He had loved not wisely, but too well

The Distributed Proofreaders have a forum thread (registration required, I believe), in which they put noteworthy phrases they come across.

You know how they say you should not have a tattoo with the name of the love of your life, because tomorrow she will love another? From Stevenson, on his travels through the South Pacific:

“It is a pleasant society, and a hospitable.”

“But one man, who was often to be seen seated on the logs at the pier-head, merits a word for the singularity of his history and appearance. Long ago, it seems, he fell in love with a native lady, a High Chiefess in Ua-pu. She, on being approached, declared she could never marry a man who was untattooed; it looked so naked; whereupon, with some greatness of soul, our hero put himself in the hands of the Tahukus, and, with still greater, persevered until the process was complete.”

“He had certainly to bear a great expense, for the Tahuku will not work without reward; and certainly exquisite pain. Kooamua, high chief as he was, and one of the old school, was only part tattooed; he could not, he told us with lively pantomime, endure the torture to an end. Our enamoured countryman was more resolved; he was tattooed from head to foot in the most approved methods of the art: and at last presented himself before his mistress a new man. The fickle fair one could never behold him from that day except with laughter.”

“For my part, I could never see the man without a kind of admiration; of him it might be said, if ever of any, that he had loved not wisely, but too well.”

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