I just can’t pass by the Hallmark- and FTD-sponsored holiday without saying a bit about love. So here are some appropriate thoughts (besides the sneering comment near the end ~ I’m not sure what that’s about!) for you from Max O’Rell’s wonderfully titled book Her Royal Highness Woman and His Majesty Cupid. Happy Valentine’s Day, all. Will you be mine?
1901: Man Versus Woman in Love
Man is capable of love as earnestly as woman is; but love is not the whole business of his life, whereas it is a woman’s. When a child, she loves her doll; when a girl, her mother; when a woman, a man. She can feed on love and die of it. When a mother, she loves her children; when she dies, surrounded by beloved grandchildren, she may say that her life has been well filled.
I believe that a woman can love more than once. I have known widows remarry, and love their second husbands with the same devotion as their first.
A man really loves once only. I knew a man under fifty who was married three times. He was a good and devoted husband to his three wives, but he never really loved but the second. If he dies suddenly without having time to take all his precautions, the portrait of his second wife will be found on his heart.
The reason of this is that men and women love in different ways. A man loves because his whole being ~ heart, soul, and body ~ craves for a woman. A woman often gives herself to a man because it pleases her to be loved by him. For a man, love is the pleasure he feels in the company of a woman; for a woman, it is the enjoyment of the pleasure she gives to a man. A woman is proud to call herself a reward, and that is why all heroes appeal to her so much. Mirabeau was the plainest of men, with his face covered with small-pox marks, yet no man ever made so many conquests among women. Successful generals, explorers, great orators, authors, artists, singers, all appeal to women. They may not love them personally, but it affords them great pleasure to be loved by them. There is in every woman a craving for a man superior to herself, and that is why women who try to dominate men are such dismal failures.
* * * * *
To a woman love is sacred, her food, her life.
Never have a sneer at a woman or at a child. Whenever you feel sarcastic, exercise your talents on something else.
Never profane the words, ‘I love you’ ; they may seal the fate of a woman; but when you have uttered these three words in great earnestness, and the woman has answered with that great religious, almost sad, smile that Victor Hugo called ‘the smile of angels,’ when, in a word, she is yours, place her on a pedastal, on an altar, and worship her. The world has nothing better to offer you.
Source: O’Rell, Max. Her Royal Highness Woman and His Majesty Cupid. New York: The Abbey Press, 1901.
~ pp. 66-68 ~