and should continue being what it is even if we were never to enjoy it, can go out not only to things but to persons.
When it is offered to a woman we call it admiration; when to a man, hero-worship; when to God, worship simply.
Need-love cries to God from our poverty; Gift-love longs to serve, or even to suffer for, God; Appreciative love says: "We give thanks to thee for thy great glory. We murder to dissect. In actual life, thank God, the three elements of love mix and succeed on another, moment by moment. Perhaps none of them except Need-love ever exists alone, in "chemical" purity, for more than a few seconds.
And perhaps that is because nothing about us except our neediness is, in this life, permanent. Two forms of love for what is not personal demand special treatment.
For some people, perhaps especially for Englishmen and Russians, what we call "the love of nature" is a permanent and serious sentiment. I mean here that love of nature which cannot be adequately classified simply as an instance of our love for beauty. Of course many natural objects--trees, flowers and animals--are beautiful. But the nature-lovers whom I have in mind are not very much concerned with individual beautiful objects of that sort. The man who is distracts them. An enthusiastic botanist is for them a dreadful companion on a ramble.
He is always stopping to draw their attention to particulars. Nor are they looking for "views" or landscapes. Wordsworth, their spokesman, strongly deprecates this. It leads to "a comparison of scene with scene", makes you "pamper" yourself with "meagre novelties of colour and proportion". While you are busying yourself with this critical and discriminating activity you lose what really matters--the "moods of time and season", the "spirit" of the place.
And of course Wordsworth is right. That is why, if you love nature in his fashion, a landscape painter is out of doors an even worse companion than a botanist. It is the "moods" or the "spirit" that matter. Nature-lovers want to receive as fully as possible whatever nature, at each particular time and place, is, so to speak, saying. The obvious richness, grace, and harmony of some scenes are no more precious to them than the grimness, bleakness, terror, monotony, or "visionary dreariness" of others.
The featureless itself gets from them a willing response. It is one more word uttered by nature. They lay themselves bare to the sheer quality of every countryside every hour of the day. They want to absorb it into themselves, to be coloured through and through by it. This experience, like so many others, after being lauded to the skies in the Nineteenth Century, has been debunked by the moderns. And one must certainly concede to the debunkers that Wordsworth, not when he was communicating it as a poet, but when he was merely talking about it as a philosopher or philosophaster , said some very silly things.
It is silly, unless you have found any evidence, to believe that flowers enjoy the air they breathe, and sillier not to add that, if this were true, flowers would undoubtedly have pains as well as pleasures. Nor have many people been taught moral philosophy by an "impulse from a vernal wood". If they were, it would not necessarily be the sort of moral philosophy Wordsworth would have approved. It might be that of ruthless competition. For some moderns I think it is. They love nature in so far as, for them, she calls to "the dark gods in the blood"; not although, but because, sex and hunger and sheer power there operate without pity or shame.
If you take nature as a teacher she will teach you exactly the lessons you had already decided to learn; this is only another way of saying that nature does not teach. The tendency to take her as a teacher is obviously very easily grafted on to the experience we call "love of nature". But it is only a graft. While we are actually subjected to them, the "moods" and "spirits" of nature point no morals.
Overwhelming gaiety, insupportable grandeur, sombre desolation are flung at you. Make what you can of them, if you must make at all. The only imperative that nature utters is, "Look. What nature-lovers--whether they are Wordsworthians or people with "dark gods in their blood"--get from nature is an iconography, a language of images.
I do not mean simply visual images; it is the "moods" or "spirits" themselves--the powerful expositions of terror, gloom, jocundity, cruelty, lust, innocence, purity--that are the images.
In them each man can clothe his own belief. We must learn our theology or philosophy elsewhere not surprisingly, we often learn them from theologians and philosophers. But when I speak of "clothing" our belief in such images I do not mean anything like using nature for similes or metaphors in the manner of the poets.
