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Few lovers will understand this, fewer still will believe it. Yet it is
true, and the explication of its truth would be long and complex. This
much may be said:

Love idealizes; friendship does not. At the same time,

Love probes the innermost recesses of the womanly nature; and, until the
woman is wholly won,

The woman resents the inspection of love. She knows that,

To stimulate love, the woman must conceal, not reveal;

To stimulate love, the woman must conceal, not reveal. Furthermore,

Never was there a man who could be at once friend and lover.

Which is only one more proof that

Never will the sexes understand each other.

(3) I use the word in its purely conventional sense.

* * *

The male was ever the more susceptible sex. And for this reason,

Next to sympathy, flattery is perhaps woman's most effective weapon. And

No masculine shield there is which woman's flattery will not pierce. For

Man - man, alert in the hunt, keen in business, circumspect with his
fellows, terrible in war, man is pristine and simple in matters
emotional, and an easy prey to emotional wiles. In the long journey of
evolution from Amoeba to Man,

The masculine sex has developed muscle and mind;

The feminine sex developed and perfected the emotions. Accordingly,

Man's emotions are the primitive weapons of a savage;

Woman's emotions are arms of precision. Yet

Sometimes woman deplores the unequal contest - perhaps deplores her
too-easy victory. Since,

In domestic life, the weapons are laid aside, the pair are then
- presumably - unarmed and defenseless. For, though,

A mat has to be won by weapons,

Marriage should be a treaty of peace: thenceforth the combatants are
allies.

Many a man, when ensnared, has been amazed at the size of the meshes.

Only a woman knows by what open methods floundering men are captured.

* * *

He who by reasoning thinks to find out woman, must either be a
philosopher or a fool - probably both.

Less of a philosopher and more of a fool is he who thinks to extract from
woman her reasons for her actions. The woman who can give reasons for an
action is yet to be born. The reason is plain:

Women act upon intuition, not upon reason. And

He who could make a logical sorites out of feminine intuitions could make
a philosophical system out of nautical almanacs. And yet, probably,

Could we only determine her orbit, a woman's intuitions are as exact as
the paths of the planets. Unfortunately,

Such are the perturbations to which a woman's orbit is exposed that no
masculine astronomy can construct its ephemeris. Alack,
How many anxious star-gazers are there among men! The orbit of the
ordinary male man it is not as difficult for a woman to compute, inasmuch
as

The ordinary male man revolves unusually about two foci: his Appetites;
and his Ambitions. - Which is the major and which the minor . . . .
However,

You may trust women to know when he is in peri-and when in aphelion.

Many a spouse has no difficulty in explaining away to her lord actions
about the character of which even his initiate friends have no shadow of
doubt. For

A woman's perception is preternatural. But no; it is natural enough,
since

From the days of the first woman to the days of the New one, love, its
wiles and its whims, has been the serious business of woman.

* * *

Women know much better than men that stolen bread is sweetest. In
consequence,

Men steal almost everything they get from women. - At least they think
they do. Which is the same thing.

* * *

If the sexes were to change places, more marriage licenses would be taken
out.

* * *

'Frailty,' says man, 'thy name is woman,' - and then he takes advantage
of it.

* * *

At arm's length it is difficult to offer a helping hand. Yet it is
hazardous to reduce that distance.

* * *

Neglect is the unpardonable sin in a woman's eyes. Woe to the man who is
guilty of it.

* * *

If a woman possessed only a man's tact, what fallings-out there would be!

* * *

Man's summum bonum is to combine a comfortable home with congenial club.

Woman's summum bonum is the almost equally incompatible combination of a
well-regulated family and the height of fashionable gaiety.

Man's infinum malum is domestic distraction.
Woman's infinum malum is social exile.

* * *

Between man and man, to lay another under pecuniary obligation is to
jeopardize friendship. Between man and woman, a like cause brings about
an opposite result.

* * *

The man with something of the feminine about him often knows better than
his more masculine rivals how to work upon feminine susceptibilities.

* * *

Most women know how much to leave to a man's imagination. - But then,
man has not much imagination. Besides,

Man's imagination is always highly complimentary to woman.

* * *

Affinity covereth a multitude of sins.

* * *

To attract sometimes requires temporary repulsion. But

Some women miscalculate their satellite's orbit. With the result that
either it rushes on to certain destruction, or it passes beyond the
limits of gravitation.

