Copyright
Arnold Haultain.

Hints for Lovers online

. (page 2 of 9)
Online LibraryArnold HaultainHints for Lovers → online text (page 2 of 9)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


When a woman has more than one admirer, she not only deploys them, but
tries to make them advance en echelon. For

Few things disconcert a woman more than a multiple and simultaneous
attack delivered front a front. But

The way in which a woman will maneuver her attackers is marvelous.

* * *

They say a woman cannot argue. Hear her explain an indiscretion!

* * *

An independent woman is a contradiction in terms. For
Woman's chief want is to feel that she is wanted. Therefore it is that

With women, cruelty is more easily borne than coldness. Indeed,
It is astonishing how much downright cruelty a woman will stand from the
man she loves or has loved. On the other hand,

Melancholy also attracts women. Naturally,

Women are made to soothe, to pity, to comfort, to delight. Therefore it
is that

To see a strong man in a weak woman's arms is a sight which should arouse
- not our laughter, but our(1) envy. So it does.

(1) Common Gender

* * *

Let not the simpleton think a woman will sympathize with his simplicity:

No woman is a simpleton.

What women admire is a subtle combination of forcefulness and gentleness.


If a woman has to choose between forcefulness and gentleness, always she
will sacrifice the latter. And

It is astonishing to what lengths forcefulness can go without endangering
a woman's admiration. If it sweeps her off her feet. . . well,

In nothing does a woman so clearly exhibit the inherent femininity of her
nature as in the delight with which, at the bottom of her heart, she
recalls moments when she has been swept off her feet. She may sigh over
them; but

Generally, a woman's sighs are by no means those of remorse.
A woman never brings pure reason to bear upon her actions; she acts by
sentiment 40 and she judges her acts by sentiment. This is why

Even when a woman has deceived and betrayed, she does not regard herself
culpable. Always, she says to herself, she was driven to it, and
therefore she is blameless. Accordingly

A penitent woman is rare:

Even when a man, with his so-called superior reason, thinks he has proved
her wrong, at the bottom of her heart she knows herself right.

* * *

Many have been the discussions as to woman's most powerful weapon. The
simple fact is, she is armed cap a pie(2). Indeed,
Every woman is a sort of feminine Proteus, not only in the myriad shapes
she assumes, but also in her amenability to nothing but superior force.
Women form, perhaps, where men are concerned, the single exception to the
rule that in union there is strength. One woman often enough is
irrepressible; two (be the second her own mother) break the charm an
association of women is the feeblest of forces.

(2) Cf. Cowper:

They are all women, and they dart
Like Porcupines, from every part.
-Anacreontics

* * *

All women are rivals. And this they never forget. Consequently

Mistrust a truce between hostile ladies.

* * *

Amongst women, modesty is of infinitely more potent influence than is
ability. Yet

To a woman's modesty ability is a wonderfully enhancing setting. And

Modesty is the most complex and the most varied of emotions. Perhaps

When modesty and frailty go hand in hand, there is no more delectable
combination known to men; and Aphrodite has not the subtle charm of a
Cynthia. Perhaps this is why such

A wondrous halo of romance hangs about the name of a Heloise, of a
Marguerite, of a Marianna Alcoforado; of a Concetta of Afragola; of a
Catalina; of Robert le Diable's Helena, of Isolde; of Lucia of Bologna,
the enchantress of Ottaviano; of Francesca; of Guenevere; of the sweet
seventeen-year old novice of Andouillets, Margarita, the fille who was
"rosy as the morn"; of the Beguine who nursed Captain Shandy; of the
fille de chamber who walked along the Quai de Conti with Yorick; of
Ameilia Viviani, the inspirer of Shelly's most ecstatic lyric; of
Dryden's masque-loving Lucretia. For, after all,

Is the star any the less starry to the rapt star-gazer when he finds it
to be a tremulous planet?

Cynthia may have blushed in heaven; bit did the blush make her any less
lovely to the Latmian?

Only in the clear and unclouded pool is the star undimmed embosomed.

* * *

They say a woman is capricious. But the consistency of woman's
capriciousness is only exceeded by the capriciousness of man's
consistency.

Man calls woman capricious simply because he is too stupid to comprehend
the laws by which she is swayed. Woman does not call man capricious.
- The inference is obvious.

