Our love, to be a passion, must be subjected to the laws of human passions.
I am speaking of honorable passions, those that are good by their very nature; for they are indifferent in themselves. We render them evil when we direct them toward evil, but it is in our power to make use of them for good. Now, when a certain passion rules a man, it concentrates him. One desires to reach such a position, honorable and elevated. He will labor only for that end. "Ten, twenty years, what does it signify?" he says. "I will reach it at last." He has but one thought, one desire, and everything else must subserve thereto. He puts aside whatever could divert him from his object, whatever does not tend toward it. Another wants to amass a fortune. He says: "I shall possess so much," and he fixes a sum in his mind. Then he labors hard. He counts no cost, everything becomes for him a means toward his great end, outside of which he finds nothing of any interest. Another looks forward to an honorable alliance. To him as to Jacob of old, seven years of service are as nothing. Like him, he would be willing to begin all over again at the end of those seven years, were it necessary. "I shall have Rachel!" And all his labor, says the Scripture, appears to him as nothing on account of his great love. This is the way that men reach their end in the world. These passions may become bad. They are, alas! very often the cause of continual sin, although they may be, and they often are, honorable. Without a passion, we accomplish nothing. Life has no aim. We drag out a useless existence.