Iolaus - Anthology of Friendship
The Edward Carpenter Archive
by Simon Dawson


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Greek Times

ARISTOTLE (Ethics, bk.viii.) says:


"Friendship is a thing most necessary to life, since without friends no one would choose to live, though possessed of all other advantages." . . . . . "Since then his own life is, to a good man, a thing naturally sweet and ultimately desirable, for a similar reason is the life of his friend agreeable to him, and delightful merely on its own account, and without reference to any object beyond it; and to live without friends is to be destitute of a good, unconditioned, absolute, and in itself desirable; and therefore to be deprived of one of the most solid and most substantial of all enjoyments."
"Being asked 'What is Friendship?' Aristotle replied, 'One soul in two bodies.'"

Diog. Laertius.

EPAMINONDAS and Pelopidas, the Theban statesmen and generals, were celebrated for their devotion to each other. In a battle (B.C. 385) against the Arcadians, Epaminondas is said to have saved his friend's life. Plutarch in his Life of Pelopidas relates of them:


"Epaminondas and he were both born with the same dispositions to all kinds of virtues, but Pelopidas took more pleasure in the exercises of the body, and Epaminondas in the improvements of the mind; so that they spent all their leisure time, the one in hunting, and the pelestra, the other in learned conversation, and the study of philosophy. But of all the famous actions for which they are so much celebrated, the judicious part of mankind reckon none so great and glorious as that strict friendship which they inviolably preserved through the whole course of their lives, in all the high posts they held, both military and civil. . . . For being both in that battle, near one another in the infantry, and fighting against the Arcadians, that wing of the Lacedaemonians in which they were, gave way and was broken; which Pelopidas and Epaminondas perceiving, they joined their shields, and keeping close together, bravely repulsed all that attacked them, till at last Pelopidas, after receiving seven large wounds, fell upon a heap of friends and enemies that lay dead together. Epaminondas, though he believed him slain, advanced before him to defend his body and arms, and for a long time maintained his ground against great numbers of the Arcadians, being resolved to die rather than desert his companion and leave him in the enemy's power; but being wounded in his breast by a spear, and in his arm by a sword, he was quite disabled and ready to fall, when Agesipolis, king of the Spartans, came from the other wing to his relief, and beyond all expectation saved both their lives."

POLEMON and Krates were followers of Plato in philosophy, and in their time (about 300 B.C.) leaders of the Platonic School. They were, according to Hesychius, devoted friends:


"Krates and Polemon loved each other so well that they not only were occupied in life with the same work, but they almost drew breath simultaneously; and in death they shared the same grave. On account of which, Archesilaus, who visited them in company with Theophrastus (a pupil of Aristotle), spoke of them as gods, or survivors from the Golden Age."

Hesychius xl.

ALEXANDER, the great World-Conqueror, was born B.C. 356, and was King of Macedonia B.C. 336-323. His great favorite was Hephaestion, who had been brought up and educated with him.


"When Hephaestion died at Ecbatana (in 324) Alexander placed his weapons upon the funeral pyre, with gold and silver for the dead man, and a robe - which last, among the Persians is a symbol of great honor. He shore off his own hair, as in Homeric grief, and behaved like the Achilles of Homer. Indeed he acted more violently and passionately than the latter, for he caused the towers and strongholds of Ecbatana to be demolished all round. As long as he only dedicated his own hair, he was behaving, I think, like a Greek; but when he laid hands on the very walls, Alexander was already showing his grief in foreign fashion. Even in his clothing he departed from ordinary custom, and gave himself up to his mood, his love, and his tears."

Aelian's Varia Historia, vii, 8.

Persian Poetry

VON KUPFFER, in his Anthology, Lieblingminne und Freundes liebe in der Weltliteratur, gives the following three poems from Saadi and Hafiz:-

From Sadi's

"A youth there was of golden heart and nature,
Who loved a friend, his like in every feature;
Once, as upon the ocean sailed the pair,
They chanced into a whirlpool unaware.
A fisherman made haste the first to save,
Ere his young life should meet a watery grave;
But crying from the raging surf, he said:
'Leave me, and seize my comrade's hand instead.'
E'en as he spoke the mortal swoon o'ertook him,
With that last utterance life and sense forsook him.

Learn not love's temper from that shallow pate
Who in the hour of fear forsakes his mate
True friends will ever act like him above
(Trust one who is experienced in love);
For Sadi knows full well the lover's part,
And Bagdad understands the Arab heart.
More than all else thy loved one shalt thou prize,
Else is the whole world hidden from thine eyes."

