Tuesday, September 19, 2006

better put a patent on it

(by tom stoppard)

AEH. If only an army should be made up of lovers and their loves! - that's not me, that's Plato...'although a mere handful, they would overcome the world, for each would rather die a thousand deaths than be seen by his beloved to abandon his post or throw away his arms, the veriest coward would be inspired by love.' ...But there was such an army, a hundred and fifty pairs of lovers...At the end of that day, says Plutarch, the victorious Philip of Macedon went forth to view the slain, and when he came to that place where the three hundred fought and lay dead together, he wondered, and understanding that it was the band of lovers, he shed tears and said, whoever suspects baseness in anything these men did, let him perish.

HOUSMAN. I would be such a friend to someone.

AEH. To dream of taking the sword in the breast, the bullet in the brain -

HOUSMAN. I would.

AEH. - and wake up to find the world goes wretchedly on and you will die of age and not of pain....Lay down your life like a pack on the roadside though your days of march are numbered and end with the grave. Love will not be deflected from its micheif by being called comradeship or anything else.

HOUSMAN. I don't know what love is.

AEH. Oh, but you do. In the Dark Ages, in Macedonia, in the last guttering light from classical antiquity, a man copied out bits from old books for his young son, whose name was Septimius; so we have one sentence from "The Loves of Achilles." Love, said Sophocles, is like the ice held in the hand by children. A piece of ice held fast in the fist. I would I could help you, but it's not in my gift.

HOUSMAN. Love it is, then, and I will make the best of it.

(from the invention of love)

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