" I will love you forever," swears the poet. I find this easy to to swear. " I will love you at 4:15 p.m. next Tuesday": Is that still as easy?" -W.H. Auden, (1959).
"It is difficult to define love. What can be said is that in the soul it is a passion to dominate another, in the mind it is mutual understanding, whilst in the body it is simply a delicately veiled desire to posses the beloved after many rites and mysteries.
If pure love exists, free from the dross of our other passions, it lies hidden in the depths of our hearts unknown even to ourselves.
Where love is, no disguise can hide it for long; where it is not, none can simulate it.
There are few people who, when their love for each other is dead, are not ashamed of that love.
You can find women who have never had a love affair, but seldom women who had only one.
There is only one kind of love, but there are a thousand copies, all different.
Love, like fire, cannot survive without continual movement, and it ceases to live as soon as it ceases to hope or fear.
True love is like ghostly apparitions: everybody talks about them but few have ever seen one.
Love lends its name to countless dealings which are attributed to it but of which it knows no more than the doge knows what goes on in Venice.
We cannot love anything except in terms of ourselves, and when we put out friends above ourselves we are only concerned with our own taste and pleasure. Yet it is only through such preference that friendship can be true and perfect.
Constancy in love is perpetual inconstancy, inasmuch as the heart is drawn to one quality after another in the beloved, now preferring this, now that. Constancy is therefore inconstancy held in check and confined to the same object.
Constancy in love is of two kinds: one comes from continually finding new things to love in the beloved, and the other from making it a point of honor to remain constant.
We are nearer to loving those who hate us than loving those who love us more than we want."
-Francois VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld: (1613-80. Together with La Bruyère, La Rochefoucauld is the best-known of the French moralistes, famous for his exploration of the role of ‘amour-propre’ in human behavior. The Maximes are concise, often epigrammatic, reflections on human nature, typically written from a disillusioned or cynical point of view. One of La Rochefoucauld's favorite categories is that of ‘amour propre’, whose workings can be detected across large tracts of human life. -The Philosophy Dictionary. Text: "Réflexions ou Sentences et Maximes Morales" Paris, 1665. Image: "The Lovers," Rene Magritte, 1928).