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The sacrosanct aureole of modesty beautifies all it surrounds: though it
diviner haze imperfection there is none. So,

Given a redolent balm, and the lowliest herb becomes treasured and
precious. And

Each human soul has its own individual essence;

What folly were the violet to envy the rose! Since

Beauty is much, and grace is much, and mien and demeanor and wit; but a
prepotent and psychic essence there is transcending the power of these.
And,

As the suave and subtle essence is not distinct from, but springs from,
the tangible and numerable petals, so the spirit perceives that its
fleshy vesture is not a thing apart, to be donned or doffed at will, to b
e contemned or left out of regards, but indeed at integral and
inseparable portion of itself; for

In the very woof and warp of flesh, sprit is immanent and enmeshed.
Indeed - though in a mystic sense -

Vesture and wearer are mutually one. And yet

Love ever essays the task of seeking out the psychic wearer beneath the
corporeal vesture - often with plaintive strife.

When seeker and sought make a mutual search - the starkest strife is
condoned. But alack!

The mystic unity of the human soul is never wholly divulged - not even to
love - not even to love.

* * * * *




VIII. On Courtship

"Un amant fait la court ou s'attache son coeur".
- Moliere


A woman really in love and sure of her lover delights in toying with a
sort of coquetry of love; as if it pleased her to try to win over again
that the winning of which gave so exquisite a pleasure. And perhaps

The coquetry of love is the surest test of an unquestionable love. For

When possession can afford to play at pursuit, this but proves possession
complete. Sometimes

An assumed love will resort to the pretty tricks of a real one, in order
to assure its object - or to re-assure itself.

Surrender after a protracted siege has its advantages. At all events
both M and N can look back to more demi-semi happy incidents when the
courtship has been long.

Happy that couple can laugh over the incidents of courtship afterwards.
'T is a portent of impending ill if they cannot.

* * *

Half-heartedness in courtship is not only suicidal, it is murderous. On
the other hand, remember that

In courtship there are various and varying stages. But there is always
the home-gallop. Remember, too, that

What is suitable at one stage of courtship is ruinous at another. And

It is only the old whip who knows when to push the pace:

In courtship to force the running is hazardous. Though we win, the
victory loses its sweets. And

In courtship, men too often ride on the snaffle; in matrimony, too often
on the curb.

* * *

Courtship asks for cash payment. Matrimony has often to allow unlimited
credit. Insolvency is not unknown.

* * *

In courtship, all auxiliaries but the rival. No one will impede a lover
save another lover.

* * *

In the presence of a woman, man is by nature a diffident animal. The
women who recognize this are often the most successful. Indeed,

Many are the refined and gentle women who in after life regret that they
did not more openly cope with their less delicately-minded sisters.
Nevertheless,

Nothing is more astonishing than a woman's tact in encouraging a man.

* * *

In courtship modulated and musical tones count for much. Who with harsh
speech would assail a lady's ear?

* * *

No woman thinks she can be wooed too often. And

Few women can forgo an opportunity to fascinate.

* * *

In courtship the woman is the whole world to the man; in matrimony the
man is the whole world to the woman.

* * *

In courtship the slightest suspicion of condescension is fatal. For

True love is a greater leveler than anarchy.

* * *

In courtship, the wooer to the wooed is, in Juliet's phrase, the god of
her idolatry; in matrimony he is lucky if he is the idol of her deity.

* * *

It is a question which is the sweeter: a spontaneous courtship, or one
that has sprung from friendship.

In a spontaneous courtship there is all the charm of novelty;

In a courtship that has grown out of affection there is all the
trustfulness of friendship. But

Friendship and courtship are two totally distinct things:

In courtship, men and women meet on the flowery-thorny common of love;

In friendship, men and women invite each other over to their respective
plots. So,

A friend will show a friend all over his domain;

A lover can but point out to the lover the flowers (and thorns) which
grow in the soil to which they are both strangers. 162

* * *

It is an open question whether in matters pre-matrimonial, the mode of
the French is not preferable to that of the Anglo-Saxon; whether, that
is,

Prudence and prevision are not more certain harbingers of matrimonial
happiness of matrimonial happiness than are impulse and passion.

