The ruling passion
tales of nature and human nature
In every life worth writing about there is a ruling passion, -- "the very pulse of the machine." Unless you touch that, you are groping around outside of reality. Sometimes it is romantic love: Natures masterpiece of interested benevolence. In almost all lives this passion has its season of empire. Therefore, and rightly, it is the favorite theme of the storyteller. Romantic love interests almost everybody, because almost everybody knows something about it, or would like to know. But there are other passions, no less real, which also have their place and power in human life. Some of them come earlier, and sometimes they last longer, than romantic love. They play alongside of it and are mixed up with it, now checking it, now advancing its flow and tingeing it with their own color. Just because love is so universal, it is often to one of the other passions that we must look for the distinctive hue, the individual quality of a life-story. Granted, if you will, that everybody must fall in love, or ought to fall in love, How will he do it? And what will he do afterwards?