Indeed I might have said "filling" or "incarnating" rather than clothing. Many people--I am one myself--would never, but for what nature does to us, have had any content to put into the words we must use in confessing our faith. Nature never taught me that there exists a God of glory and of infinite majesty. I had to learn that in other ways. But nature gave the word glory a meaning for me. I still do not know where else I could have found one. I do not see how the "fear" of God could have ever meant to me anything but the lowest prudential efforts to be safe, if I had never seen certain ominous ravines and unapproachable crags.
And if nature had never awakened certain longings in me, huge areas of what I can now mean by the "love" of God would never, so far as I can see, have existed. Of course the fact that a Christian can so use nature is not even the beginning of a proof that Christianity is true. Those suffering from Dark Gods can equally use her I suppose for their creed.
That is precisely the point. Nature does not teach. A true philosophy may sometimes validate an experience of nature; an experience of nature cannot validate a philosophy. Nature will not verify any theological or metaphysical proposition or not in the manner we are now considering ; she will help to show what it means. And not, on the Christian premises, by accident. The created glory may be expected to give us hints of the uncreated; for the one is derived from the other and in some fashion reflects it.
In some fashion. But not perhaps in so direct and simple a fashion as we at first might suppose. For of course all the facts stressed by nature-lovers of the other school are facts too; there are worms in the belly as well as primroses in the wood. Try to reconcile them, or to show that they don't really need reconciliation, and you are turning from direct experience of nature--our present subject--to metaphysics or theodicy or something of that sort.
That may be a sensible thing to do; but I think it should be kept distinct from the love of nature. While we are on that level, while we are still claiming to speak of what nature has directly "said" to us, we must stick to it.
We have seen an image of glory. We must not try to find a direct path through it and beyond it to an increasing knowledge of God. The path peters out almost at once. Terrors and mysteries, the whole depth of God's counsels and the whole tangle of the history of the universe, choke it. We can't get through; not that way.
Otherwise the love of nature is beginning to turn into a nature religion. And then, even if it does not lead us to the Dark Gods, it will lead us to a great deal of nonsense. But we need not surrender the love of nature--chastened and limited as I have suggested--to the debunkers. Nature cannot satisfy the desires she arouses nor answer theological questions nor sanctify us. Our real journey to God involves constantly turning our backs on her; passing from the dawn-lit fields into some poky little church, or it might be going to work in an East End parish.
But the love of her has been a valuable and, for some people, an indispensable initiation. I need not say "has been". For in fact those who allow no more than this to the love of nature seem to be those who retain it. This is what one should expect. This love, when it sets up as a religion, is beginning to be a god--therefore to be a demon. And demons never keep their promises.
Nature "dies on" those who try to live for a love of nature. Coleridge ended by being insensible to her; Wordsworth, by lamenting that the glory had passed away.
Say your prayers in a garden early, ignoring steadfastly the dew, the birds and the flowers, and you will come away overwhelmed by its freshness and joy; go there in order to be overwhelmed and, after a certain age, nine times out of ten nothing will happen to you.
I turn now to the love of one's country. Here there is no need to labour M. Some begin to suspect that it is never anything but a demon.
But then they have to reject half the high poetry and half the heroic action our race has achieved. We cannot keep even Christ's lament over Jerusalem. He too exhibits love for His country.
Let us limit our field. There is no need here for an essay on international ethics. When this love becomes demoniac it will of course produce wicked acts. But others, more skilled, may say what acts between nations are wicked. We are only considering the sentiment itself in the hope of being able to distinguish its innocent from its demoniac condition. Neither of these is the efficient cause of national behaviour.
For strictly speaking it is rulers, not nations, who behave internationally. Demoniac patriotism in their subjects--I write only for subjects--will make it easier for them to act wickedly; healthy patriotism may make it harder: when they are wicked they may by propaganda encourage a demoniac condition of our sentiments in order to secure our acquiescence in their wickedness.
If they are good, they could do the opposite. That is one reason why we private persons should keep a wary eye on the health or disease of our own love for our country. And that is what I am writing about.
How ambivalent patriotism is may be gauged by the fact that no two writers have expressed it more vigorously than Kipling and Chesterton. If it were one element two such men could not both have praised it. In reality it contains many ingredients, of which many different blends are possible.