The French couple, when wedded, are virtually strangers; the Anglo-Saxon
have already together enacted some scenes of the matrimonial drama. Yet
it is an open question also whether

A more durable domestic affection is not built up from the pristine
foundation of total ignorance than from that of a partial
acquaintanceship.

The American Elizabeth Patterson, before she became Madame Jerome
Bonaparte, could write, "I love Jerome Bonaparte, and I prefer to be his
wife, were it only for a day, to the happiest union."

The continentalized Madame Jerome Bonaparte, twenty-six years after she
had ceased to be Miss Elizabeth Patterson, could write "Do we not know
how easily men and women free themselves from the fetters of love, and
that only the stupid remain caught in these pretended bonds?" (1) After
all,

Little do any couple know of each other before marriage. Besides
Does not a delightful romance envelope the nuptials of strangers? At all
events, even if precaution is a foe to impulse, few will be found to deny
that

Strangeness is by no means inimical to passion. Perhaps, then,
Fathers and mothers and uncles and aunts can form a better judgment as to
the suitability and adaptability to each other of two young, ardent, and
headstrong boys and girls can these themselves; since

Fathers and mothers and uncles and aunts know full well that impulse and
passion often prove materials too friable for the many-storied fabric of
marriage. At all events,

The French mode of contracting a marriage precludes the possibility of
perilous and precocious affairs of the heart. Perhaps

The mistake that ardent and headstrong boys and girls make is in thinking
that impulse and passion are the keys of Paradise. Their
Elders know that impulse and passion are sometimes the keys of Purgatory.

Prudence and prevision are not keys to any supernal (or infernal)
existence; they are merely guide-books to a terrestrial journey. At all
events, it is significant that (which might be added as a lemma)

Widows rarely choose unwisely!

(1) Quoted by C. de Varigny in the "Revue des Deux Mondes" of January the
15th, 1893.

* * *

Over that much-bethought-of, much-surmised-about-thing, a proposal of
marriage, every young woman weaves a pre-conceived halo of romance, but

In nineteen cases out of twenty a proposal is either unexpected or
disappointing; that is,

Many a girl has almost held her breath with anxiety as she saw the great
question coming; then almost cried with vexation at the way it came.
For, often,

Either the wrong man proposes or the right man proposes stupidly.

The woman looks for ideal surroundings, a dramatic situation, and
impassioned and poetic utterance; usually,

The man seizes a commonplace opportunity and - stutters. Probably,

The ideal proposal occurs only in novels. And yet - and yet -

Perhaps after all the real proposal is more complimentary to woman than
is the ideal; at least perhaps

The aberration and obfuscation of the man is proof once (i) of her
potency and (ii) of his sincerity.

Did man keep his head, would woman be quite so sure of his heart? Yet it
may be that in these matter woman is liable to err, since

Rarely, if ever, does a woman's heart run away with her head. When it
does -

Ah! the momentary bliss of an unreasoning emotion! Yet

Woman does right to keep her head, for

Almost every woman's happiness depends upon what she does with her
heart - unless indeed she elects to go through life homeless, childless,
and unenspoused; for

Though it is the wife that makes the home, it is the man who must provide
for it. And since

Man, by nature, is probably nomadic and polygamic; not his to debate
whether to give rein to emotion. Woman, by nature, is in far different
case:

For the sake of her child, woman must bind the nomad to herself.
Accordingly,

It is woman who is the true agglutinator and civilizer of society.
Therefore, it comes about that

To order wisely her emotions is the inherited instinct of woman.
Wherefore,

Woman is the conserver of the nation - and this in more senses than one.

* * * * *




IX. On Men and Women

"Dio fa gli uomini, e e' s' appaino."
- Salviati


There are two elements of character which a man should possess, develop,
and maintain unstained if he would find favor in feminine eyes: the first
is bravery; the second, indomitableness of resolution. So likewise,

There are two elements of character which a woman should possess,
develop, and maintain unstained if she would find favor in masculine
eyes: the first is sympathy; the second, sweetness of temper.

* * *

A curious and latent hostility divides the sexes. It seems as they could
not approach each other without alarums and excursions. Always the
presence of the one rouses anxiety in the breast of the other; they stand
to arms; they resort to tactics; they maneuver. And,

Men and women approach each other vizored and in armor. But it is often
only to conceal the craven heart that beats beneath the brazen cuirass.