The woman who to one man is no more than the sub-stratum of frock and
bonnet, is to another man the centre of gravity of the created cosmos.

When she is such centre to more than one man, her horoscope is difficult
to cast.

* * *

When one heart lays siege to another , both sides throw up entrenchments;
and this even when both belligerents are ready to negotiate for
surrender. But,

Never, never show that you expect capitulation. And

Flank movements are not to be recommended.

* * *

In conversation, the last thing a woman expects from a man is
information, unless it be information concerning himself. In fact,

Talk is a mere subterfuge. It is what is left unsaid that tells.
Nevertheless,

When once the troth has been plighted, both M and N try to utter what has
been left unsaid. But always with indifferent success. Alack and
well-a-day,

Can Love ever say what it feels?

* * *

It is difficult to say to which sex it is a greater compliment that
widows always prove such successful fascinators. Either they still have
a penchant for mankind, despite their intimate acquaintance with him - in
which case the men may congratulate themselves; or else they have so
completely found men out that they find no difficulty in entrapping them
- in which case it is the women's turn to applaud.

* * *

When our feelings are unwittingly hurt by a beautiful woman, the pain is
largely tempered by a subtle pleasure, which proceeds from a feeling
that, inasmuch as we have been undeservedly pained, we merit her
sympathy, perhaps even her affection.

* * *

Women seek not so much man's esteem, as his admiration. In fact,

* * *

Women would rather attract than inspire. - Indeed, (by him who dared) it
might be added that

Women would rather be kissed than be sonnetted, - which is mighty lucky
for the majority of men!

* * *

The most interesting man or woman is - well, perhaps the one most
interested in us.

The least interesting man or woman is - well, perhaps the one most
interested in him-or her-self.

* * *

Never fear but that one woman will urge your suit with another (unless,
of course, that other is a rival); for

Match-making is one of the most fascinating of feminine avocations.

* * *

When a woman allows it to be understood that she considers herself
irresistible to the other sex, she draws upon herself the odium of her
own. By the other sex, however, such a woman is very differently
regarded. Indeed,

Men regard the avowed coquette not at all with malice, but with a very
opposite feeling, of which perhaps amusement, admiration, and a certain
amicable defiance are the chief ingredients.

* * *

It is only mountains that are volcanic or are snow-capped; the plains
know nothing of extremes of frigidity or fire.

* * *

To the woman whom he has ceased to love, the man is sometimes
unconsciously cruel.

Towards the man whom she has ceased to love, the woman commonly acts a
part.

* * *

For a woman to humiliate one man in the presence of another is an offence
which neither of the men is likely to forget. Nor will the one man have
a less unpleasant recollection of it than the other.

* * *

It is curious to listen to the explanations by one woman of the reasons
of the attractiveness of another woman. Very apt is she to say that the
other woman is too "free and easy", too liberal of her favors, too
expansive of her sympathy, too exhibitive of her charms. - Ahem!

Women know women. And

Women know that women know men. And

Women know that men do not know women. - Ahem! - Men in this respect are
somewhat different:

A man usually regards not ungenerously the qualities of his successful
rival; a woman never. The former will candidly admit the possession of a
more potent charm; the latter will trace it to the crudest of causes. In
a word,

The unsuccessful man blames, not his rival, nor the women he loses, but
himself.

The unsuccessful woman blames, never herself, but either the outrageous
meretriciousness of her rival, or the blindness of the man she loses.
From which it may once more be deduced that
The unsuccessful woman blames, never herself, but either the outrageous
meretricousness of her rival, or the blindness of the man she loses.
From which it may once more be deduced that
Men are won by more primitive means than are women. And, alas for men
(alas also for many women),

The majority of men are so blind, so abominably blind, that they cannot
distinguish the women who are really in love with them, from the women
who pretend to be in love with them, but are not. For because,

So completely do women know men, that it is easy for any woman to delude
any man. This is one of the reasons why

Every woman is the rival of every other woman:

This woman will be herself, her own true, simple, and virtuous self; will
resort to no subterfuge, adopt no meretricious methods, scorn to rely
upon tactics or strategy, be ever reserved, reluctant, shy; - yet fail.