From Sadi's

"Lov'st thou a being formed of dust like thee
Peace and contentment from thy heart shall flee -
Waking, fair limbs and features shall torment thee;
Sleeping, thy love in dreams shall hold and haunt thee.
Under his feet thy head is bowed to earth;
Compared with him the world's a paltry crust;
If to thy loved one gold is nothing worth,
Why, then to thee is gold no more than dust
Hardly a word for others canst thou find,
For no room's left for others in thy mind."

to his

"Dear Friend, since thou hast passed the whole
Of one sweet night, till dawn, with me,
I were scarce mortal, could I spend
Another hour apart from thee.
The fear of death, for all of time
Hath left me since my soul partook
The water of true Life, that wells
In sweet abundance from thy brook."


BEAUMONT and Fletcher are two names which time and immortal friendship have sealed in one. Francis Beaumont was son of a judge, and John Fletcher, who was some four or five years the elder of the two, son of a bishop. The one went to Oxford, the other to Cambridge. Both took to writing at an early age; they probably met at the Mermaid Tavern, about the year 1604, and a friendship sprang up between them of the closest character. "The intimacy which now commenced was one of singular warmth even for that romantic age." (Chambers' Biog. Dict.) For many years they lived in the same house as bachelors, writing plays together, and sharing everything in common. Then in 1613 Beaumont married, but died in 1616. Fletcher lived on unmarried, till 1625, when he died of the plague.

J. St. L. Strachey, in his introduction to the works of Beaumont and Fletcher in the Mermaid Series, says:-


"In the whole range of English literature, search it from Chaucer till to-day, there is no figure more fascinating or more worthy of attention than 'the mysterious double personality' of Beaumont and Fletcher. Whether we bow to the sentiment of the first Editor, who, though he knew the secret of the poets, yet since never parted while they lived' conceived it not equitable to 'separate their ashes,' and so refuse to think of them apart; whether we adopt the legendary union of the comrade-poets who dwelt on the Bankside, who lived and worked together, their thoughts no less in common than the cloak and bed o'er which tradition has grown fond; whether we think of them as two minds so married that to divorce or disunite them were a sacrilegious deed; or whether we yield to the subtler influences of the critical fancy, and delight to discover and explore each from its source, the twin fountains of inspiration that feed the majestic stream of song that flows through 'The Lost Aspatia's' tragedy, etc. . . . . . whether we treat the poets as a mystery to which love and sympathy are the initiation, or as a problem for the tests and reagents of critical analysis to solve, the double name of Beaumont and Fletcher will ever strike the fancy and excite the imagination as does no other name in the annals of English song."

George Varley, in his Introduction to the works of B. and F. (London, E. Moxon, I839), says:-

"The story of their common life, which scandalizes some biographers, contains much that is agreeable to me, as offering a picture of perfect union whose heartiness excuses its homeliness . . . . . but when critics would explain away the community of cloak and clothes by accident or slander, methinks their fastidiousness exceeds their good feeling."

Beaumont was a man of great personal beauty and charm. Ben Jonson was much attracted to him. Fletcher delighted to do him honor and to put his name first on their title page; though it is probable that Beaumont's share in the plays was the lesser one. See following verses by Sir Aston Cokaine in the 1st Collection of their works, published in 1647:-


"In the large book of playes you late did print,
In Beaumont and in Fletcher's name, why in't
Did you not justice? Give to each his due?
For Beaumont of those many writ in few,
And Massinger in other few; the main
Being sole issues of sweet Fletcher's brain.
But how came I, you ask, so much to know?
Fletcher's chief bosome-friend inform'd me so."

The following lines were written by Fletcher on the death of Beaumont:-

lament for
his Friend

"Come, sorrow, come! bring all thy cries,
All thy laments, and all thy weeping eyes!
Burn out, you living monuments of woe!
Sad, sullen griefs, now rise and overflow!
Virtue is dead;
Oh! cruel fate!
All youth is fled;
All our laments too late.
Oh, noble youth, to thy ne'er dying name,
Oh, happy youth, to thy still growing fame,
To thy long peace in earth, this sacred knell
Our last loves ring - farewell, farewell, farewell!
Go, happy soul, to thy eternal birth!
And press his body lightly, gentle Earth."

