I knew a man who gave twenty years of his life to a scatterbrained woman, sacrificing everything to her, his friendships, his work, the very respectability of his life and who one evening recognized that he had never loved her. He had been bored, thats all, bored like most people. Hence he had made himself out of whole cloth a life full of complications and drama. Something must happen and that explains most human commitments. Something must happen even loveless slavery, even war or death.
Perhaps love is a minor madness. And as with madness, it's unendurable alone. The one person who can relieve us is of course the sole person we cannot go to: the one we love. So instead we seek out allies, even among strangers and wives, fellow patients who, if they can't touch the edge of our particular sorrow, have felt something that cuts nearly as deep.
But what are a hundred million deaths? When one has served in a war, one hardly knows what a dead man is, after a while. And since a dead man has no substance unless one has actually seen him dead, a hundred million corpses broadcast through history are no more than a puff of smoke in the imagination.