This other woman will openly and blatantly, overtly and unconcernedly,
assail the masculine heart with word and look and gesture - and win.
- Ach! the purblindess of the masculine heart! how it exasperates even
the woman!

* * *

That man has sunk low who cannot recognize and respect the remnant of sex
even in a degraded woman.

* * *

Woman can persuade themselves - and men - far more easily than can a man,
of the propriety of their actions.

* * *

Man is powerless before an injured woman. He has no more dangerous foe
than this.

* * *

It is the man who seeks excuses. The woman braves it out.

* * *

Coquetry is Love's lady's-maid. She is accessory and ancillary to Love;
she bedizens Love, she tricks her out in gay apparel.

When Love's lord and master enters, my lady's maid is dismissed. (It
might be as well sometimes to recall her.) And

Nudity ousts coquetry.

* * *

Chastity is a word with as many shades of meaning as there are peoples
- perhaps as there are individuals - upon the face of this habitable
world.

Women think chastity is a virtue primarily insisted upon and enforced by
men. They mistake. 'T is a virtue primarily insisted upon and enforced
by women: For

When that divine, unique thing Love comes to a woman, if she be not
chaste, it is she who deplores the fact. The man may easily enough be
deceived; her own heart a woman can never deceive. Besides,

With what righteous indignation women themselves visit unchastity!

* * *

Between the sexes, resentment is the worst of defensive weapons: in the
hands of a man it is like a cow-hide shield opposed to Mauser bullets; in
the hands of a woman, like a parasol on a cloudy day. Since

Woman penetrates resentment by ridicule; man treats it with dull
indifference. And

A snub from a woman is never forgotten. And for two reasons: because

(a) The lord of creation hates to be floored by the jiu-jitsu of feminine
raillery; and because

(b) The last thing a man expects from a "ministering angel" is mundane
mockery. Besides,

Deliberate derision murders, not only affection, but admiration.

* * *

A blush needs no apologies. (Why? Because

Always a blush is spontaneous, uncontrollable; and

If there is any one thing a man likes to see, it is a spontaneous, an
uncontrollable action in woman.)

When the man has declared himself hers and hers alone; has given proof of
the truth of such declaration; has bound the woman to himself by terms
dictated by herself then, but not till then, the woman acts spontaneously
and without control; then she blushes. But

Seek not, impulsive masculine lover, to explore too many of the mysteries
of this thy feminine helpmeet. Perchance she feels herself so much above
thee that she blushes to give the herself. Perchance she regards thee so
much a symbol of the god-like, that she blushes for because she is not
more worthy. But far more probably she blushes for because she betrays
to thee a mortal, a divine and cosmic secret. For

There is a divine and cosmic secret hidden beneath every blush.

* * *

Ah! man, man, peccant, impulsive, passionate man, little knowest thou of
the divine and cosmic secret that underlies Love.

To thee, O man, it may be, 't is a momentary flash that irradiates the
world, and reveals for a moment a sky above that world;

To thee, O woman, 't is the reverberating thunder that, echoing, rolls
for ever after unceasing in thy ears. Is this why,

Between a man and a woman, a single look will sometimes change the
complexion of an intimacy of a life-time? And

Not until that look comes - not until eyes look into eyes with a
penetration supernatural - is acquaintanceship metamorphosed into love.

* * *

It is a favorite fiction amongst women that a rejected suitor either will
not marry or marries the first girl he meets. Because,

To marry another woman after having offered inalienable and unalterable
fidelity to one, would otherwise be a blow to "amour propere". And yet,
strangely enough, or perhaps not so strangely,

This is a fiction but rarely maintained with regard to her own cardiac
transportations. And for this reason: -

Woman is, and knows herself to be, a multiple personality;

Man, a tyro in emotions, is cast in a simpler mould. So,

A woman may donate herself piecemeal, or over and over again, yet deem
herself perfectly loyal. - And perhaps naturally and legitimately; for,

That man who will comprehend and appreciate all the intricacies of
feminine emotion . . . . . . . but there is no such being existent.
Indeed even

Self-revelation is a task no daughter of Eve has achieved.