And among the poems attributed to Francis Beaumont is one generally supposed to be addressed to Fletcher, and speaking of an alliance hidden from the world - of which the last five lines run:-


"If when I die, physicians doubt
What caused my death, and these to view
Of all their judgments, which was true,
Rip up my heart; O, then I fear
The world will see thy picture there."

-though it is perhaps more probable that it was addressed to Beaumont by Fletcher, and has accidentally found place among the former's writings.

In the Maid's Tragedy by B. and F. (Act I. Scene i.), we have Melantius speaking about his companion Amintor, a young nobleman:-

"All joys upon him! for he is my friend.
Wonder not that I call a man so young my friend:
His worth is great; radiant he is, and temperate;
And one that never thinks his life his own,
If his friend need it."

Modern Times

THE devotion of Vauvenargues to his friend De Seytres is immortalized by the eloge he wrote on the occasion of the latter's death. V., a youth of noble family, born in S. France in 1715, entered military service and the regiment of the King at an early age. He seems to have been a gentle, wise character, much beloved by his comrades. During the French invasion of Bohemia, in 1741, when he was about 26, he met Hippolyte de Seytres, who belonged to the same regiment, and who was only 18 years of age. A warm friendship sprang up between the two, but lasted for a brief time only. DeSeytres died during the privations of the terrible Siege of Prague in 1742. Vauvenargues escaped, but with the loss of his health, as well as of his friend. He took to literature, and wrote some philosophic works, and became correspondent and friend of Voltaire, but died in 1747 at the early age of 32. In his eloge he speaks of his friend as follows;-

De Seytres

"By nature full of grace, his movements natural, his manners frank, his features noble and grave, his expression sweet and penetrating - one could not look upon him with indifference. From the first his loveable exterior won all hearts in his favor, and whoever was in the position to know his character could not but admire the beauty of his disposition. Never did he despise or envy or hate any one. He understood all the passions and opinions, even the most singular, that the world blames. They did not surprise him: he penetrated their cause, and found in his own reflexions the means of explaining them."

"And so Hippolyte," he continues, "I was destined to be the survivor in our friendship - just when I was hoping that it would mitigate all the sufferings and ennui of my life even to my latest breath. At the moment when my heart, full of security, placed blind confidence in thy strength and youth, and abandoned itself to gladness - O Misery! in that moment a mighty hand was extinguishing the sources of life in thy blood. Death was creeping into thy heart, and harboring in thy bosom! . . . O pardon me once more; for never canst thou have doubted the depth of my attachment. I loved thee before I was able to know thee. I have never loved but thee . . . . . I was ignorant of thy very name and life, but my heart adored thee, spoke with thee, saw thee and sought thee in solitude. Thou knewest me but for a moment; and when we did become acquainted, already a thousand times had I paid homage in secret to thy virtues. . . . . . Shade worthy of heaven, whither hast thou fled! Do my sighs reach thee? I tremble - O abyss profound, O woe, O death, O grave! Dark veil and viewless night, and mystery of Eternity!"

(It is said that Vauvenargues thought more of this memorial inscription to his friend than of any other of his works, and constantly worked at and perfected it.)

SCHILLER, the great German poet, had an enthusiastic appreciation of friendship-love, as can be seen from his poems, " Freundschaft" and "Die Burgschaft," and others of his writings. His tragedy Don Karlos turns upon the death of one friend for the sake of another. The young Infanta of Spain, Don Karlos, alienated by the severities of his father, Phillip II, enters into plots and intrigues, from the consequences of which he is only saved by his devoted companion, the Marquis of Posa, who, by making himself out the guilty party, dies in the Prince's stead. Early in the play (Act I., Scene ii.) the attachment between the two is outlined:-

From Schiller's
Don Carlos

Oh, if indeed 'tis true-
What my heart says - that out of millions, thou
Hast been decreed at last to understand me;
If it be true that Nature all-creative
In moulding Karlos copied Roderick,
And strung the tender chords of our two souls
Harmonious in the morning of our lives;
If even a tear that eases thus my sorrow
Is dearer to thee than my father's favor-

Marquis of Posa.
Oh, dearer than the world!

