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   Chapter 6 On Making Love

Hints for Lovers By Arnold Haultain Characters: 16512

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:04

"Mille modi Veneris"


There are as many ways of making love as there are of making soup. And probably

There are as many kinds of love as there are of flavors. And

Palates-both sentimental and physical-evidently differ widely. And yet,

If you would know the secret of success with women, it is said in a word:

Ardor. And

Would ye, O women, know in a word the secret of success with men? It lies in: Responsiveness.

* * *

In matters amatory-or rather pre-amatory-feminine tactics are infallible and consummate:

Let no man think to cope with feminine strategy.

* * *

A rake has more chance than a ninny.-Which doubtless has been said before.

* * *

In love, as in all things, indecision spells ruination. For

There is a curious antagonism between the sexes. They are in a manner foes, not friends. The successful wooer is the captor, the raptor; the bride is the capture, the rapture. (1) And

Even she who is minded to be caught will not spare her huntsman the ardor of the chase, and lightly esteems him who imagines she is to be lightly won.

In the chess-like game of love-making, no woman plays for check-mate: the game interests her too much to bring it to a finish. What pleases her most is stale-mate, where, though the King cannot be captured, the captress can maneuver without end.

A man imagines he wins by strenuous assault. The woman knows the victory was due to surrender.

(1) Etymologically as well as metaphorically-and veritably.

* * *

Wouldst thou ask ought of a woman? Question her eyes: they are vastly more voluble than her tongue. Indeed,

There is no question too subtle, too delicate, too recondite, or too rash, for human eyes to ask or answer. And

He who has not learned the language of the eyes, has yet to learn the alphabet of love. Besides,

Love speaks two languages: one with the lips; the other with the eyes.

(There is really a third; but this is Pentecostal.) At all events,

Lovers always talk in a cryptic tongue.

There is but one universal language: the ocular-not Volapuk nor

Esperanto is as intelligible or as efficacious as this.

* * *

No woman can be coerced into love,-though she may be coerced into marriage. And

Man, the clumsy wielder of one blunt weapon, often enough stands agape at his own powerlessness before the invulnerable woman of his desire. Indeed,

The battle between the coquettish maid and determined man is like the battle between the Retiarius and the Mirmillio. The coquetry ensnares the man as with a net against which his sword is useless.

* * *

A woman's emotions are as practical as a man's reason.

A man's emotions are never practical. This is why,

In the emotional matter of love, men and women so often lash. And perhaps

It is a beneficial thing for the race that a woman's emotions are practical. For

If neither the man nor the woman curbed the mettlesome Pegasus "Emotion", methinks the colts and fillies would want for hay and oats. * * *

It is a moot question which is the more fatally fascinating: the uniformed nurse or the weeded widow. But

Who has yet discovered the secret springs of fascination? For example,

How is it that certain eyes and lips will enthrall, while others leave us cold and inert?

Does the potency lie in the eyes and the lips, or is there some inscrutable and psychic power? At all events, who will explain how it is that

A man will sometimes forsake the most beautiful of wives and a woman will forsake the kindest of husbands to follow recklessly one who admits no comparison with the one forsaken? All we can say is that

The potency of personality exceeds the potency of beauty. For, Powerful as is physical charm, it counts not for all in the matter of love. Yet what it may be that does count, and how and why it does count, no man living shall say. For

Is even love aware of all its seeks? And

Is it given to any to grant all that love beseeches? And yet

Were all love sought bestowed, what sequel?

Perhaps 't were well to leave love but semi-satisfied. At bottom the real question is this: What will win and keep me another heart? But

How to win and keep another heart, that is a thing has to be found out for oneself-if it be discoverable. And always by the experimental method. Since

In matters amatory, there is no a priori reasoning possible. All we know is that

There is nothing more potent than passion. And

The chasm, which seems to innocence to yawn between virtue and frailty, is leapt by that Pegasus, Passion, at a bound-but he blinds his rider in the feat.

* * *

In spite of the poesy of love, deeds are more potent than words; -though perhaps it is well to pave the way for the one by the other.

In spite, too of the piety of love, love laughs at promises-that is, the promises that affect it.

* * *

There is one miracle that women can always perform, and always it astonishes the man; it is this: to change from the recipient into the appellant. That is to say,

When woman, usually regarded as the receiver, becomes the giver,-or rather the demander,-man's wonderment surpasses words. And let it be remembered that

There is no re-crossing this Rubicon.

* * *

Mistrust a prolonged and obdurate resistance. Either you are out-classed, or you are out-experienced. And, besides,

Surrender after prolonged resistance rarely is brought about by emotion.