First, there is love of home, of the place we grew up in or the places, perhaps many, which have been our homes; and of all places fairly near these and fairly like them; love of old acquaintances, of familiar sights, sounds and smells. Note that at its largest this is, for us, a love of England, Wales, Scotland, or Ulster.
Only foreigners and politicians talk about "Britain". Kipling's "I do not love my empire's foes" strikes a ludicrously false note.
My empire! With this love for the place there goes a love for the way of life; for beer and tea and open fires, trains with compartments in them and an unarmed police force and all the rest of it; for the local dialect and a shade less for our native language. As Chesterton says, a man's reasons for not wanting his country to be ruled by foreigners are very like his reasons for not wanting his house to be burned down; because he "could not even begin" to enumerate all the things he would miss.
It would be hard to find any legitimate point of view from which this feeling could be condemned. As the family offers us the first step beyond self-love, so this offers us the first step beyond family selfishness.
Of course it is not pure charity; it involves love of our neighbours in the local, not of our Neighbour, in the Dominical, sense. But those who do not love the fellow-villagers or fellow-townsmen whom they have seen are not likely to have got very far towards loving "Man" whom they have not. All natural affections, including this, can become rivals to spiritual love: but they can also be preparatory imitations of it, training so to speak of the spiritual muscles which Grace may later put to a higher service; as women nurse dolls in childhood and later nurse children.
There may come an occasion for renouncing this love; pluck out your right eye. But you need to have an eye first: a creature which had none--which had only got so far as a "photo-sensitive" spot--would be very ill employed in meditation on that severe text. Of course patriotism of this kind is not in the least aggressive. It asks only to be let alone.
It becomes militant only to protect what it loves. In any mind which has a pennyworth of imagination it produces a good attitude towards foreigners. How can I love my home without coming to realise that other men, no less rightly, love theirs? The last thing we want is to make everywhere else just like our own home. It would not be home unless it were different.
The second ingredient is a particular attitude to our country's past. I mean to that past as it lives in popular imagination; the great deeds of our ancestors. Remember Marathon. Remember Waterloo. This feeling has not quite such good credentials as the sheer love of home. The actual history of every country is full of shabby and even shameful doings.
The heroic stories, if taken to be typical, give a false impression of it and are often themselves open to serious historical criticism. Hence a patriotism based on our glorious past is fair game for the debunker. As knowledge increases it may snap and be converted into disillusioned cynicism, or may be maintained by a voluntary shutting of the eyes. But who can condemn what clearly makes many people, at many important moments, behave so much better than they could have done without its help?
I think it is possible to be strengthened by the image of the past without being either deceived or puffed up. The image becomes dangerous in the precise degree to which it is mistaken, or substituted, for serious and systematic historical study. The stories are best when they are handed on and accepted as stories. I do not mean by this that they should be handed on as mere fictions some of them are after all true.
But the emphasis should be on the tale as such, on the picture which fires the imagination, the example that strengthens the will. The schoolboy who hears them should dimly feel--though of course he cannot put it into words--that he is hearing saga.
Let him be thrilled--preferably "out of school"--by the "Deeds that won the Empire"; but the less we mix this up with his "history lessons" or mistake it for a serious analysis--worse still, a justification--of imperial policy, the better.
That title has always seemed to me to strike exactly the right note. The book did not look at all like a text-book either. What does seem to me poisonous, what breeds a type of patriotism that is pernicious if it lasts but not likely to last long in an educated adult, is the perfectly serious indoctrination of the young in knowably false or biased history--the heroic legend drably disguised as text-book fact.
With this creeps in the tacit assumption that other nations have not equally their heroes; perhaps even the belief--surely it is very bad biology--that we can literally "inherit" a tradition. And these almost inevitably lead on to a third thing that is sometimes called patriotism.
This third thing is not a sentiment but a belief: a firm, even prosaic belief that our own nation, in sober fact, has long been, and still is markedly superior to all others.