So low, so low
Have I now fallen, have become so needy,
That of our early childish years together
I must remind thee - must indeed entreat
Thy payment of those long-forgotten debts
Which thou, while yet in sailor garb, contractedst;
When thou and I, two boys of venturous habit,
Grew up, and side by side, in brotherhood.
No grief oppressed me then - save that thy spirit
Seemed so eclipsing mine - until at length
I boldly dared to love thee without limit,
Since to be like thee was beyond my dreams.
Then I began, with myriad tenderness
And brother-love most loyal, to torment thee;
And thou, proud heart, returned it all so coldly.
Oft would I stand there - and thou saw'st it not!
And hot and heavy tear-drops from my eyes
Hung, when perchance, thou, Roderick, hastening past me,
Would'st throw thy arms about some lesser playmate.
"Why only these?" I cried, and wept aloud
Am I not also worthy of thy heart?"
But thou-
So cold and serious before me kneeling,
"Homage" thou said'st, "to the King's son is due."

A truce, O Prince, to all these tales of childhood,
Thy make my cheeks red even now with shame!

And this from thee indeed I did not merit.
Contemn thou could'st, and even rend my heart,
But ne'er estrange. Three times thou did'st repulse
The young Prince from thee; thrice again he came
As suppliant to thee - to entreat thy love,
And urgently to press his love upon thee.
But that which Karlos could not, chance effected.

(The story is then related of how as a boy he took on himself the blame for a misdemeanor of Roderick's, and was severely punished by his royal father)-

Under the pitiless strokes my blood flowed red;
I looked on thee and wept not. But the King
Was angered by my boyish heroism,
And for twelve terrible hours emprisoned me
In a dark dungeon, to repent thereof.
So proud and fierce was my determination
By Roderick to be beloved. Thou cam'st,
And loudly weeping at my feet did'st fall,
"Yes, yes," did'st cry, "my pride is overcome.
One day; when thou art king, I will repay thee."

Marquis (giving his hand.)
I will so, Karl. My boyish affidavit
As man I now renew; I will repay;
My hour will also strike, Perchance.

(The hour comes, when Roderick takes on himself the blame for an intrigue of Don Karlos with the Queen and William of Orange. He writes a letter to the latter, and allows it purposely to fall into the King's hands. He is assassinated by order of the King; and the following speech over his body (Act V., Scene iv.) is made to the King by Don Karlos, who thenceforth abjures all love except for the memory of his friend.)

The Devotion
of Roderick

Karlos (to the King.)
The dead man was my friend. And would you know
Wherefore he died? He perished for my sake.
Yes, Sire, for we were brothers! brothers by
A nobler chain than Nature ever forges.
Love was his glorious life-career. And love
For me, his great, his glorious death. Mine was he.
What time his lowly bearing puffed you up,
What time his gay persuasive eloquence
Made easy sport of your proud giant-spirit.
You thought to dominate him quite - and were
The obedient creature of his deeper plans.
That I am prisoner, is the schemed result
Of his great friendship. To achieve my safety
He wrote that letter to the Prince of Orange -
O God! the first, last falsehood of his life.
To rescue me he went to meet the Fate
Which he has suffered. With your gracious favors
You loaded him. He died for me. On him
You Pressed the favors of your heart and friendship.
Your sceptre was the plaything of his hands;
He threw it from him. and for me he died.

THERE is little, I believe, in the historical facts relating to Don Karlos to justify this tale of friendship; but there seems great probability that the incidents were transferred by Schiller from the history of Frederick the Great, of Prussia, when a youth at his father's court. The devotion that existed between the young Frederick and Lieut. Von Katte, the anger and severities of the royal parent, the supposed conspiracy, the imprisonment of Frederick, and the execution of Von Katte, are all reproduced in Schiller's play.

Fritz of
Von Katte

Von Katte was a young man of good family and strange but charming personality, who, as soon as he came to Court, being three or four years older than Frederick, exercised a strong attraction upon the latter. The two were always together, and finally, enraged by the harshness of the royal father, they plotted flight to England. They were arrested, and Katte, accused of treason to the throne, was condemned to death. That this sentence was pronounced, not so much for political reasons, as in order to do despite to the affection between him and the Crown Prince, is strongly suggested by the circumstances. Von Katte was sent from a distance in order to be executed at Custrin, in the fortress where the Prince was confined, and with instructions that the latter should witness his execution. Carlyle, in his life of Frederick II, says:-

Death of
Von Katte

"Katte wore, by order, a brown dress exactly like the Prince's; the Prince is already brought down into a lower room to see Katte as he passes (to see Katte die has been the royal order, but they smuggled that into abeyance), and Katte knows he shall see him."