* * *

Men judge of women, not so much by their intrinsic worth, as by the
impression women make upon them. And women know this, since
All women are alive to the fact that the impressing (1) of men is the
important function of life. Accordingly,

Great stress is, and is naturally, laid by women upon dress and the
subtleties of the toilette. For,

In matters of the heart man is led by the heart and not by the head. (2)
And why not? Since

It is generally a sweet-heart, not a hard head, that a man wants. In
short,

Men are oftener vanquished by a look than by logic; by a gracious smile
than by good sense; by manner and even by dress than by mental
development or depth. This is to say,

A man judges a woman by her appearance;

A woman judges a woman by her motives. (And

A woman judges of a woman's motives by what she knows of her own.) - So
it comes about that,

To a man, a woman's heart is something mysterious. But

Women, who know their own hearts, have little difficulty in reading
others'.

(1) It is (perhaps) highly unfortunate that to this word is attached a
two-fold signification.

(2) Though, as Mr. Grant Allen has endeavored to show, this is a
scientific a method as any.

* * *

No units of measurement yet devised are adequate for the computation of
the power wielded by a beautiful woman.

* * *

That is a significant fact, and probably, could we fathom all the
profundities and unravel all the entanglements of the relations between
the sexes, as deep and as intricate as significant, that no woman thinks
a man can pay her a higher compliment than to wish to make her his own.
For though

Woman thinks man her ultimate aim and desire, Nature knows that man is
but the stepping-stone to the child. In the end woman agrees with
Nature. We may go farther, and say

Women are nearer the eternal laws than are men. Men govern themselves by
the laws they themselves make. Women are lawless. Laws are for the
temporal, the fleeting; for a given individual in a given society; for a
particular race in a particular clime. Such laws are obeyed by women
only under compulsion. They, more far-seeing than men, instinctively
peer far beyond the ephemeral rules manufactured by men, into the realm
of laws eternal and immutable; these she obeys implicitly,
unquestioningly - much to man's amazement - and, it may be, his
mortification; for he sees that she is freer than he. This is why,

For the man she truly loves a woman will sacrifice everything
- everything. The same generous sentiment cannot by any means be
attributed to man.

* * *

Both the wise man and the wise woman - but here I am reminded of the
recipe for hare soup.

* * *

Between the sexes there is in reality but one link - the link amatory.
And

So long as Nature maintains two sexes, so long will men and women hug,
yet chafe under, that slender but invisible bond.

Not even Cupid and Psyche avoided a misunderstanding - in spite of the
devotion of the other. And,

If men and women differ in matters amatory, it is because men and women
have trodden different evolutionary paths:

The man, given up to the chase (for pelts or pelf) and careful of his
status in the tribe, thinks only of himself and the present;

The woman, her sole care the nurture of her offspring, thinks only of her
progeny, and the future. But since

The family is the unit of the state, therefore

The state makes laws, not for love, but for the family.

Happy that family the parents of which are bound by cosmic not by
municipal affection. Nevertheless,

Say what one will, Love scoffs at laws; howsoever marriage and divorce
may be regulated by parliamentary statute.

Man, as a member of a political community, may make marriage laws to suit
that community - laws to suit that community - laws "de vinculo
matrimonii" and laws "de mensa et thoro", decrees "nisi prius" and
decrees absolute; but

Law can no more bind the affections than it can bind the sweet influences
of the Pleiades. And yet, at bottom,

Beneath all municipal and parochial regulations, a great and cosmic law
does govern the relations of the sexes; and

The lightest whim of the lightest lady has a definite, perhaps a cosmic,
fount and origin.

* * *

A man can never know too much. Perhaps a woman can. And

It is a question how far a man admires a woman who knows too much. For,

If there is nothing a man can teach a woman, not even of the ways of
love, the man is apt to be chagrined. Besides,

Too much knowledge is inimical to romance.

* * *

War is a man's true trade; love, woman's.

* * *

There is no stronger argument against the equality of the sexes than a
woman's hand. It was made to toil? No; to place in her lover's. In
truth,

Is there anything more fragile in nature than a woman's hand? But put it
in her lover's. and what a force it has!