I once ventured to say to an old clergyman who was voicing this sort of patriotism, "But, sir, aren't we told that every people thinks its own men the bravest and its own women the fairest in the world? It can however produce asses that kick and bite. On the lunatic fringe it may shade off into that popular Racialism which Christianity and science equally forbid.
This brings us to the fourth ingredient. If our nation is really so much better than others it may be held to have either the duties or the rights of a superior being towards them.
In the Nineteenth Century the English became very conscious of such duties: the "white man's burden". What we called natives were our wards and we their self-appointed guardians. This was not all hypocrisy. We did do them some good. But our habit of talking as if England's motives for acquiring an empire or any youngster's motives for seeking a job in the I.
THE FOUR LOVES C. S. Lewis
And yet this showed the sense of superiority working at its best. Some nations who have also felt it have stressed the rights not the duties. To them, some foreigners were so bad that one had the right to exterminate them. Others, fitted only to be hewers of wood and drawers of water to the chosen people, had better be made to get on with their hewing and drawing. Dogs, know your betters!
I am far from suggesting that the two attitudes are on the same level. But both are fatal. Both demand that the area in which they operate should grow "wider still and wider".
And both have about them this sure mark of evil: only by being terrible do they avoid being comic. If there were no broken treaties with Redskins, no extermination of the Tasmanians, no gas-chambers and no Belsen, no Amritsar, Black and Tans or Apartheid, the pomposity of both would be roaring farce. Finally we reach the stage where patriotism in its demoniac form unconsciously denies itself.
Chesterton picked on two lines from Kipling as the perfect example. It was unfair to Kipling, who knew--wonderfully, for so homeless a man--what the love of home can mean. But the lines, in isolation, can be taken to sum up the thing.
They run: If England was what England seems 'Ow quick we'd drop 'er. But she ain't! Love never spoke that way. It is like loving your children only "if they're good", your wife only while she keeps her looks, your husband only so long as he is famous and successful. He may think her good and great, when she is not, because he loves her; the delusion is up to a point pardonable. But Kipling's soldier reverses it; he loves her because he thinks her good and great--loves her on her merits.
She is a fine going concern and it gratifies his pride to be in it. How if she ceased to be such? The answer is plainly given: "'Ow quick we'd drop 'er. Thus that kind of patriotism which sets off with the greatest swagger of drums and banners actually sets off on the road that can lead to Vichy.
And this is a phenomenon which will meet us again. When the natural loves become lawless they do not merely do harm to other loves; they themselves cease to be the loves they were--to be loves at all.
Patriotism has then, many faces. Those who would reject it entirely do not seem to have considered what will certainly step--has already begun to step--into its place. For a long time yet, or perhaps forever, nations will live in danger.
Rulers must somehow nerve their subjects to defend them or at least to prepare for their defence. Where the sentiment of patriotism has been destroyed this can be done only by presenting every international conflict in a purely ethical light. If people will spend neither sweat nor blood for "their country" they must be made to feel that they are spending them for justice, or civilisation, or humanity. This is a step down, not up. Patriotic sentiment did not of course need to disregard ethics.
Good men needed to be convinced that their country's cause was just; but it was still their country's cause, not the cause of justice as such. The difference seems to me important. I may without self-righteousness or hypocrisy think it just to defend my house by force against a burglar; but if I start pretending that I blacked his eye purely on moral grounds--wholly indifferent to the fact that the house in question was mine--I become insufferable.
The pretence that when England's cause is just we are on England's side--as some neutral Don Quixote might be--for that reason alone, is equally spurious. And nonsense draws evil after it. If our country's cause is the cause of God, wars must be wars of annihilation. A false transcendence is given to things which are very much of this world.
The glory of the old sentiment was that while it could steel men to the utmost endeavour, it still knew itself to be a sentiment. Wars could be heroic without pretending to be Holy Wars. The hero's death was not confused with the martyr's. And delightfully the same sentiment which could be so serious in a rearguard action, could also in peacetime, take itself as lightly as all happy loves often do.