Besserer, the chaplain of the Garrison, quoted by Carlyle, describing the scene as they approached the Castle, says:

'Here, after long wistful looking about, he did get sight of his beloved Jonathan at a window in the Castle, from whom, he, with politest and most tender expression, speaking in French, took leave, with no little emotion of sorrow. "Pardonnez moi, mon cher Katte," cried Friedrich. "La mort est douce pour un si aimable Prince," said Katte, and fared on; round some angle of the Fortress it appears; not in sight of Friedrich, who sank in a faint, and had seen his last glimpse of Katte in this world."

[Life of Frederick II, vol. 2, p. 489.]

the Great

Frederick's grief and despair were extreme for a time. Then his royal father found him a wife, in the Princess Elizabeth of Brunswick, whom he obediently married, but in whom he showed little interest - their meetings growing rarer and rarer till at last they became merely formal. Later, and after his accession, he spent most of his leisure time when away from the cares of war and political reorganization, at his retreat at Sans-Souci, afar from feminine society (a fact which provoked Voltaire's sarcasms), and in the society of his philosophic and military friends, to many of whom he was much attached. Von Kupffer has unearthed from his poems printed at Sans-Souci in 1750 the following, addressed to Count Von Kaiserlinck, a favorite companion, on whom he bestowed the by-name of Cesarion:-

"Cesarion, let us keep unspoiled
Our faith, and be true friends,
And pair our lives like noble Greeks,
And to like noble ends!
That friend from friend may never hide
A fault through weakness or thro' pride,
Or sentiment that cloys
Thus gold in fire the brighter glows,
And far more rare and precious grows,
Refined from all alloys."

There is also in the same collection a long and beautiful ode "To the shades of Cesarion," of which the following are a few lines:

to Caesarion

"O God I how hard the word of Fate!
Cesarion dead! His happy days
Death to the grave has consecrate.
His charm I mourn and gentle grace.
He's dead - my tender, faithful mate!
A thousand daggers pierce my beart:
It trembles, torn with grief and pain.
He's gone! the dawn comes not again!
Thy grave's the goal of my heart's strife;
Holy shall thy remembrance be;
To thee I poured out love in life;
And love in death I vow to thee."

JOHANN GOTTFRIED VON HERDER (1744-1803 ) as theologian, philosopher, friend of Goethe, Court preacher at Weimar, and author of Ideas on the Philosophy of History, has had a great and enduring reputation. The following extract is from the just-mentioned book:-

on Greek

"Never has a branch born finer fruit than that little branch of Olive, Ivy, and Pine, which was the victor's crown among the Greeks. It gave to the young men good looks, good health, and good spirits; it made their limbs nimble, graceful and well-formed; in their souls it lighted the first sparks of the desire for good name, the love of fame even, and stamped on them the inviolable temper of men who live for their city and their country. Finally, what was most precious, it laid the foundation in their characters of that predilection for male society and friendship which so markedly dlstinguishes the Greeks. In Greece, woman was not the one prize of life for which the young man fought and strove; the loveliest Helen could only mould the spirit of one Paris, even though her beauty might be the coveted obect of all manly valor. The feminine sex, despite the splendid examples of every virtue that it exhibited in Greece, as elsewhere, remained there only a secondary object of the manly life. The thoughts of aspirlng youths reached towards something higher. The bond of friendship which they knitted among themselves or with grown men, compelled them into a school which Aspasia herself could hardly have introduced them to; so that in many of the states of Greece manly love became surrounded and accompanied by those intelligent and educational influences, that permanence of character and devotion, whose sentiment and meaning we read of in Plato almost as if in a romance from some far planet.

ELISAR VON KUPFFER, in the introduction to his Anthology, from which I have already quoted a few extracts, speaks at some length on the great ethical and political significance of a loving comradeship. He says:-

Von Kupffer
on Ethics
and Politics

"In open linkage and attachment to each other ought youth to rejoice in youth. In attachment to another, one loses the habit of thinking only of self. In the love and tender care and instruction that the youth receives from his lover he learns from boyhood up to recognize the good of self-sacrifice and devotion; and in the love which he shows, whether in the smaller or the greater offerings of an intimate friendship, he accustoms himself to self-sacrifice for another. In this way the young man is early nurtured into a member of the Community - to a useful member and not one who has self and only self in mind. And how much closer thus does unit grow to unit, till indeed the whole comes to feel itself a whole! . . . .