Anomaly of anomalies, with women, fragility, delicacy, dependence,
beauty, grace, - it is by these weak weapons that she wins. So,

We watch a demure damsel of some sixteen sunny summers much as we watch a
delicate dynamo of some thousand kilowatts.

Both seem so calm, so quiescent. Yet both, we know, can generate such
startling energy, can bring about such marvelous results.

* * *

Many women forget that things which men have no objection to their female
friends doing they often have a very particular objection to their
mothers, sisters, and wives doing. So, too, they often forget that

It is not the girl he flatters, compliments, and is conspicuously
attentive to, that the man always marries. Perhaps this goes to show
that

There is a deeper and more serious current in the flow of male emotions,
which, much as light and fitful breezes may stir the surface, is moved
only by, and mingles only, with a similar and confluent stream. For

It is not man's highest instincts that are stimulated by the more
superficial of feminine blandishments; though, no doubt, many a man there
is has been made permanently captive by their lure. The truth is that

Man is a many-sided creature: he will reflect many different rays; but it
is only under the ray that pierces the surface and irradiates the
interior that he truly glows.

* * *

Woman does not lean upon man because she is inferior, but rather because
she is his supporter; just as

The buttress leans upon the building; but the building would fall without
the buttress. That is,

Woman's dependence upon man is his chief source of strength. Those who
cannot understand this may be left to their ignorance.
* * *

It is not all women who comprehend the exaltation of mind into which some
men are thrown by their presence. Indeed,

Men put a higher value upon a woman's complaisance than she does herself.
To a women, feminine concession appear trivial. Is it any wonder, then,
that

Woman calls man's jealousy unreasonable? In reality,

The affianced man thinks he has gotten him an angel from heaven. It is
not within the bounds of mortal male comprehension that such an angel
should sully her wings.

* * *

Women know their sex. - Which, if it is a truism, is a truism that men
often forget. And

Few things permit a man to see so far into the subtleties and intricacies
of feminine hearts as a squabble between two of them over himself.

* * *

A man in defeat generally turns to woman. A woman in defeat is either
scornful, silent, or both.

A man, in depression, falls back upon his only weapon: brute force. A
woman, in like circumstances, does the same. But her weapon is personal
charm.

* * *

In matters amatory and maternal, a woman will risk more than will a man.
In fact,

In matters amatory and maternal, woman is the truly combative animal.

* * *

Many are the members of the one sex that are entrapped by the wiles of
the other; but it often happens that the entrapper afterwards rues the
capture as much as - or even more than - the entrapped. So, it often
happens that

Girls who are deliberately seeking husbands think love may be won by
artifice. Not until well on in years do

Women know that, by men, love and artifice are considered mortal foes.

To win him a wife by artifice would be to a man a thing impossible and
abhorrent: yet

To win her a husband by artifice is to a woman a thing quite natural.
But

When (if ever) the man discovers that he was won by artifice, there are
apt to be several bad quarters of an hour. For, when all is said and
done,

The man, free and easy, thoughtless and untrammeled, knowing he may pick
and choose, never chooses till - till - there comes the woman he thinks
he wants. Then he says point blank he wants her.
Should it ever be revealed to him that his Want was the result of her
Artifice, a very different complexion is put upon that Want. On the
other hand,

The woman, deprived of the power of choice, trammeled by convention,
bound to wait till asked for, quite naturally resorts to artifice. And
yet, curiously enough, and a thing incomprehensible by man,

A man whom a woman has won by sheer artifice, she can love to the end of
her life. But, after all,

What a refuge, to man, is work - or play! Alas!

Women has no refuge. So,

Men cannot suffer long; women do.

A man flies to work, or sport, or to the gaming-table, or to drink. A
woman . . . . . .

He who can tell what a woman does in the sorrow of the soul, will tell us
much.

Some women, in sorrow of soul, eat out their hearts in silence; other
women, in sorrow of soul, will tell us much.
Some women, in sorrow of soul, eat out their hearts in silence; other
women, in sorrow of soul, eat out the hearts of others, not in silence.
But

Take a taciturn woman seriously. For always

A taciturn woman has suffered much:

A taciturn woman is a lonely one. And probably,

It is only women who really know loneliness:

Give a man a full meal and an outlet for his energy - he is fairly
contented; for

A man always has friends or a club; women rarely have either.

