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Anguish of mind is infinitely more intense than mere physical pain, and the more cultivated the mind, the deeper is its capacity for such “agony unmix'd." Mental anguish doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw the inwards, and create a condition in which "not poppy, nor mandragora, nor all the drowsy syrups of the world shall ever medicine" the victim to that sleep which he enjoyed before. His heart is turned to stone; he strikes it and it hurts his hand. Trifles light as air are proofs to him that his suspicions are realities, and life is no longer worth living.
O now for ever
The assertion that modern jealousy is a noble passion is of course to be taken with reservations. Where it leads to murder or revenge it is a reversion to the barbarous type, and apart from that it is, like all affections of the mind, liable to abnormal and morbid states. Harry Campbell writes in the Lancet (1898) that the inordinate development of this emotion always betokens a neurotic diathesis, and not infrequently indicates the oncoming of insanity. It is responsible for much useless suffering and not a little actual disease." Dr. O'Neill gives a curious example of the latter, in the same periodical. He was summoned to a young woman who informed him that she wished to be cured of jealousy: "I am jealous of my husband, and if you do not give me something I shall go out of my mind." The husband protested his innocence and declared there was no cause whatever for her accusations:
"The wife persisted in reiterating them and so the wrangle went on till suddenly she fell from her chair on the floor in a fit, the spasmodic movements of which were so strange and varied that it would be almost impossible to describe them. At one moment the patient was extended at full length with her body arched forward in a state of opisthotonos. The next minute she was in a sitting position with the legs drawn
up, making, while her hands clutched her throat, a guttural noise. Then she would throw herself on her back and thrust her arms and legs about to the no small danger of those around her. Then becoming comparatively quiet and supine she would quiver all over while her eyelids trembled with great rapidity. This state perhaps would be followed by general convulsive movements in which she would put herself into the most grotesque postures and make the most unlovely grimaces. At last the fit ended, and exhausted and in tears she was put to bed. The patient was a lithe, muscular woman and to restrain her movements during the attack with the assistance at hand was a matter of impossibility, so all that could be done was to prevent her injuring herself and to sprinkle her freely with cold water. The after-treatment was more geographical than medical. The husband ceased doing business in a certain town where the object of his wife's suspicious lived.”
I have been told by a perfectly healthy married woman that when jealous of her husband she felt a sensation as of some liquid welling up in her throat and suffocating her. Pride came into play in part; she did not want others to think that her husband preferred an ignorant girl to her-a woman of great physical and mental charm.
Such jealousy, if unfounded, may be of the "self-harming" kind of which one of Shakspere's characters exclaims Fie! beat it hence!" Too often, however, women have cause for jealousy, as modern civilized man has not overcome the polygamous instincts he has inherited from his ancestors since time immemorial. But whereas cause for feminine jealousy has existed always, the right to feel it is a modern acquisition. Moreover, while Apache wives were chaste from fear and Greek women from necessity, modern civilized women are faithful from the sense of honor, duty, affection, and in return for their devotion they expect men to be faithful for the same reasons. Their jealousy has not yet become retrospective, like that of the men; but they justly demand that after marriage men shall not fall below the standard of purity they have set up for the women, and they insist on a conjugal monopoly of the affections as strenuously as the men do. In due course of time, as Dr. Campbell sug
gests, we may expect the monogamous instinct in man to be as powerful as in some of the lower animals; and feminine jealousy will help to bring about this result; for if women were indifferent on this point men would never improve.