"The close relationship between two men has this further result - that folk instinctively and not without reason judge of one from the other; so that should the one be worthy and honorable, he naturally will be anxious that the other should not bring a slur upon him. Thus there arises a bond of moral responsibility with regard to character. And what can be of more advantage to the community than that the individual members should feel responsible for each other? Surely it is just that which constitutes national sentiment, and the strength of a people, namely, that it should form a complete whole in itself, where each unit feels locked and linked with the others. Such unions may be of the greatest social value, as in the case of the family. And it is especially in the hour of danger that the effect of this unity of feeling shows itself; for where one man stands or falls with another, where glad self-sacrifice, learnt in boyhood, becomes so to speak, a warm-hearted instinct, there is developed a power of incalculable import, a power that folly alone can hold cheap. Indeed, the unconquerable force of these unions has already been practically shown, as in the Sacred Band of the Thebans who fought to its bitter end the battle of Leuctra; and, psychologically speaking, the explanation is most natural; for where one person feels himself united, body and soul to another, is it not natural that he should put forth all his powers in order to help the other, in order to manifest his love for him in every way? If any one cannot or will not perceive this we may indeed well doubt either the intelligence of his head or the morality of his heart."

FRIEDRICH RUCKERT (1788 1866), Professor of Oriental Literature in Berlin, wrote verses in memory of his friend Joseph Kopp:

Ruckert to
his Friend

"How shall I know myself without thee,
Who knew myself as part of thee?
I only know one half is vanished,
And half alone is left, of me.
Never again my proper mind
I'll know; for thee I'll never find.

"Never again, out there in space,
I'll find thee; but here, deep within.
I see, tho' not in dreams, thy face;
My waking eyes thy presence win,
And all my thought and poesy
Are but my offering to thee.

"My Jonathan, now hast thou fled,
And I to weep thy loss remain;
If David's harp might grace my hands
O might it help to ease my pain!
My friend, my Joseph, true of faith,
In life so loved - so loved in death."

And the following are by Joseph Kitir, an Austrian poet:-


"Not where breathing roses bless
The night, or summer airs caress;
Not in Nature's sacred grove;
No, but at a tap-room table,
Sitting in the window-gable
Did we plight our troth of love.

"No fair lime tree's roofing shade
By the spring wind gently swayed
Formed for us a bower of bliss;
No, stormbound, but love-intent,
There against the damp wall bent
We two bartered kiss for kiss.

"Therefore shalt thou, Love so rare
(Child of storms and wintry air)
Not like Spring's sweet fragrance fade.
Even in sorrow thou shalt flourish,
Frost shall not make thee afraid,
And in storms thou shalt not perish."

On p. 154, 155 above are given some letters of Richard Wagner relative to Ludwig II.'s deep attachment to him. Below are some of the actual letters of Ludwig to Wagner. (See Prof. C. Beyer's book, Ludwig II., Konig von Bayern.)

Ludwig II
to Richard

"Dear Friend, O I see clearly that your sufferings are deep-rooted! You tell me, beloved friend, that you have looked deep into the hearts of men, and seen there the villainy and corruption that dwells within. Yes, I believe you, and I can well understand that moments come to you of disgust with the human race; yet always will we remember (will we not, beloved?) that there are yet many noble and good people, for whom it is a real pleasure to live and work. And yet you say you are no use for this world! - I pray you, do not despair, your true friend conjures you; have Courage: 'Love helps us to bear and suffer all things, love brings at last the victor's crown!' Love recognizes, even in the most corrupt, the germ of good; she alone overcomes all! - Live on, darling of my soul. I recall your own words to you. To learn to forget is a noble work! - Let us be careful to hide the faults of others; it was for all men indeed that the Saviour died and suffered. And now, what a pity that 'Tristan' can not be presented to-day; will it perhaps to-morrow? Is there any chance?
Unto death, your faithful friend,
15th May, 1865.LUDWIG."

"Purschling, 4th Aug., 1865.
"My one, my much-loved Friend, - You express to me your sorrow that, as it seems to you, each one of our last meetings has only brought pain and anxiety to me. - Must I then remind my loved one of Brynhilda's words? - Not only in gladness and enjoyment, but in suffering also Love makes man blest. . . . . When does my friend think of coming to the 'Hill-Top,' to the woodland's aromatic breezes? - Should a stay in that particular spot not altogether suit, why, I beg my dear one to choose any of my other mountain-cabins for his residence. - What is mine is his! Perhaps we may meet on the way between the Wood and the World, as my friend expressed it! . . . . . To thee I am wholly devoted; for thee, for thee only to live!
Unto death your own, your faithful LUDWIG."

