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Paul Bourget

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It is vain to try to sacrifice once for all one's youthful ideals. When a man has loved literature as I loved it at twenty, he cannot be satisfied at twenty-six to give up his early passion, even at the bidding of implacable necessity.

 
Paul Bourget

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Twenty candles on a cake. Twenty Camels in a pack. Twenty months in the federal pen. Twenty shots of tequila down a young girl's gullet. Twenty centuries since Our Lord's last pratfall, and after all that time we still don't know where passion goes when it goes.

 
Tom Robbins
 

My friend returned to the gallery, looked once more at the adorable imprint of the most innocent, the most passionate of caresses. A mirror hung near by, where he could compare his present with his former face, the man he was with the man he had been. He never told me and I never asked what his feelings were at that moment. Did he feel that he was too culpable to have inspired a passion in a young girl whom he would have been a fool, almost a criminal, to marry? Did he comprehend that through his age which was so apparent, it was his youth which this child loved? Did he remember, with a keenness that was all too sad, that other, who had never given him a kiss like that at a time when he might have returned it? I only know that he left the same day, determined never again to see one whom he could no longer love as he had loved the other, with the hope, the purity, the soul of a man of twenty.

 
Paul Bourget
 

But do you mean to tell me that the man who in the full flush of youthful vigour, a young man of four and twenty, married a woman much his senior, and remained faithful to her for six and twenty years, at fifty years of age when the passions are dying married for lust and sexual passion? Not thus are men's lives to be judged. And you look at the women whom he married, you will find that by every one of them an alliance was made for his people, or something was gained for his followers, or the woman was in sore need of protection.

 
Holy Prophet Muhammad
 

He didn't lose his virginity until he was twenty, but once he did, he went on a decade-long sex bender. He had a penchant for girls in their early teens: At the age of twenty-one, he was briefly married to a fourteen-year-old; at the age of twenty-two, he had a child (his only, Eric, now thirty-three) by another teenager; and at one early point, he had a thing for a thirteen-year-old named Betsy, of whom he has said, "She looked at me penetratingly. So I suppose you can figure out what happened next." After shows, he'd return home with some fan or other, have sex with her and tell her to get lost.

 
Iggy Pop
 

There is no such thing as an age for love ... because the man capable of loving in the complex and modern sense of love as a sort of ideal exaltation never ceases to love. I will go further; he never ceases to love the same person. You know the experiment that a contemporary physiologist tried with a series of portraits to determine in what the indefinable resemblances called family likeness consisted? He took photographs of twenty persons of the same blood, then he photographed these photographs on the same plate, one over the other. In this way he discovered the common features which determined the type. Well, I am convinced that if we could try a similar experiment and photograph one upon another the pictures of the different women whom the same man has loved or thought he had loved in the course of his life we should discover that all these women resembled one another. The most inconsistent have cherished one and the same being through five or six or even twenty different embodiments.

 
Paul Bourget
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