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   Chapter 3 On Women

Hints for Lovers By Arnold Haultain Characters: 29656

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:04

"Ehret die Fanen!"


From woman, who e're she be, there seems to emanate a potency ineffable to man,-impalpable, invisible, divine. It lies not in beauty or grace, not even in manner or mein; and it requires neither wiles nor artifice. It is not the growth of long and intimate acquaintance, for often it acts spontaneously and at once; and neither the woman who possesses it nor the man who succumbs to it can give it a name. For to say that it consists in the effluence or influence of personality or temperament, of affinity or passion, of sympathy or charm, is to say nothing save that we know not what it is. All unknown to herself, it wraps its owner round with airs the which to breathe uplifts the spirit, and yet, may be, perturbs the heart, of man. Even its effects are recondite and obscure. It allures; but how it allures now man shall tell. It impels; but to what, does not appear. It rouses all manner of hopes, stirs sleeping ambition, and desires and aspirations unappeasable; but for what purport or to what end, none stays to inquire . It incites; sometimes it enthralls. It innervates; it exhaults. Under its spell, reason is flung to the winds, and matters of great mundane moment are trivial and of no account: for it bewilders the wit and snatches the judgment of sane and rational men. It is most powerful in youth; it is most powerful upon youth; yet some retain it till far on in years, and no age but feels its sway:-a veiled and mysterious force; sometimes daemonical, often divine: at once the delight and the despair of man. After all,

The man who declares he understands women, declares his folly. For,

If woman were not such a mystery, she would not be such an attraction.

For again,

What is known is ignored. (But woman need have no cause for apprehension.) Besides,

Men may be classified; women never. This is why

Generalizing in the case of women is useless; since

Woman is a species of which every woman is a variety. And every man must make up his mind to this, that

Every woman is a study in herself. However,

If women were comprehensible to men, men and women would be friends, not lovers (But the race is safe). The simple fact is that

Womanliness is the supreme attraction, in however fair or however frail a personality it is embodied. And

The sacred function of all womanhood is to kindle in man the divine spark by means 30 of the mystic flame that burns ever in the vestal breast.

* * *

Every true woman's orbit is determined by two forces: Love and Duty.

Which is another way of saying that

Women, like the lark, are true to the kindred points of heaven and home.


It is only when the two foci are coincident and identical that her orbit becomes the perfect circle and her home becomes her heaven.

* * *

A woman's heart is an unfathomable ocean: nothing ever filled it; no one ever plumbed it. At the surface are glancing waves, or flying spume, or, it may be, raging billows; beneath are silent depths invisible to man. A thousand streams flow into it in vain. Towards varying coast-lines it bears itself variously; here, placid and content; there, dashing furious. But none ever stamped his marked upon its brim, and always it remains the refluent, reluctant sea. Of it man knows only the waves that break or ripple at his feet. It betrays no 31 secrets; it asks not to be understood. Storm and calm but stir or still its surface, and what things it hides forever engulfed no one may learn. Subtle, yet mighty; an eternal, and entrancing, mystery to man.

A man's heart is the enclosing shore; measurable, impressionable, definite, and overt; thinking to house that sea, shaping it, over looking it, and staying and governing its tides. Yet changed by it, crumbling before it, yielding to it: at once its guardian and its slave. Yet perhaps

The placidest of seas is that which is wholly land-locked.

* * *

Women, apparently, were made for men; men for themselves. Certainly

Men seem to carry out this design of Nature, that they should be ministered to by women.

* * *

A woman asks a woman questions in order to discover something. She asks a man questions in order to discover the man.

* * *

he last thing that a woman will risk is her personal appearance. Which is saying a good deal, for

A woman will risk an interview at an unseasonable hour, but not in an unseasonable frock.

* * *

Never, never take a woman au pied de la letter.

* * *

Women's rights are: to be loved.

* * *

Women's duties are: to love.

* * *

There is always something sovereign and monarchial about a woman: like a queen's, her wishes are her commands. And

In matrimony, woman's sovereignty is not abdicated. By no means; it is only transformed from an absolute into a constitutional monarch : she acts then by and with the advice of her First Lord. This is the ideal State.

* * *

Woman's true function, as a citizen, in this world is: to spur men on to high and noble action. And this, quite unconsciously, she does.

Woman's true function, as a woman, in the world is: to evoke man's most fervid emotions, and at the same time to keep them at their highest level. And this she also does-perhaps not quite so unconsciously.

* * *

They err who call women illogical. Feminine logic is inexorable. But it proceeds per saltum. It is man who has laboriously to reason step by step.

* * *

The most wayward woman craves control: To let a woman have her own way is interpreted by her as indifference. And

The surest way to fail to please a woman is to let her do what she pleases.

* * *

Woman is born to acting as the sparks fly upward. And

What a woman really is, nobody knows, least of all herself.

To see a woman as she really is, one must see her with her babe. For

It is curious, but it is true, that not even before the passionate and accepted lover to whom she has utterly devoted herself can a woman bare her heart as can she to her babe. Perhaps we may go so far as to say that

Motherhood always partially eclipses wife-hood:

When the child comes, the man stands aside. For

It is not within the capability of man to evoke or to develop the totality of woman. There are feminine potentialities he is powerless to awake. There is a portion of womanliness always hidden from him. To her babe alone she opens the innermost recesses of her soul. For him she wears no masks, affect no accent, plays no part. Even her features take on a different and unique expression before the offspring of her womb. Never is she more womanly, never so strong, never so quite, never so self-contained, never so completely herself, and never so beautify when bending over her helpless infant son. And naturally: for say what one will,

Motherhood is the goal of womanhood. And

Howsoever she comes by it, a woman's burthen is always to her "That Holy

Thing". So

No one knows what a woman is like till she is a mother. In other words

Motherhood reveals womanhood. And, be it remembered,

There be childless women-both spinsters and wives-who could mother mankind in their bosoms. Such women wield great influence. For

Many a mere man there is has owed his all to a motherly woman.

* * *

Nor speech, not restore, nor expression of feature, nor all combined, will ever reveal the real feelings of a woman. To unbosom herself is impossible to woman. Do not expect it, for

Definite and accurate utterance is not given to woman.

* * *

The chief business of woman is: first, to get married; second, to get others married.

* * *

It is difficult to say which have played the greater havoc among men: the women with too much conscience, or the woman with none.

* * *

When a woman repulses, beware. When a woman beckons, be warier.

* * *

Woman are always prepared for emergencies.

* * *

With woman, tact and jealousy rarely go hand in hand; tact and spite never.

The only instance in which a woman's tact is apt to be at fault is in detraction of a woman whom she regards as her rival;

The instance in which a woman's tact is seen as its best is in deploying the men who she knows are rivals for her hand. And usually

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.


* * *

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.


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 u

pon 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.


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"!

* * *

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