Now with his wife Isolt, once again he enjoyed whatever his heart desired, in fact at least, if not in honor. He could not claim from his wife any love or affection nor any of the dignities that God has ever made to be except that in his name her title was that of Lady and Queen in that realm where he was king. He accepted what he had, treating her affectionately as though she really loved him. This was a typical case of that foolish, unfeeling blindness described in the proverb that the blindness of love blinds both inside and outside. It blinds eyes and the mind— neither perception admits seeing what they see very plainly. This is what had happened to Marke. He knew, as sure as death, and saw plainly, that his wife devoted all her heart and mind to her love for Tristan, 17750 fervidly, in every way, but he didn't want to know that. Who, then, is to blame for that unrewarding life that he continued to live with her? To accuse Isolt of any deception would not be strictly true— she fooled neither him nor Tristan. He saw it with his own eyes, and didn't need eyes to know that she bore him no love, yet despite all, he loved her. Why, you ask, and for what did he love her so dearly? Just as so many do today— one fated to suffer lust and desire suffers them diligently. Oho, how many do we see, these Markes and Isolts, if we were to tell the truth, who are just as blind or blinder both in heart and of eye! They are no rarity. Such a multitude of them are so attached to their blindness that they prefer not to know what they see with their eyes, declaring what they know and see to be nothing but an illusion. Can we blame them for their blindness? If we look honestly, we find we have no reason to blame the women for it. They are innocent before the man whom they permit plainly to see what it is they're up to. If the man perceives her guilt, he is not being tricked or deceived by the woman. It is only that desire has pulled the wool over his eyes. Concupiscence is the lie that occludes clearly-seeing eyes the world over, all the time. Whatever may be said of blindness, no blindness blinds so darkly, with such frightful thoroughness, as do lust and desire. 17800 We may not like to hear it, but the proverb is true that says, watch out for beauty. The marvelous comeliness of Isolt in her flower so thoroughly blinded Marke inside and out, both his mind and his eyes, that he could not discern what he wanted to accuse her of, and all he chose to believe was only the best about her. To put it in a nutshell: he so enjoyed her company that he overlooked whatever pain and insult she caused him. There are more things in the heart lying sealed and sequestered than can easily be concealed. We all are much tempted to do what gnaws at our thoughts. The eye seeks out and lingers on its pleasure. Heart and eye alike take pleasure in retracing what has always been their joy, and any who give them liberty, God knows, only makes it worse. The more you try to prevent them, the more they strive for their pleasure and cling to it persistently. Just so did Tristan and Isolt. No sooner had their accustomed indulgence in delight and pleasure been put back under surveillance and proscribed by royal command than they felt greatly deprived. insidious desire and lust now tormented them afresh, more insistently than before. Their need for each other now became far more urgent than it had been ever before. The ponderous imposition of hateful surveillance lay upon their spirits heavy as a leaden mountain. Surveillance, that dire contrivance, the archfiend of love, consumed all their attention, 17850 most particularly for Isolt whose distress was greatest— deprived of Tristan, she would die. The more her lord forbid her any consortion with him, all the more tenaciously did her thoughts dwell on him.
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