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George Etherege

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When love grows diseased, the best thing we can do is to put it to a violent death. I cannot endure the torture of a lingering and consumptive passion.
--
Act II, sc. ii

 
George Etherege

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I am proud to have lied. Lying under torture is not easy. In the face of torture, a person with dignity lies. Endure torture is very difficult (...) The pain is unbearable; you can not imagine how. I am proud to have lied, because I saved my comrades from the same torture and from death.

 
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In my youth and comparative inexperience I had always regarded the yearning and pangs of love as the worst torture that could afflict the human heart. At this moment, however, I began to realize that there was another and perhaps grimmer torture than that of longing and desiring: that of being loved against one's will and of being unable to defend oneself against the urgency of another's passion; of seeing another human being seared by the flame of her desire and of having to look impotently, lacking the power, the capacity, the strength to pluck her from the flames. He who is himself crossed in love is able from time to time to master his passion, for he is not the creature but the creator of his own misery; and if a lover is unable to control his passim, he at least knows that he is himself to blame for his sufferings.

 
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What is the main thing in love? To know and to hide. To know about the one you love and to hide that you love. At times the hiding (shame) overpowers the knowing (passion). The passion for the hidden — the passion for the revealed.

 
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My heart was fashioned to be susceptible of love and sympathy, and when wrenched by misery to vice and hatred, it did not endure the violence of the change without torture such as you cannot even imagine.

 
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We know only fragmentarily this extraordinary thing called life; we have never looked at sorrow, except through the screen of escapes; we have never seen the beauty, the immensity of death, and we know it only through fear and sadness. There can be understanding of life, and of the significance and beauty of death, only when the mind on the instant perceives “what is”.You know, sirs, although we differentiate them, love, death, and sorrow are all the same; because, surely, love, death, and sorrow are the unknowable. The moment you know love, you have ceased to love. Love is beyond time; it has no beginning and no end, whereas knowledge has; and when you say, “I know what love is”, you don’t. You know only a sensation, a stimulus. You know the reaction to love, but that reaction is not love. In the same way, you don’t know what death is. You know only the reactions to death, and you will discover the full depth and significance of death only when the reactions have ceased.

 
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