* * *

To women the profoundest mysteries of the universe give place to two
things: a lover, and a baby. - But perhaps these are the profoundest
mysteries of the universe.

* * *

How many women there be who, deeming themselves fitted to be the consorts
of kings, yet comport themselves dutifully as the wives of wastrels! And
indeed,

Given beauty, cleverness, and grace, 44 there is no position to which a
woman could not aspire; for

Being Woman, she is ex officio Queen.

* * *

Speak to a woman disparagingly of her sex, - she is up in arms.

Speak to her disparagingly of a member of her sex, - well, she will not
be up in arms. The reason for her bellicosity in the former case is the
fact that

A woman always interprets abstract disparagement of her sex personally.
And she is perfectly right.

* * *

It is not only the woman who cannot be accounted quite as stainless as
the stars that sometimes trade on their charms.

* * *

When a strong-souled woman wholly and unreservedly loves, her love will
go to lengths passing the comprehension of man. For

Women prefer an despot to a dependent.

* * *

It is marvelous to what a pitch of demureness features by nature that the
most coquettish can be set.

(A Man's features are often a clue to his character; a woman's rarely.)
So it comes about that

The owner of a seraphic face is often owner of a temper satanic.
Nevertheless,

Often enough a spice of diablerie in a woman at once enhances all her
charms.

It is indeed fortunate for the men that so many women are unaware of the
power of their charms.

* * *

A woman would much rather you lied to her concerning herself than that
you told her something unpleasant to hear.

* * *

Some women seem to be envious of some men's familiarity with immorality.

* * *

It is by woman that a woman will be first suspected; and it is by a woman
she will be last forgiven. The last thing a woman will ask you for is:
your esteem. And yet

Cast a slur upon a woman's character and you are considered indiscreet.
Cast a slur upon a woman's personal appearance, and you are considered
culpable.

* * *

Fashion is a woman's sole law. And

The surest evidence of strong-mindedness in woman is to fly in the fact
of fashion.

* * *

Ridicule is woman's keenest weapon; it is the poisoned arrow in her
quiver. Well is it for the men that she never, or so rarely, has
recourse to it.

* * *

A woman is quick to discern the quality of the admiration bestowed upon
her.

* * *

No one, not even herself, knows what a woman will do next. - Doubtless
this is trite. But it is true as trite. Yet men rarely find it out till
late in life - and forget it as soon as found out.

* * *

A woman can say more in a sigh than a man can say in a sermon.

* * *

Nothing piques a woman so much as indifference to her favors.
Indifference to her undiscovered passion she quite otherwise regards.

* * *

The woman knows the male heart probably better than does it itself. She
knows above all things, that to hold that heart she must never wholly
satisfy it. And many - and multiform - and marvelous - are the ruses by
which she accomplishes that end. And yet,

Women there are who firmly believe that, were they to try, they could
enthrall any man beyond possibility of extrication. And 48 so perhaps
they could; but the achievement would require as much unscrupulousness as
it would seductiveness.

The seductive and unscrupulous woman is hatred of women.

* * *

Under the gaze of a group of men whom she knows that her brilliancy
dazzles, a woman, like the snow-clad hearth, sparkles:
Under the gaze of a man by whom she knows she is passionately desired,
like the same earth under the lordly sun, she melts.

* * *

All women think they can cozen men: few women think they can cozen women.

* * *

The women who perturb men most are those who combine too effectively
adorableness with desirableness.

* * *

As in nature, so in humanity, flight on the part of the lady is not
always symbol of unwillingness of pursuit. On the other hand

Feminine audacity by no means betokens feminine immodesty.

Feminine obduracy is invincible by man. Luckily, it is rare.

* * *

Men call women variable: did she not vary, men would tire. This, women
instinctively know.

Women rightly dislike and disgust variability in men. For

Women like best to be liked: to lead gives them but paltry and temporary
pleasure. (Though this they do not always instinctively know; or, if
they do, they conceal their knowledge.) And

Variability is incompatible with leadership.

* * *

How delicately a loving woman reproves! How defiantly an unloving!

* * *

How many lonely women - married and unmarried - the world contains, only
these lonely women know.

* * *

The feminine métier par excellence is: to allure. And

The subtle and elaborate means by which women will devise to intensify
the lure, passes the comprehension o f men. Yet

In all ages, to make herself attractive was as right and proper for the
woman as to make himself feared was for the man. Besides,

With women the art of attracting has long since become second nature.