* * *

A woman never really quite detests daring. This is why

Much is a forgiving a daring man. So, too,

Much is forgiven a pretty woman by the men.

* * *

If the beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water, the beginning of love is as when one kindleth a fire.

* * *

The eye tells more than the tongue. And

If the eye and the tongue contradict each other, believe the eye.

* * *

There is an indifference that attracts, and there is an indifference that repels. He is a sagacious man, and she is a sagacious woman, who will differentiate them. The question resolves itself into that which so often puzzles the angler,-how much line to let out. About one thing there need be no hesitation,

When your fish is within reach, be quick with the landing-net-or even with the gaff.

* * *

In the matter of wooing, soon enough does the young girl learn to prefer the mature manners of the man of the world to the gaucheries of inexperienced youth. As to the man!

How curious the things that appeal to this lord of creation, Man!-a half-averted face-a laughing gesture-a merry eye-an all but imperceptible tone of the voice-the scarce felt touch of a reluctant hand-a semi-tender phrase-an unexpected glance-the momentary pressure of petulant lips-a blanched cheek-a look prolonged one fractional part of a second beyond its wont-an infinitesimal drooping of the eyelid-a speaking silence-a half-caught sigh-these will entrap the male brute where green widths that were never dried will not hold him. But

By what men are won, most women seem thoroughly to comprehend.

By what women are won, few men know. Perhaps

No woman knows by what she herself is won.

One thing there is, at all events, to which woman will always succumb: tenderness. But remember, Dames, that

Tenderness is extremely difficult of simulation. Or rather,

Tenderness is so delicate and deep-seated a feeling, that few care to attempt its simulation.

* * *

A woman who gives herself too freely is apt to regret the giving. In time, too, she discovers that, as a matter of fact,

No woman can give her real self twice: one or other gift will prove to be a loan. (And

It is always and only the first recipient that causes a woman's heart to flutter, and often it flutters long.) 144

A second gift is generally a mortgage-if it is not a sale.

A mortgage is difficult to bind. For

There is a statute of limitations in love as there is in law. Nor is the former to be set aside by bond.

That pair is in a parlous state when either party discovers that the title was not properly searched. Since

Everybody expects a fee simple,-though few deserve it, God wot!

* * *

Perhaps the most durable conquest is the incomplete one. Which sounds illogical. But it

is well to remember that

Repletion seems to cause, in the man, temporary indifference; while

Repletion causes, in the woman, enduring content. And in this we can detect a significant distinction between the sexes: namely the fact that

A single goal satisfies most women;

No single goal ever yet satisfied the restless spirit of man.

* * *

What gives keenest joy is the evocation of latent passion. For Each takes pleasure in believing that he or she alone can evoke this passion. Accordingly,

The premature confession of passion, and the confession of premature passion, both rankle in the breast-and, probably, in the breast of both penitent and confessor.

* * *

What intensity of feeling a woman can throw into the enunciation of a

Christian name! There is perhaps no better clue to possession that this.

For, probably,

Not until a man's Christian mane is ecstatically uttered is a woman wholly his. * * *

Men and women content with the different weapons. This is why Men are rarely intrepid in the presence of women; but women rarely stand in awe of men.-Nothing differentiates the sexes more than this; but the psychological reason is difficult to discover. Perhaps,

The making of love is a sort of duel, the conditions of which are that the man shall doff all his armor and the woman may don all hers. Indeed,

The battle of love-making would be an unequal combat, even were both contestants fully panoplied; for,

A woman's derision will pierce any mail. In fact,

No armor is impervious to woman's shafts-be they those of laughter or be they those of love. So

The veriest roué' is vulnerable to the veriest maid. But

For each man she meets, a woman carries in her quiver but one shaft. If that misses its aim, she is powerless: it is like a dart without a thong; when thrown, the man can close. But

Always it devolves upon the man to take the initiative. But, again,

Always the man must pretend that he takes no initiative. But, again,

Always the woman must pretend that she gives no opportunity.

The game of love is not only one of chance but one of skill. What irks man is that a woman pretends that she must be circumvented by wiles. But

Man was ever a clumsy wooer. Nevertheless,

It is only the man who thinks he is too venturesome. Since

The iciest woman sometimes thaws. And

The austerer a woman, the sweeter her surrender. And, again,

A woman is never sweeter than in surrender. Accordingly,

"De l'audace, et encore de l'audace, et toujours de l'audace"(2) should be the motto of every wooer. Since

Audacity if beloved of women; but it must be an audacity born of

Sincerity and educated b y Discretion. At all events

Beware timidity,-it is fatal.