It could laugh at itself. Our older patriotic songs cannot be sung without a twinkle in the eye; later ones sound more like hymns. It will be noticed that the sort of love I have been describing, and all its ingredients, can be for something other than a country: for a school, a regiment, a great family, or a class.
All the same criticisms will still apply. It can also be felt for bodies that claim more than a natural affection: for a Church or alas a party in a Church, or for a religious order. This terrible subject would require a book to itself. Here it will be enough to say that the Heavenly Society is also an earthly society. Our merely natural patriotism towards the latter can very easily borrow the transcendent claims of the former and use them to justify the most abominable actions.
If ever the book which I am not going to write is written it must be the full confession by Christendom of Christendom's specific contribution to the sum of human cruelty and treachery. Large areas of "the World" will not hear us till we have publicly disowned much of our past. Why should they? We have shouted the name of Christ and enacted the service of Moloch.
It may be thought that I should not end this chapter without a word about our love for animals. But that will fit in better in the next. Whether animals are in fact sub-personal or not, they are never loved as if they were. The fact or the illusion of personality is always present, so that love for them is really an instance of that Affection which is the subject of the following chapter.
Let me add at once that I do not on that account give it a lower value. Nothing in Man is either worse or better for being shared with the beasts. When we blame a man for being "a mere animal", we mean not that he displays animal characteristics we all do but that he displays these, and only these, on occasions where the specifically human was demanded.
When we call him "brutal" we usually mean that he commits cruelties impossible to most real brutes; they're not clever enough. The Greeks called this love storge two syllables and the g is "hard".
I shall here call it simply Affection. My Greek Lexicon defines storge as "affection, especially of parents to offspring"; but also of offspring to parents. And that, I have no doubt, is the original form of the thing as well as the central meaning of the word. The image we must start with is that of a mother nursing a baby, a bitch or a cat with a basketful of puppies or kittens; all in a squeaking, nuzzling heap together; purrings, lickings, baby-talk, milk, warmth, the smell of young life.
The importance of this image is that it presents us at the very outset with a certain paradox. The Need and Need-love of the young is obvious; so is the Gift-love of the mother.
She gives birth, gives suck, gives protection.
On the other hand, she must give birth or die. She must give suck or suffer. That way, her Affection too is a Need-love. There is the paradox. It is a Need-love but what it needs is to give. It is a Gift-love but it needs to be needed.
We shall have to return to this point. But even in animal life, and still more in our own, Affection extends far beyond the relation of mother and young. This warm comfortableness, this satisfaction in being together, takes in all sorts of objects. It is indeed the least discriminating of loves. There are women for whom we can predict few wooers and men who are likely to have few friends. They have nothing to offer. But almost anyone can become an object of Affection; the ugly, the stupid, even the exasperating.
There need be no apparent fitness between those whom it unites. I have seen it felt for an imbecile not only by his parents but by his brothers. It ignores the barriers of age, sex, class and education. It can exist between a clever young man from the university and an old nurse, though their minds inhabit different worlds.
It ignores even the barriers of species. We see it not only between dog and man but, more surprisingly, between dog and cat. Gilbert White claims to have discovered it between a horse and a hen. Some of the novelists have seized this well. In Tristram Shandy "my father" and Uncle Toby are so far from being united by any community of interests or ideas that they cannot converse for ten minutes without cross-purposes; but we are made to feel their deep mutual affection.
So too, though probably without the author's conscious intention, in The Wind in the Willows; the quaternion of Mole, Rat, Badger, and Toad suggests the amazing heterogeneity possible between those who are bound by Affection. But Affection has its own criteria. Its objects have to be familiar.
We can sometimes point to the very day and hour when we fell in love or began a new friendship. I doubt if we ever catch Affection beginning. To become aware of it is to become aware that it has already been going on for some time.
The use of "old" or vieux as a term of Affection is significant. The dog barks at strangers who have never done it any harm and wags its tail for old acquaintances even if they never did it a good turn. The child will love a crusty old gardener who has hardly ever taken any notice of it and shrink from the visitor who is making every attempt to win its regard. But it must be an old gardener, one who has "always" been there--the short but seemingly immemorial "always" of childhood.
