Wisdom of the Ancients


Polygamy, when tried under modern democratic conditions, as by the Mormons, is wrecked by the revolt of the mass of inferior men who are condemned to celibacy by it; for the maternal instinct leads a woman to prefer a tenth share in a first rate man to the exclusive possession of a third rate one.
Bernard Shaw

Women’s character:

It may be particularly observed of women, that they are for the most part good or bad, as they fall among those who practise vice or virtue; and that neither education nor reason gives them much security against the influence of example. Whether it be that they have less courage to stand against opposition, or that their desire of admiration makes them sacrifice their principles to the poor pleasure of worthless praise, it is certain, whatever be the cause, that female goodness seldom keeps its ground against laughter, flattery, or fashion.
–Samuel Johnson: Rambler no. 70

Woman is more impressionable than man. Therefore in the Golden Age they were better than men. Now they are worse.
–Leo Tolstoy: Diary

Women are not complicated:

One woman reads another’s character
Without the tedious trouble of deciphering.
–Ben Jonson

Women are considered deep – why? Because one can never discover any bottom to them. Women are not even shallow.
–Friedrich Nietzsche

Women are more brutal with each other than men are:

It is natural for a feeling of mere indifference to exist between men, but between women it is actual enmity. This is due perhaps to the fact that trade-jealousy in the case of men, is limited to their everyday affairs, but with women embraces the whole sex; since they have only one kind of business. Even when they meet in the street, they look at each other like Guelphs and Ghibellines. And it is quite evident when two women first make each other’s acquaintance that they exhibit more constraint and dissimulation than two men placed in similar circumstances.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Women are less rational than men:

The nobler and more perfect a thing is, the later and slower is it in reaching maturity. Man reaches the maturity of his reasoning and mental faculties scarcely before he is eight-and-twenty; woman when she is eighteen; but hers is reason of very narrow limitations. This is why women remain children all their lives, for they always see only what is near at hand, cling to the present, take the appearance of a thing for reality, and prefer trifling matters to the most important. It is by virtue of man’s reasoning powers that he does not live in the present only, like the brute, but observes and ponders over the past and future.
–Arthur Schopenhauer

Rationality is the wrong way to deal with women:

You sometimes have to answer a woman according to her womanishness, just as you have to answer a fool according to his folly.
–Bernard Shaw

Behaviour of a good wife:

A virtuous woman commands her husband by obeying him.  
–Publius Syrus

Women are more calculating than men:

Women are the only realists; their whole object in life is to pit their realism against the extravagant, excessive, and occasionally drunken idealism of men.
-G.K. Chesterton

Marriage and its purpose

The essential function of marriage is the continuance of the race, as stated in the Book of Common Prayer.
The accidental function of marriage is the gratification of the amoristic sentiment of mankind.
The artificial sterilization of marriage makes it possible for marriage to fulfil its accidental function whilst neglecting its essential one.
The most revolutionary invention of the XIX century was the artificial sterilization of marriage.
–Bernard Shaw

On the legal equality of women:

When the laws granted woman the same rights as man, they should also have given her a masculine power of reason.
–Arthur Schopenhauer

The proper place of women:

Day and night woman must be kept in dependence by the males of their families, and, if they attach themselves to sensual enjoyments, they must be kept under one’s control.

Her father protects her in childhood, her husband protects her in youth, and her sons protect her in old age; a woman is never fit for independence.
Laws of Manu

Women and promise-keeping:

Woman’s love is writ in water,
Woman’s faith is traced in sand.
Aytoun—Lays of Scottish Cavaliers.


About Pechorin

A Hero of Our Time
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5 Responses to Wisdom of the Ancients

  1. The Geographer says:

    “…whatever a woman says to her eager lover
    should be written on the wind and the swift-flowing water.” – Catullus

  2. john says:

    “In our monogamous part of the world, to marry means to halve one’s rights and double one’s duties.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

  3. xsplat says:

    Good list.

    Makes me hopeful that the timelessly obvious will again make it’s way into the manly worldview.

  4. Will says:

    More here: Woman.

  5. Pingback: Women in the Laws of the Twelve Tables | Pechorin

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