friendship is the old age of loveI originally posted this one back in the dawn of the year 2000. At that time, I thought it would be fun to bring in the new year with advice from the turning of the last century. Unfortunately I don’t seem to have have any books from 1900, but Her Royal Highness Woman and His Majesty Cupid was written in 1901, and that’s close enough for me. The following are some “stray thoughts about women, love, and matrimony,” as author Max O’Rell described the chapter they are pulled from.

1901: Cupidiana

~ Few lovers are sure of each other. If you doubt it, listen to what they say, and you will constantly hear them repeat: ‘Do you love me?’ ‘Will you always love me?’ or ‘How long will you love me?’ They will sometimes wake each other in the night to repeat these questions.

~ Men should cease to be jealous when they discover they have real ground for being jealous. I do not believe that jealousy comes from true love; but justifiable jealousy should cure one of love.

~ If you love a woman from the depths of your heart and soul, no words can be found adequate to convey an idea of it.

~ You cannot blame a man or a woman for being in love any more than you can blame them for having a toothache. If the love they feel is a misfortune to them, or the cause of unhappiness to others, pity them all.

~ Friendship is the old age of love. Happy the husband and wife who, when the days of love and passion are gone, find real happiness and blessed rest in friendship.

~ There should be no other law than love to bind a man and woman together. The day they cease to love each other should be the day on which the contract determines, and they become friends.

~ The intelligent, artistic, refined man is a gourmet in love; the foolish and brutal man is a gourmand.

~ However ill you may speak or think of women, you will always find a woman able to do it better than you.

~ Why are women far less indulgent than men for the faults of women?

~ Woman is an angel who seldom appreciates a man who has not a bit of the devil in him.

~ The most religious woman will postpone an interview with her Maker for an appointment with her dressmaker.

~ A loving woman will keep her heart warm as long as she lives, and her hair black as long as she dyes.

~ In matrimony, to retain happiness and make it last to the end, it is not a question for a woman to remain beautiful, it is a question for her to remain interesting. Not the slightest detail should be beneath her notice in order to keep alive the attention of her husband.

~ Love feeds on illusions, lives on trifles. If a man loves his wife, a rose on her head, her hair parted the other way, a newly-trimmed bonnet, may revive in him the interest he felt the first time he met her, nay, the emotion he felt the first time he held her in his arms. The very best dishes may become insipid if served with the eternally same sauce.

~ A woman who is contstantly blushing must be terribly well informed.

~ Woman is made to love and to be loved. She may live on love and die of it. For a man, love is the occupation of a few moments; for a woman, love is the occupation of a lifetime.

~ Whether I think of woman as a grandmother, a mother, a wife, a sweetheart, or even a little girl who, by-and-by, will bear all these titles in succession, I believe that men ought to spend most of their spare time in strewing with flowers the ground upon which a woman is about to tread.

~ There are men who complain that roses have thorns. They should be grateful to know that thorns have roses.

~ The roses of life are the women.

Source: O’Rell, Max. Her Royal Highness Woman and His Majesty Cupid. New York: The Abbey Press, 1901.
~ pp. 301-311 ~