Affection, as I have said, is the humblest love. It gives itself no airs. People can be proud of being "in love", or of friendship. Affection is modest--even furtive and shame-faced. Once when I had remarked on the affection quite often found between cat and dog, my friend replied, "Yes.
But I bet no dog would ever confess it to the other dogs. Now Affection has a very homely face. So have many of those for whom we feel it. It is no proof of our refinement or perceptiveness that we love them; nor that they love us. What I have called Appreciative Love is no basic element in Affection. It usually needs absence or bereavement to set us praising those to whom only Affection binds us. We take them for granted: and this taking for granted, which is an outrage in erotic love, is here right and proper up to a point.
It fits the comfortable, quiet nature of the feeling. Affection would not be affection if it was loudly and frequently expressed; to produce it in public is like getting your household furniture out for a move.
It did very well in its place, but it looks shabby or tawdry or grotesque in the sunshine. Affection almost slinks or seeps through our lives.
It lives with humble, un-dress, private things; soft slippers, old clothes, old jokes, the thump of a sleepy dog's tail on the kitchen floor, the sound of a sewing-machine, a gollywog left on the lawn.
But I must at once correct myself. I am talking of Affection as it is when it exists apart from the other loves. It often does so exist; often not.
As gin is not only a drink in itself but also a base for many mixed drinks, so Affection, besides being a love itself, can enter into the other loves and colour them all through and become the very medium in which from day to day they operate.
They would not perhaps wear very well without it. To make a friend is not the same as to become affectionate. But when your friend has become an old friend, all those things about him which had originally nothing to do with the friendship become familiar and dear with familiarity.
As for erotic love, I can imagine nothing more disagreeable than to experience it for more than a very short time without this homespun clothing of affection. That would be a most uneasy condition, either too angelic or too animal or each by turn; never quite great enough or little enough for man. There is indeed a peculiar charm, both in friendship and in Eros, about those moments when Appreciative Love lies, as it were, curled up asleep, and the mere ease and ordinariness of the relationship free as solitude, yet neither is alone wraps us round.
No need to talk. No need to make love. No needs at all except perhaps to stir the fire. This blending and overlapping of the loves is well kept before us by the fact that at most times and places all three of them had in common, as their expression, the kiss.
In modern England friendship no longer uses it, but Affection and Eros do. It belongs so fully to both that we cannot now tell which borrowed it from the other or whether there were borrowing at all. To be sure, you may say that the kiss of Affection differs from the kiss of Eros. Yes; but not all kisses between lovers are lovers' kisses.
Again, both these loves tend--and it embarrasses many moderns--to use a "little language" or "baby talk". And this is not peculiar to the human species. Professor Lorenz has told us that when jackdaws are amorous their calls "consist chiefly of infantile sounds reserved by adult jackdaws for these occasions" King Solomon's Ring, p.
We and the birds have the same excuse. Different sorts of tenderness are both tenderness and the language of the earliest tenderness we have ever known is recalled to do duty for the new sort. One of the most remarkable by-products of Affection has not yet been mentioned. I have said that is not primarily an Appreciative Love. It is not discriminating. It can "rub along" with the most unpromising people. Yet oddly enough this very fact means that it can in the end make appreciations possible which, but for it might never have existed.
We may say, and not quite untruly, that we have chosen our friends and the woman we love for their various excellences--for beauty, frankness, goodness of heart, wit, intelligence, or what not. But it had to be the particular kind of wit, the particular kind of beauty, the particular kind of goodness that we like, and we have our personal tastes in these matters.
That is why friends and lovers feel that they were "made for one another". The especial glory of Affection is that it can unite those who most emphatically, even comically, are not; people who, if they had not found themselves put down by fate in the same household or community, would have had nothing to do with each other. If Affection grows out of this--of course it often does not--their eyes begin to open.