* * *

Women are quick to recognize a rake. For

A rake always rouses curiosity, never aversion.

* * *

A worsted woman always, either silently or volubly, calls down a curse
upon her successful rival. - And 't is a curse that too often fails.

Many women handicap other women; and they handicap them in multifarious
ways. Probably the one most frequently used is lavishness of favors.

The woman who is lavish of favors is hated of her stricter sisters. But,
before these, what an air of bravado she wears!

* * *

As a rule, women are far better readers of character than are men. A
woman will often startle a man by her penetrating insight into character.
And

Many a man has been put on his guard by female institution.

* * *

The fragilest woman will be ill content with suppressed embraces. And

The ablest-bodied woman loves being petted. Even

A prude is a shy coquette.

* * *

The man who judges of a woman by her letters is a fool. - Her gesture
will contain more matter than her journal. Besides,

The woman who could punctuate could reason.

* * *

The debut of a younger sister evokes mixed emotions.

* * *

The prayer - uttered or unexpressed - of many an undowered young woman
is, May a moneyed man fall in love with me ! And she is not always
over-careful to add, And may I fall in love with that moneyed man!

* * *

If the "New Woman" (3) turns out to be a fitter companion for men than
the old, no man will complain of her novelty. Yet

Men regard the advent of the New Woman rather askance. Why? Because

To judge from certain feminine utterances, the New Woman seems more
inclined to aim at rivalry than at companionship with man.
- However, there need be no fears as to the result, since

Such is the mysterious potency of womanhood, that, whether new or old,
woman will always lead man captive. Besides

As every new variety of fashion in dress seems becoming to women, so, it
is probable, every variety of fashion in manners will become them also.
But probably

The phrase the "New Woman" is not unlike the phrase the "New Chemistry":
the materials are the same; what is new is the nomenclature.

(3) A phrase (and not much more than a phrase) much in vogue in Europe
and America in the last two decades of the nineteenth century of the area
known as Christian.

* * *

A woman's peccadilloes are generally worse than a man's. At all events
they are more reprobated.

* * *

Abashment intensifies a woman's love for him so making her abashed. And

There is a shame that is sweeter than joy. (As

There is a fear more tremulous than delight.) For

Mastery is a woman's standard of man. And
There is an element of the freest and frankest savagery in the most
refined and spiritual of women. (How otherwise

Can any one explain the extraordinary fable of Selene and Pan?(4)
- And man?

- But that man was ever a savage. It may be added that

The defenselessness of woman is a conventional fiction: she can avert an
attack by a look; she can terminate a siege by a taunt.

(4) Though Browning tried. See "Dramatic Idyls", "Pan and Luna"

* * *

Solomon has objurgated the invincibly garrulous woman. The invincibly
taciturn woman is so rare as to have escaped objurgation. Yet she too is
a terror to men.

* * *

Every woman is suspicious and jealous of any woman that opens a man's
eyes; even though she knows that

Never was there a woman who could and would deliberately wholly enlighten
a man.

And, yet, marvelous and curious amongst things curious and marvelous,
will but a woman fling artifice to the winds, and look and act and say as
great Nature prompts, - wildly, willfully, wantonly, - that woman will
captivate as no feminine wiles will ever captivate.

* * *

If the man were worth it, many a woman would dispense with the marriage
ceremony. For

Ah! Love - love - love, - given love, what else is needed? (Unfortunately

Love can never be sure of itself - much less of anything else.
Accordingly

The marriage contract is a device on the part of the community to provide
for the preservation of the home: it makes the parties promise fidelity.)
But

Precious few are the men who are worth the risking. Unfortunately,

More women succumb to strength of will than to strength of character.

Neither, in general, are women overcurious to enquire whether the
strength of character.

Neither, in general, are women over curious to enquire whether the
strength of the masculine will makes for good or for evil.

So long as the masculine will overmaster the feminine, the feminine mind
is satisfied. Of course there are exceptions, but as a rule,

Women - whether young or old, married or single, strong-minded or weak -
are never happier than when they can depend on a man. Accordingly,

The lover or the husband who is weaker than, and depends upon, the woman,
will some day rue his weakness and dependence. And yet,

To see a strong male at her feet - that is exquisite to the woman. So
exquisite that

It is with difficulty that a woman refrains from exhibiting a man's
servitude to others. On the other hand,

There is an element of intimidation in a resplendent woman. And of this
she is aware. - Hence perhaps her power.