(2) Danton

* * *

With women, nothing is more conquering than conquest; nothing so irresistible as resistance. On the other hand,

Resistance on the part of the woman is an effort put forth for the purpose of defeating its own object.

* * *

A man prizes only what he has fought for. No one knows this better than a woman. This is why

A woman's capitulation she always makes to appear as a capture. And

Where there are no defense works, a woman will erect them.

Foolish that man who does not storm entrenchments. For

Resistance on the part of a woman is a wall which a man is expected to leap. His agility is the measure of her approbation.

* * *

Arouse a woman's interest, and you arouse much. But

Having failed, disappear. Yet

It takes very many futile attempts to make a failure. At the same time,

Importunity is an inferior weapon.

* * *

A conditional surrender is no surrender. But

A woman's surrender is in reality a desertion, a going over to the enemy.

Thenceforward she is an ally. Indeed

A woman's capitulation is her conquest.

* * *

Let no amount of simulated austerity deter you. The marble Galatea came to life at the prayer of a man.

* * *

The number of modes in which a woman can say 'Yes' has not, up to the present, be accurately enumerated; but perhaps the one most frequently in use is the negative imperative. And

Many are the men who have puzzled long and painfully over the motives of a woman's 'No.' Yet in nine cases out of ten a woman says 'No' merely because she feels herself on the brink of saying 'Yes'. In other words,

It is often mistrust of herself that leads many a woman to refuse it will the lips the consent that is fluttering at her heart. Perhaps that is why

With woman 'Yea' and 'Nay' are meaningless and interchangeable terms.

* * *

'Ware a show of excessive feeling. It is proof, either that it is shallow and evanescent, or that it is put on. At all events Excessive feeling is rarely taken seriously. Now

Seriousness adds a spice to gallantry. But, like spice, a little is ample.

* * *

Many men think it is the woman who has to be persuaded. It is not the woman; it is her scruples. Besides, "Nemo repente turpissimus-vel turpissima". Yet

By thirty, scruples are either dormant or dominant.

Both of the callow youth of fifteen and the man of the world of forty-five swear by the woman of thirty.

* * *

It may seem a paradox, but it is a truism, that, in matters of love, it is the weaker and the defenseless sex that takes the initiative. In other words,

The woman makes the opportunity which the man takes. And

An opportunity missed is an opportunity lost. And

The woman is implacable to the man who sees the opportunity and takes it not. Since

With woman indifference is worse than insult. Wherefore

Never, never disappoint a woman.

* * *

Spontaneous admiration is the sincerest flattery. Those who know this, affect spontaneity. But it requires much art to conceal this art.

You will oftener err upon the side of ultra-delicacy in a compliment that upon the side of bare-facedness.

Do not imagine that excessive admiration can give offence. But remember that

The eye can netter express admiration than can the tongue.

The publicity with which a woman will receive admiration from a male admirer 144 often is sufficient to astonish that admirer. But

Often enough it is the admiration, not the admirer, that a woman covets.


Many a woman is in love with love (3), but not her lover. But this no lover can be got to comprehend.

To flatter by deprecating a rival is a complement of extremely doubtful efficacy.

(3) I seem to remember that somebody before has said something like this before.

* * *

A woman does not admire too clement a conqueror. She admits the right to ovation, and to him who waives it she lightly regards.

* * *

Seek no stepping-stones unless you mean to cross:

He who gathers stepping-stones and refrains from crossing is contempted of women. Indeed,

Every advance of which advantage is not taken, is in reality a retreat.

And remember, too, that though

Sought interviews are sweet, those unsought are sweeter. And

Probably no son of Adam-and for the matter of that, probably no daughter of Eve-ever quite looks back with remorse upon a semi-innocent escapade. Yet

The man who thinks he can at any time extract himself from any feminine entanglement that he may choose to have raveled, is a simpleton.

* * *

The way of man with a maid may have been too wonderful for Agur; now-a-days the way of a man with a married woman would puzzle a wiser than he.

What is the attitude to be maintained towards the too complaisant spouse of an honorable friend? That is a problem will puzzle weak men without end. Of that fatal and fateful dilemma when a wife or a husband falls victim to the wiles of another, there are, for the delinquent, two and only two horns (and it is a moot question upon which it is preferable to be impaled): Flight-either from the victor or the victrix. Yet

To some it is no anomaly to pray God's blessing upon a liaison. But these folk are to be pitied; for

A clandestine love always works havoc-havoc to all three. (4)

(4) Cf. Platus: "Malus clandestinus est amor; damnum 'st merum."

Will men and women never learn what trouble they lay up in store for themselves by breaking their plighted troths?

* * * * *

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