* * *

To sum up: between men and women

The consummation of love is a bodily oblation, the outcome of spiritual
obsession. - Must I explain this? No, I shall not. Suffice it to say
that

The Heavenly Aphrodite is true friend to the Earthly.(4) So

Nothing offends love; since love finds in all that savors of the mortal
only a symbol and epitome of the supernatural. And

There is in Love a cosmic force and secret incomprehensible,
incommunicable by man.

Is not, after all, Love the one supreme and significant fact of the
cosmos: indelible, indecipherable: efflorescing in Man; emerging from the
material; idealizing the carnal; pointing to an inscrutable, a spiritual
goal? Can it be that

If we could explain Love, we should explain the cosmos? What if we could
explain why it is that no one single isolated portion of the cosmos can
live alone - and vaunt itself in itself sufficient - (5), but must seek
some other single and isolated portion of the cosmos in order that that
very cosmos shall continue, shall evolve, shall go towards its goal . . .
Do we put our finger here upon some curious and recondite cosmic
fact utterly transcending our mean comprehension?

(4) Cf. Plato, Symposium, 180 et seq.

(5) S.T. Coleridge, "Lectures on Shakespeare".

* * *




X. On Jealousy

". . . la jalousie . . . monster odieux."
- Moliere


'Ware jealousy as you would 'ware wire: for it no psychiater has yet
discovered a balm.

* * *

To make an experiment of jealousy is to make a very hazardous experiment
indeed.

* * *

Jealousy is no proof of love, for

Often jealousy is but rancor under a sense of humiliation. Indeed,

Jealousy is a sign of weakness:

The lover whose self-confidence assures him of his pre-eminence fears no
rival. Yet

Male self-confidence is peculiarly vulnerable where women be concerned,
since,

As no man knows what it is appeals to a woman, he does not know on what
to pride himself:

Even an Othello is jealous of even an Iago. Yet

It is only the spectators who see the folly of Othello.
Desdemonas usually are helpless as they are oblivious.

* * *

The illicitly favored lover is never jealous of the husband; but of
another illicitly favored lover, how jealous he is. But

Jealousy, like modesty, and like virtue, varies with every time and
clime: what is customary in Cairo would rouse consternation in Kent, and
what goes on in Vienna shocks New England. So,

How the husband favored lover differs also with every time and clime:
here he is mulcted in damages, there he is shot down, in a third place he
is tolerated.

How the woman thinks her husband should treat the illicitly favored lover
- that you shall never find out.

* * *

The edacity of jealousy is unappeasable:

A wronged lover, in his pain, looks for more pain to bear: like a martyr
in an ecstasy, he cries out for further tortures. In love one always
sees higher unreachable heights; in jealousy always deeper unreachable
depths. And

There is no wound but leaves its cicatrix.

* * *

Mistrust an unexpected change of front. So,

Does your erstwhile frowning lady smile? "cherchez l'homme", or la femme.
Since

To arouse jealousy in another feminine breast is sometimes the motive of
feminine complaisance. Indeed,

Few women can forgo an opportunity of arousing jealousy, whether in a
feminine or in a masculine breast. - Bethink thee of this little fact, O
man, when next thy lady comports herself thee wards ultra-graciously.

To see the girl of thy heart - even if so be she not thine, nor not
nearly thine - comport herself with another as she does with thee - ah!
that gives a twinge to the masculine heart. Nay, lesser things than this
will perturb this irascible organ: that the other should admire her
charms - that she should accept such admiration. . . .. yet what cares
she that these discomfort a man? For

A man's discomfiture is naught to a woman. In sooth,

Take a woman to task for her conduct, and with how soft an answer she
will turn away your wrath, how deftly make light of your rival's
advances!

* * *

Man, when he has won him a woman, is, in his great greed of possession,
infinitely chagrined that he was not master of her past as of her present
and future. - This goes by the name of "la jalousie retrospective".

* * *

Women never know quite how to regard a man's jealousy. It flatters her,
yet it pains her. She is the cause of it, yet she would believe it
causeless. She deplores it, yet she would not have it quite away. It is
proof of love, yet it is fatal to love. How to treat it, puzzles her.
Implicit obedience to the man's wishes lowers her in her own eyes, and,
consequently, so she thinks, in his. Yet so rabid is the emotion, she
fears to provoke it too far. It places her in a quandary. She never
knows what will evoke it; she never knows what course it will run:
whether it will cement her lover's affections, or whether it will
dissipate them forever.