* * *

The most superb of physical charms are powerless unless fired by
imagination; as the most destructive of explosives is harmless without a
cap or a detonator. But,

Given, a detonator, and the coarsest powder can work tremendous havoc.

* * *

What, precisely, will bring a particular man to her feet - that is, par
excellence, the feminine problem: and many and various are the
experiments by which she tries to resolve it. And,

Few are the men who learn that were won by experiment. For,

Man succumbs to his emotions. He cannot comprehend how it is that

Into feminine emotion, calculation often enters.

* * *

As there are two classes of warriors, so there are two classes of women:

There is the warrior who conquers the world from sheer love of conquest -
an Alexander, a Genghis Khan, an Attila, a Napoleon; and there is the
warrior who captures a kingdom for the sake of possession - such is your
Norman William.

So, there is the woman whom no conquest contents - Aholibah, Cleopatra,
Mesalina, Faustine; and there is the woman who is happy with a husband
and home - Deborah, Vlmnia, Calpurnia mother of Gracchi.

* * *

One thing, from men, women cannot abide, and this is a hostile and
REASONABLE attitude. And naturally, since

It is only man's reason that is hostile to women. And
When a man clothes himself with reason as with a garment, woman slinks
away. And, quite naturally:

Reason and emotion are mortal foes; and

It is on the field of emotion that the battle of love must be fought.
For,

In the battle of love, the woman chooses and entrenches her position; the
man has to act on the offensive. But

Only emotion can cope with emotion; reason but beats the air. Wherefore,

A wise man will neither oppose nor appeal to a woman through reason.

* * *

Who can penetrate to the motives of a woman's coaxings? Yet
Foolish is the man who questions the motives of a woman's coaxings. Yet

Not to be sure of a woman's coaxings - not upon this side Phlegethon is
there a more poignant position.

* * *

In loving one woman a man believes in all women. And

Not till a woman is loved are her finger-tips objects of devoutest
worship. On the other hand,

It cannot be said that in loving one man a woman believes in all men.
Which little distinction is proof, perhaps, that

Love blinds the eyes of men, but opens the eyes of women. In other
words,

Passion obfuscates man's prevision; it does not obfuscate a woman's.

Man gives the rein to passion or ere he knows whither it leads;

A woman gives the rein to passion only after she has found out whither it
leads. But when the goal is known, perhaps

Women are more implacable votaries of the Implacable Goddess than are
men. That is the say,

A woman keeps her head till she can give her heart, then she gives it
utterly;

A man (perhaps because he has no heart) soon enough loses his head. So,

Before the gift, a woman's qualms exasperate the man;

After the gift, the man's indifference exasperates the woman;

* * *

It is folly to think that love and friendship exhaust the varieties of
human relationships: -

The relationships between earthly souls are as complex and multiform as
those between heavenly bodies.

In one thing does friendship excel love: it is always reciprocal; one
friend presupposes another. Not so a lover.

Friendship is largely a masculine sentiment; - except among schoolgirls.

The friendship that exists between a man and a woman should be called by
another name. It cannot be wholly Platonic (3); it need not be wholly
Dantesque. Yet women generally strive to make it the one; and men often
try to make it the other. And yet again,

How many women there be, would, if they could, transmute love into
friendship! That is to say,

Women regard a man's friendship as a delicate flattery to themselves; yet
they instinctively know, though they try hard to forget, that a man's
friendship for a woman is extremely likely to transcend the bounds of
friendship.

If only friendship would keep within bounds! How many women deceive
themselves into thinking that were devoutly to be wished! Yet probably,
as a matter of fact,

The very woman who avers she regrets that your friendship is not mere
Platonic, would resent the Platonism did it exist. Possibly not every
woman will understand this. Assuredly no woman will admit it. And yet,

It is impossible to conjecture in what an exchange of confidences may
terminate: it may be a kiss, or it may be a quarrel. But

Confidences are evoked rather by friendship than by love:

A woman will tell a man friend what she will not tell a lover.


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