"Hohenschwangau, 2nd Nov., 1865.
"My one Friend, my ardently beloved! This afternoon, at 3.30, I returned from a glorious tour in Switzerlandl How this land delighted me! - There I found your dear letter; - deepest warmest thanks for the same. With new and burning enthusiasm has it filled me; I see that the beloved marches boldly and confidently forward, towards our great and eternal goal. "All hindrances I will victoriously like a hero overcome. I am entirely at thy disposal; let me now dutifully prove it. - Yes, we must meet and speak together. I will banish all evil clouds; Love has strength for all. You are the star that shines upon my life, and the sight of you ever wonderfully strengthens me. - Ardently I long for you, O my presiding Saint, to whom I pray! I should be immensely pleased to see my friend here in about a week; oh, we have plenty to say! If only I could quite banish from me the curse of which you speak, and send it back to the deeps of night from whence it sprang! - How I love, how I love you, my one, my highest good! . . . . . . . "My enthusiasm and love for you are boundless. Once more I swear you faith till death!
Ever, ever your devoted LUDWIG."

BYRONS "Death of Calmar and Orla: an Imitation of Ossian", is, like his Nisus and Euryalus," (see above) a story of two hero-friends who, refusing to be separated, die together in battle:-

Calmar and

"In Morven dwelt the chief; a beam of war to Fingal. His steps in the field were marked in blood. Lochlin's sons had fled before his angry spear; but mild was the eye of Calmar; soft was the flow of his yellow locks: they streamed like the meteor of the night. No maid was the sigh of his soul: his thoughts were given to friendship - to dark-haired Orla, destroyer of heroes! Equal were their swords in battle; but fierce was the pride of Orla - gentle alone to Calmar. Together they dwelt in the cave of Oithona."

[Orla is sent by the King on a mission of danger amid the hosts of the enemy. Calmar insists on accompanying him, in spite of all entreaties to the contrary. They are discovered. A fight ensues, and they are slain.]

"Morn glimmers on the hills: no living foe is seen; but the sleepers are many; grim they lie on Erin. The breeze of ocean lifts their locks; yet they do not awake. The hawks scream above their prey.

"Whose yellow locks wave o'er the breast of a chief? Bright as the gold of the stranger they mingle with the dark hair of his friend. 'Tis Calmar: he lies on the bosom of Orla. Theirs is one stream of blood. Fierce is the look of gloomy Orla. He breathes not, but his eye is still aflame. It glares in death unclosed. His hand is grasped in Calmar's; but Calmar lives! He lives, though low. 'Rise,' said the King, 'Rise, son of Mora: 'tis mine to heal the wounds of heroes. Calmar may yet bound on the hills of Morven.'

"'Never more shall Calmar chase the deer of Morven with Orla,' said the hero. 'What were the chase to me alone? Who should share the spoils of battle with Calmar? Orla is at rest. Rough was thy soul, Orla! Yet soft to me as the dew of morn. It glared on others in lightning: to me a silver beam of night. Bear my sword to blue-eyed Mora; let it hang in my empty hall. It is not pure from blood: but it could not save Orla. Lay me with my friend. Raise the song when I am dead.'"

[So they are laid by the stream of Lubar, and four grey stones mark the dwelling of Orla and Calmar.]

ERNST HAECKEL, in his " Visit to Ceylon," describes the devotion entertained for him by his Rodiya serving-boy at Belligam, near Galle. The keeper of the rest-house at Belligam was an old and philosophically-minded man, whom Haeckel, from his likeness to a well known head, could not help calling by the name of Socrates. And he continues:-

Visit to

"It really seemed as though I should be pursued by the familiar aspects of classical antiquity from the first moment of my arrival at my idyllic home. For, as Socrates led me up the steps of the open central hall of the rest-house, I saw before me, with uplifted arms in an attitude of prayer, a beautiful naked brown figure, which could be nothing else than the famous statue of the' Youth adoring.' How surprised I was when the graceful bronze statue suddenly came to life, and dropping his arms fell on his knees, and, after raising his black eyes imploringly to mine, bowed his handsome face so low at my feet that his long black hair fell on the floor! Socrates informed me that this boy was a Pariah, a member of the lowest caste, the Rodiyas, who had lost his parents at an early age, so he had taken pity on him. He was told off to my exclusive service, had nothing to do the livelong day but obey my wishes, and was a good boy, sure to do his duty punctually. In answer to the question what I was to call my new body-servant, the old man informed me that his name was Gamameda. Of course I immediately thought of Ganymede, for the favorite of Jove himself could not have been more finely made, or have had limbs more beautifully proportioned and moulded. As Gamameda also displayed a peculiar talent as butler, and never allowed any one else to open me a cocoa-nut or offer me a glass of palm wine, it was no more than right that I should dub him Ganymede.