JEALOUSY IN ROMANTIC LOVE
The jealousy of romantic love, preceding marriage, differs from the jealousy of conjugal love in so far as there can be no claim to a monopoly of affection where the very existence of any reciprocated affection still remains in doubt. Before the engagement the uncertain lover in presence of a rival is tortured by doubt, anxiety, fear, despair, and he may violently hate the other man, though (as I know from personal experience) not necessarily, feeling that the rival has as much claim to the girl's attention as he has. Duels between rival lovers are not only silly, but are an insult to the girl, to whom the choice ought to be submitted and the verdict accepted manfully. A man who shoots the girl herself, because she loves another and refuses him, puts himself on a level below the lowest brute, and cannot plead either true love or true jealousy as his excuse. After the engagement the sense of monopoly and the consciousness of plighted troth enter into the lover's feelings, and intruders are properly warded off with indignation. In romantic jealousy the leading rôle is played by the imagination; it loves to torture its victim by conjuring visions of the beloved smiling on a rival, encircled by his arm, returning his kisses. Everything feeds his suspicions; he is "dwelling in a continual 'larum of jealousy." Oft his jealousy "shapes faults that are not" and he taints his heart and brain with needless doubt. "Ten thousand fears invented wild, ten thousand frantic views of horrid rivals, hanging on the charms for which he melts in fondness, eat him up." Such passion inflames love but corrodes the soul. In perfect love, as I said at the beginning of this chapter, jealousy is potential only, not actual.
When a man is in love he wears his heart on his sleeve and feels eager to have the beloved see how passionately it throbs for her. When a girl is in love she tries to conceal her heart in the innermost recesses of her bosom, lest the lover discover her feelings prematurely. In other words, coyness is a trait of feminine love-the only ingredient of that passion which is not, to some extent, common to both sexes. "The cruel
nymph well knows to feign, coy looks and cold disdain," sang Gay; and "what value were there in the love of the maiden, were it yielded without coy delay ?" asks Scott.
"Tis ours to be forward and pushing;
Lady Montagu makes a man say, and Richard Savage sings:
You love; yet from your lover's wish retire;
Doubt, yet discern; deny, and yet desire.
Such, Polly, are your sex-part truth, part fiction,
"Part truth, part fiction;" the girl romances regarding her feelings; her romantic love is tinged with coyness. "She will rather die than give any sign of affection," says Benedick of Beatrice; and in that line Shakspere reveals one of the two essential traits of genuine modern coynessdissemblance of feminine affection.
Was coyness at all times an attribute of femininity, or is it an artificial product of modern social conditions and culture? Is coyness ever manifested apart from love, or does its presence prove the presence of love? These two important questions are to be answered in the present section.
WOMEN WHO WOO
The opinion prevails that everywhere and always the first advances were made by the men, the women being passive, and coyly reserved. This opinion-like many other notions. regarding the relations of the sexes-rests on ignorance, pure
ignorance. In collecting the scattered facts bearing on this subject I have been more and more surprised at the number of exceptions to the rule, if, indeed, rule it be. Not only are there tribes among whom women must propose-as in the Torres Straits Islands, north of Australia, and with the Garos of India, concerning whom interesting details will be given in later chapters; but among many other savages and barbarians the women, instead of repelling advances, make them.
"In all Polynesia," says Gerland (VI., 127), "it was a common occurrence that the women wooed the men." proposal of marriage," writes Gill (Savage Life in Polynesia, II.), may emanate with propriety from a woman of rank to an equal or an inferior." In an article on Fijian poetry (731– 53), Sir Arthur Gordon cites the following native poem :
The girls of Vunivanua all had lovers,
But I, poor I, had not even one.
Yet I fell desperately in love one day,
My eye was filled with the beauty of Vasunilawedua."
She is conveyed to the town where her beloved dwells.
He asks her, "Why have you come here, Sovanalasikula?"
"I, too, have fallen in love. I love your lovely son, Vasunilawedua " Na Ulumatua rose to his feet. He loosened a tambua [whale's tooth] from
"This," he said, presenting it to her, "is my offering to you for your return. My son cannot wed you, lady."
Tears stream from her eyes, they stream down on her breast.
"Let me only live outside his house," she says;
“I will sleep upon the wood-pile. If I may only light his seluka [cigarrette] for him, I shall rejoice.
Life will be
If I may only hear his voice from a distance, it will suffice. pleasant to me."
Na Ulumatua replied, "Be magnanimous, lady, and return.
She returned to her own town, forlorn.
Her life was sadness.
Ia nam bosulu.