* * *

A woman will attain her ends by adroit finesse, where a man would blunder
into open hostility. And

It is well that man should blind his eyes to feminine wiles, since,

Always a woman kindly pretends oblivion of masculine blunders.

* * *

The woman whose tastes and refinements are above her station, is
in pitiable plight: she is too fastidious to espouse the men who would
marry her; the men she would marry she rarely meets. For,
The only thing that, to love, is insupportable is vulgarity. Since

Love, romantic love, the efflorescence and bloom of life, is besmirched
unless tenderly touched.

* * *

To generalize passes the wit of woman; but in penetration she is
preternatural.

* * *

What fascinates a woman is the man who unwittingly attracts her against
her will. But such a man rouses a combination of emotions comprehensible
only by women.

* * *

A woman's answer to an insuperable argument is: a look. And a most
cogent answer it is. Indeed,

Speech is a woman's least effective weapon; rarely if ever does she
resort to it:

In the affairs of life, as in the affairs of love, where men be
concerned, it is upon her personality that she relies, not upon her
speech whether written or uttered.

Her personal appearance is to a woman, what his personal honor is to a
man: it must be immaculate; constant with the fashion of the hour; and
strictly in accordance with her or his status in society. Accordingly,

Dress and demeanor - these form the code of feminine ethics. Even

Deception on the part of a woman is merely diplomacy;

Women deceive only be cause man is too blind to see. That is to
say,

Since man in past ages has never allowed woman either freedom of action
or frankness of speech, it is not to be expected of her that she should
be all at once an adept in their use. - To her credit be it said that,

Generally a woman deceives only n order to arouse or to retain the
admiration of man. For example,

Many a woman has surreptitiously made love to the man - and few are the
men who have detected it.

* * *

Why this woman fascinates all who come within the sphere of their
influence, and that women, does not, no earthly sage will ever know. As
well ask what makes one man a Napoleon, another a poltroon. So, too,

It is impossible for a woman to say 'I will be loved,' as it is for a man
to say 'I will be obeyed.' - Perhaps

Love and Power are divine miracles.

* * *

(At the risk of treading on delicate ground, ground off which I shall be
hooted by the modern woman, I venture to say that)

The idea that a woman is the property of the man of her choice, rail as
it as the woman may, has not yet been ousted from the feminine mind - and
heart. Indeed,

So firmly implanted in the feminine breast is the idea of the ownership
of her by the man, that it is to the man who assumes and exercises
ownership that she clings. This is why

A woman easily changes her allegiance; since,

Allegiance, to a woman, means loyalty to the man who assumes and
exercises ownership over her:

Let a man who a fractional part of a second evince the shadow of a doubt
of his proprietorship - at once he undermines a woman's allegiance.
Consequently,

It is folly for men to express amazement at the ease with which a woman
will transfer herself and her affections.

A woman will transfer herself bodily over and over again, but only
because the previous owner lightly esteemed, or weakly maintained, his
ownership. As a matter of fact

In pristine days woman was, naturally and necessarily, the property, the
chattel, of the man: marriage was not then a matrimonial syndicate of
two: marriage meant that a woman sought a provider, a supporter, a
defender; the man a mate for his delight, his comfort, and his solace, a
keeper op is cave or hut, a mother and nurse for his heirs. And
provision, support, and defense, being, in pristine days, matters of
strength, prowess, or cunning, naturally and necessarily pristine man 65
gained him and kept him a mate by strength, prowess, or cunning; he
regarded that mate as his by right of force, not as a partner in a
compact. And

The most complicated of modern communities has no whit altered the
relationship of man to mate, conceal though it may the origin and history
of marriage. Finally,

No woman at the bottom of her heart has any objection to being owned.
Indeed (though no woman would say it, a man may),

Every woman at the bottom of her heart delights to be owned, and tacitly
and secretly seeks the man who she thinks will glory in that ownership
and keep his property safe - not only from material harms, but from
temptations to changes of ownership. In which last little fact lies a
curious truth.