It is love's most dangerous foe, and it is dangerous because it is
insidious. If there is any one thing that puts a woman's wits to the
test, it is a man's jealousy.

* * *

The sheerest and most insensate folly a man can commit towards a woman is
to let her know that another woman is cognizant of her jealousy of her.
He may give the latter a very keen pleasure; but he gives the former a
very keen pang. For

The cause of jealousy a woman may condone; the divulgence of her jealousy
she will never forgive.

* * *

What irritates a jealous man is the actions that cause his jealousy;

What irritates a jealous woman is the person who is the cause of her
jealousy. In other words,

A jealous swain upbraids his mistress;

A jealous mistress objurgates her rival.

* * *




XI. On Kisses and Kissing

"Sag mir, wer einst das Kussen efrund?
Das war ein gluhend glucklicher Mund;
Er kusste und dachte Nichts daberi."
- Heine


Many are the varieties of kisses; as many, probably, as the varieties of
kisses; as many, probably, as the variety of lips - and of the owners
thereof. And

A kiss may mean so very much - or so very little. Wherefore

Look not upon the lips when they are red; - for although
A kiss is a small thing, so is a spark. And always, though

A smile is an open window, a kiss is an open door.

Strange - strange - that from the momentary contact of lip with lip, an
infinitesimal surface of epithelial tissue, there an be called up from
the deeps of the soul emotions strange as deep; emotions vague and
thrilling; emotions to the which to give utterance those lips are
themselves all powerless. And

When to the conjoined lips there is added the bliss of an up-turned eye
and embracing arms . . . . . Ah! well-a-day,

There are Edens for us still, if only we will eat not of the forbidden
fruit.

* * *

The value of a kiss is determined by the personage on whom it is
bestowed, not by the from whom it is besought: which, if it needs any
explanation, means this, that

It is the man who ardently desires the kiss that puts the value upon that
kiss, not the woman of whom it is desired. Yet women know that,

As with commodities, so with kissings, the greater the rarity, the
greater the vale.

Osculatory transactions there be as lasting in their results as transient
in their causes.

* * *

A cheek surreptitiously brushed in the dark is preferable to lips
premittedly pressed by day.

* * *

What an extraordinary multiplicity of maneuvers a man will perform for
"Just one kiss!" But

With the precise numerical equivalent of the expression "Just one kiss"
algebra has not yet been found quite able to grapple. It is believed,
however, to belong to Permutations and Combinations.

There is a very decided, but wholly indefinable, line of demarcation
between the kissed and the unkissed woman. In other words,

The "status quo ante exosculationem" can never be re-established:
hitherto the kisses may have been friends; henceforward they may be. . .
they may be . . . . . . But

Who shall say to what kissing may lead? Besides,

Much more kissing than is supposed goes by purchase than by favor. All
which, probably, will be Greek to the uninitiated. Nevertheless, and at
all times, and in all places,

A kiss is like faith: it is "the evidence of things not seen, the
substance of things hoped for."

* * *

How appalling the immensity of the results due to the minutest of causes
- a burning city from a lighted match; a life-long tragedy from a stolen
kiss! In truth,

Fate is often another name for Folly.

* * *

A woman who is afraid of a kiss knows much. Amongst other things,
perhaps, that

Kisses, like misfortunes, rarely come singly - and bear many things in
their train.

* * *

Despite the varieties of beards and mustachios, never will you hear from
your osculatrix the source of her knowledge of that variety.

If by any chance the divulgence leaks out - how the girl beshrews the
mischance! For, though the man may hold his peace, she knows that she
gives him to think.

* * *

It takes two to make a quarrel. Yes: and it takes two to make the
reconciliating kiss.

* * *




XII. On Engagements and on Being Engaged

Chalepon to mae philaesai
Chalepon de kai philaesai
- Anacreon.


Perhaps the pleasantest and most satisfactory period in a girl's life is
the time of her first youthful engagement:

Never is a girl more jubilant, never more buoyant, never so charming, so
blithesome, or so debonair, as when she is the gazetted about-to-be bride
of the man of her girlish choice. For

During her engagement, a girl is owned and petted; and
Ownership and petting are dear to women - whether young or old:

Ownership is proof, at all events, that she is of value to the man - else
the man would not sought to make her his; and


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