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The Ruling Passion - Henry van Dyke

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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 favourite 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 colour.

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?  These are questions not without interest to 
one who watches the human drama as a friend.  The answers depend 
upon those hidden and durable desires, affections, and impulses to 
which men and women give themselves up for rule and guidance.

Music, nature, children, honour, strife, revenge, money, pride, 
friendship, loyalty, duty,--to these objects and others like them 
the secret power of personal passion often turns, and the life 
unconsciously follows it, as the tides in the sea follow the moon in 
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