Women like to be defended against themselves. In this little matter men
and women differ: That any other man should dare for one instant to
covet or alienate (5) that most precious of his possessions, his mate,
- nothing rouses to a higher pitch man's unappeasable wrath than this;

Against the man so daring, a woman's wrath is never roused: rather she
regards him as one having discernment, and his daring is a commendable
compliment to herself. In fine, and in short,

Allegiance, to a man, on the part of a woman, means, in her eyes, loyalty
to him who properly exercises the right of ownership. In simple truth,

A woman gives herself to a man: to the man who proves himself worthy the
gift, she is true.

And this is why women, all women, even the New ones, love being petted
and admired and made much of all their lives: this but proves the
possession of the gift to be appreciated. Besides,

The male is the dominant animal - not necessarily in his cave or his hut,
- by no means, but in the stress and struggle of life; and women tacitly
(though never openly) look up to and admire this dominance, even when
exercised over themselves; since THIS, in turn, proves the masterfulness,
the worth, of the man; albeit sometimes they rebel against it if carried
to far. At least,

Unless a man continues to exhibit his appreciation of the gift by word as
well as by deed, the woman is apt to imagine that that appreciation is on
the wane.

(5) How women must laugh in their sleeves at the fact that one man may
sue another in a court of law for "alienating his wife's affections"!

* * *




IV. On Love

"Amore che muove il sole e l'altre stelle."
- Dante


The beginning, middle, and end of love - is a sigh.

* * *

All things point to the infinite; and love more than all things else.

* * *

Complex as is the character of love, here are two things which love
always does: always it

"Refines the thoughts
And heart enlarges;"
- Milton

and,

Love dyes all things a cerulean hue. (What a pity it is not a fast
color!)

* * *

Love is the most antimonial of emotions: it worships, yet it will not
stop at sacrilege; it will build about its object a temple of adoration,
then desecrate the fane; it will give all, yet ruthlessly seize
everything; it delights in pleasing, yet it sometimes wittingly wounds;
its ineffable tenderness often merges into an inclemency extraordinary;
- symbol of universal duality, it is at once demonical and angelic.

* * *

Nothing stands still in this world, not even love: it must grow or it
withers. And, perhaps,

That is the strongest love which surmounts the greatest number of
obstacles.

* * *

Love to some is an intoxicant; to others an ailment. To all it is a
necessity.

* * *

As is one's character, so is one's love. And

Perhaps the deepest love is the quietest.

* * *

Love is as implacable as it is un-appeasable. Nay more,

Love is merciless: as merciless to its votary as to its victim: For

Love would slay rather than surrender; would for-swear rather than forgo.

* * *

Some loves, like some fevers, render the patient immune - at all events
to that particular kind of contagion.

Many lovers are vaccinated in early youth.

* * *

Only love can comprehend and reciprocate love. This is why,

If, of two sensitive human souls, the one loves passionately and the
other not at all, the other is unwittingly blind and deaf to love's
clamors and claims: the one may ardently urge; the other but passively
yields: -

Only the famished understand the pangs of the hungered.

Of a great and reciprocated love there is one and only one sign: the
expression of the eyes. Who that has seen it was ever deceived by its
counterfeit?

Did ever the same love-light shine in the same eyes twice?

The light of love in the eyes may take on a thousand forms: exultant
jubilation, a trustful happiness; infinite appeasement, or promises
untold; an adoration supreme, or a complex oblation; tenderness
ineffable, or heroic resolves; implicit faith; unquestioning confidence;
abounding pity; unabashed desire. . .

He who shall count the stars of heaven, shall enumerate the radiances of
love.

* * *

There is no Art of Loving (1); though, as Ovid says, love must be guided
by art (2). Yet,

If love did not come by chance, it would never come at all.

(1) Ovid wrote not Art of Loving ("Ars Amandi"); he wrote on the
Amatorial Art ("Ars Amatoria").

(2) "Arte regendus amor." - "Ars Amatoria", I, 4.

* * *

To each of us himself is the centre of the visible universe. But when
love comes it alters this Ptolemaic theory. Yet,

It is a significant fact that love, which, more than any other thing in
this world, is the great bringer-together of hearts, begins its
mysterious work as a separator and puter-at-a-distance. For


2 4 5 6 7 8 9

Online LibraryArnold HaultainHints for Lovers → online text (page 2 of 9)