Met today with a sullen Platonist, who told me that beneath all the sundry Pratings & wildnesses of Man, he cou'd discern but one Idea: LOVE.
"Does not the Mantuan swan tell us that amor omnia vincit?" he asked, with a positively Olympian grandeur. "Does not the peripatetic Master -"
"Halt there, my good man," I said. "If love be all, and infuse all with its grandeur & strength, where then wou'd the Love be when no life breath'd on the earth? What wou'd this love be, when the Blue Ridge rumpled to Life like a folding Carpet? What wou'd the loving Heart be, that gaz'd on vast & measureless wastes, with no Breath upon it but the most vile & noxious of gasses?"
The Platonist sigh'd, as tho' I were but a Stripling that needed thorough Correction. "Sir, the love is of course God's."
"But can we call the mind of God by those same words used of man?"
"Of course not." Again, he beam'd with the assurance of a divine.
"Ah. Just yesterday, my Sappony man Ned Bearskin hopp'd into my tent to tell me that his son has taken a Wife. The poor native considers himself in love. Now, tell me, how can your God look upon the Rocks with a swelling tumescence? How can his trousers inflate at the sight of an airless rock, bald of the greenery that fills our hills? What manner of rotten flagpole sitter is this, that wou'd shun the hot doings of a young Sappony & his wife?"
"Oh, M'syer Bainton - you do try my patience. Oh - piss off, sir!"
And thus we parted on the warmest terms of Love