Nonfiction > Henry Craik, ed. > English Prose > Vol. II. Sixteenth Century to the Restoration
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Henry Craik, ed.  English Prose.  1916.
Vol. II. Sixteenth Century to the Restoration
 
Love
By Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679)
 
From Human Nature

OF love, by which is understood the joy man taketh in the fruition of any present good, hath been already spoken of in the first section, chapter vii. under which is contained the love men bear to one another, or pleasure they take in one another’s company; and by which nature, men are said to be sociable. But there is another kind of love, which the Greeks call [Eros] and is that which we mean, when we say that a man is in love: forasmuch as this passion cannot be without diversity of sex, it cannot be denied but that it participateth of that indefinite love mentioned in the former section. But there is a great difference betwixt the desire of a man indefinite, and the same desire limited ad hunc; and this is that love which is the great theme of poets: but notwithstanding their praises, it must be defined by the word need: for it is a conception a man hath of his need of that one person desired. The cause of this passion is not always nor for the most part beauty, or other quality in the beloved, unless there be withal hope in the person that loveth: which may be gathered from this, that in great difference of persons, the greater have often fallen in love with the meaner; but not contrary. And from hence it is, that for the most part they have much better fortune in love, whose hopes are built upon something in their person, than those that trust to their expressions and service; and they that care less, than they that care more: which not perceiving, many men cast away their services, as one arrow after another, till, in the end, together with their hopes, they lose their wits.
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