Growing fond of "old so-and-so", at first simply because he happens to be there, I presently begin to see that there is "something in him" after all. The moment when one first says, really meaning it, that though he is not "my sort of man" he is a very good man "in his own way" is one of liberation. It does not feel like that; we may feel only tolerant and indulgent. But really we have crossed a frontier. That "in his own way" means that we are getting beyond our own idiosyncracies, that we are learning to appreciate goodness or intelligence in themselves, not merely goodness or intelligence flavoured and served to suit our own palate.
The people with whom you are thrown together in the family, the college, the mess, the ship, the religious house, are from this point of view a wider circle than the friends, however numerous, whom you have made for yourself in the outer world.
By having a great many friends I do not prove that I have a wide appreciation of human excellence. You might as well say I prove the width of my literary taste by being able to enjoy all the books in my own study. The answer is the same in both cases--"You chose those books. You chose those friends.
Of course they suit you. The truly wide taste in humanity will similarly find something to appreciate in the cross-section of humanity whom one has to meet every day. In my experience it is Affection that creates this taste, teaching us first to notice, then to endure, then to smile at, then to enjoy, and finally to appreciate, the people who "happen to be there".
Made for us? Thank God, no. They are themselves, odder than you could have believed and worth far more than we guessed. And now we are drawing near the point of danger. Affection, I have said, gives itself no airs; charity, said St. Paul, is not puffed up.
Affection can love the unattractive: God and His saints love the unlovable. Affection "does not expect too much", turns a blind eye to faults, revives easily after quarrels; just so charity suffers long and is kind and forgives. Affection opens our eyes to goodness we could not have seen, or should not have appreciated without it.
So does humble sanctity. If we dwelled exclusively on these resemblances we might be led on to believe that this Affection is not simply one of the natural loves but is Love Himself working in our human hearts and fulfilling the law.
C. S. Lewis
Were the Victorian novelists right after all? Is love of this sort really enough? Are the "domestic affections", when in their best and fullest development, the same thing as the Christian life? The answer to all these questions, I submit, is certainly No. I do not mean simply that those novelists sometimes wrote as if they had never heard the text about "hating" wife and mother and one's own life also.
That of course is true. The rivalry between all natural loves and the love of God is something a Christian dare not forget. God is the great Rival, the ultimate object of human jealousy; that beauty, terrible as the Gorgon's, which may at any moment steal from me--or it seems like stealing to me--my wife's or husband's or daughter's heart.
The bitterness of some unbelief, though disguised even from those who feel it as anti-clericalism or hatred of superstition, is really due to this. But I am not at present thinking of that rivalry; we shall have to face it in a later chapter.
For the moment our business is more "down to earth". How many of these "happy homes" really exist? Worse still; are all the unhappy ones unhappy because Affection is absent? I believe not. It can be present, causing the unhappiness. Nearly all the characteristics of this love are ambivalent. They may work for ill as well as for good. By itself, left simply to follow its own bent, it can darken and degrade human life. The debunkers and anti-sentimentalists have not said all the truth about it, but all they have said is true.
Symptomatic of this, perhaps, is the odiousness of nearly all those treacly tunes and saccharine poems in which popular art expresses Affection. They are odious because of their falsity. They represent as a ready-made recipe for bliss and even for goodness what is in fact only an opportunity. There is no hint that we shall have to do anything: only let Affection pour over us like a warm shower-bath and all, it is implied, will be well.
Affection, we have seen, includes both Need-love and Gift-love. I begin with the Need--our craving for the Affection of others. Now there is a clear reason why this craving, of all love-cravings, easily becomes the most unreasonable.And both have about them this sure mark of evil: It must work towards its own abdication.
They are always pulling up and exposing the grubby roots of our natural loves. If you begin by flouting it, it has a way of avenging itself later on. What nature-lovers--whether they are Wordsworthians or people with "dark gods in their blood"--get from nature is an iconography, a language of images.
But where Need-love is left unaided we can hardly expect it not to "die on us" once the need is no more. C S Lewis Find more information about: You can say "Shut up. To say "These are my friends" implies "Those are not".