Tag-Archiv für 'english'

A schoolboy’s friendship

Benjamin Disraeli, 19th-century novelist, Conservative statesman and twice prime minister, on boys love in the British upper class:

At school, friendship is a passion. It entrances the being; it tears the soul. All loves of after-life can never bring its rapture, or its wretchedness; no bliss so absorbing, no pangs of jealousy or despair so crushing and so keen! What tenderness and what devotion; what illimitable confidence; infinite revelations of inmost thoughts; what ecstatic present and romantic future; what bitter estrangements and what melting reconciliations; what scenes of wild recrimination, agitating explanations, passionate correspondence; what insane sensitiveness, and what frantic sensibility; what earthquakes of the heart and whirlwinds of the soul are confined in that simple phrase, a schoolboy’s friendship! Tis some indefinite recollection of these mystic passages of their young emotion that makes grey-haired men mourn over the memory of their schoolboy days. It is a spell that can soften the acerbity of political warfare, and with its witchery can call forth a sigh even amid the callous bustle of fashionable saloons.

From: Benjamin Disraeli (1844), Congingsby, Chapter IX.

The Overflowing of Friendship (New Book Release)

Richard Godbeer, The Overflowing of Friend­ship: Love between Men and the Creation of the American Republic. Baltimore, MD : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.

When eighteenth-century American men described „with a swelling of the heart“ their friendships with other men, addressing them as „lovely boy“ and „dearly beloved,“ celebrating the „ardent affection“ that knit their hearts in „indissoluble bonds of fraternal love,“ their families, neighbors, and acquaintances would have been neither surprised nor disturbed. (mehr…)

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