"Among the many beautiful figures which move in the foreground of my memories of the paradise of Ceylon, Ganymede remains one of my dearest favorites. Not only did he fulfil his duties with the greatest attention and conscientiousness, but he developed a personal attachment and devotion to me which touched me deeply. The poor boy, as a miserable outcast of the Rodiya caste, had been from his birth the object of the deepest contempt of his fellow-men, and subjected to every sort of brutality and ill-treatment. With the single exception of old Socrates, who was not too gentle with him either, no one perhaps had ever cared for him in any way. He was evidently as much surprised as delighted to find me willing to be kind to him from the first. . . . . I owe many beautiful and valuable contributions to my museum to Ganymede's unfailing zeal and dexterity. With the keen eye, the neat hand, and the supple agility of the Cinghalese youth, he could catch a fluttering moth or a gliding fish with equal promptitude; and his nimbleness was really amazing, when, out hunting, he climbed the tall trees like a cat, or scrambled through the densest jungle to recover the prize I had killed."

[My Visit to Ceylon, by Ernst Haeckel, (Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., 1883).]

Haeckel stayed some weeks in and arround Belligam ; and continues (p. 272 ):-

" On my return to Belgium I had to face one of the hardest duties of my whole stay in Ceylon, to tear myself away from this lovely spot of earth where I had spent six of the happiest and most interesting weeks in my life. . . . . . but hardest of all was the parting from my faithful Ganymede: the poor lad wept bitterly, and implored me to take him with me to Europe. In vain has I assured him that it was impossible, and told him of our chill climate and dull skies. He clung to my knees and declared that he would follow me unhesitatingly wherever I would take him. I was at last almost obliged to use force to free myself from his embrace. I got into the carriage which was waiting, and as I waved a last farewell to my good brown friends, I almost felt as if I had been expelled from Paradise."

EDWARD FITZGERALD, the interpreter and translator of Omar Khayyam, was a man of the deepest feeling and sensibility, with a special gift for friendship. Men like Tennyson and Thackeray declared that they loved him best of all their friends. He himself said in one of his letters, "My friendships are more like loves." A. C. Benson, his biographer, writes of him:-


"He was always taking fancies, and once under the spell he could see no faults in his friend. His friendship for Browne arose out of one of these romantic impulses. So too his affection for Posh, the boatman; for Cowell, and for Alfred Smith, the farmer of Farlingay and Boulge, who had been his protege as a boy. He seems to have been one of those whose best friendships are reserved for men; for though he had beloved women friends like Mrs. Cowell and Mrs. Kemble, yet these are the exceptions rather than the rule. The truth is, there was a strong admixture of the feminine in Fitzgerald's character."

[Fitzgerald English Men of Letters Series, ch. viii.]

The friendship with Posh, the fisherman, at Lowestoft and at Woodbridge, lasted over many years. Fitzgerald had a herring-lugger built for him, which he called the Meum and Tuum, and in which they had many a sail together. Benson, speaking of their first meeting, says:-

and Posh

"In the same year [1864] came another great friendship. He made the acquaintance of a stalwart sailor named Joseph Fletcher, commonly called Posh. It was at Lowestoft that he was found, where Fitzgerald used, as he wrote in 1850, 'to wander about the shore at night longing for some fellow to accost me who might give some promise of filling up a very vacant place in my heart.' Posh had seen the melancholy figure wandering about, and years after, when Fitz used to ask him why he had not been merciful enough to speak to him, Posh would reply that he had not thought it becoming. Posh was, in Fitzgerald's own words, 'a man of the finest Saxon type, with a complexion, vif, mÔle et flamboyant, blue eyes, a nose less than Roman, more than Greek, and strictly auburn hair that woman might sigh to possess.' He was too, according to Fitz, 'a man of simplicity of soul, justice of thought, tenderness of nature, a gentleman of Nature's grandest type.' Fitz became deeply devoted to this big-handed, soft-hearted, grave fellow, then 24 years of age."

[Ibid., ch. iii.]

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