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free intercourse before marriage, the only thing liable to censure being a too frequent change of lovers.
That the anxious regard for chastity, modesty, decorum, which cannot be present in the coquetry of these Tongan women, is one of the essential ingredients of modern coyness has long been felt by the poets. After Juliet has made her confession of love which Romeo overhears in the dark, she apologizes to him because she fears that he might attribute her easy yielding to light love. Lest he think her too quickly won she would have frowned and been perverse, and said him nay." Then she begs him trust she'll "prove more true than those that have more cunning to be strange." Wither's "That coy one in the winning, proves a true one being won,” expresses the same sentiment.
UTILITY OF COYNESS
Man's esteem for virtues which he does not always practise himself, is thus responsible, in part at least, for the existence of modern coyness. Other factors, however, aided its growth, among them man's fickleness. If a girl did not say nay (when she would rather say yes), and hold back, hesitate, and delay, the suitor would in many cases suck the honey from her lips and flit away to another flower. Cumulative experience of man's sensual selfishness has taught her to be slow in yielding to his advances. Experience has also taught women that men are apt to value favors in proportion to the difficulty of winning them, and the wisest of them have profited by the lesson. Callimachus wrote, two hundred and fifty years before Christ, that his love was "versed in pursuing what flies (from it), but flits past what lies in its mid path -a conceit which the poets have since echoed a thousand times. Another very important thing that experience taught women was that by deferring or withholding their caresses and smiles they could make the tyrant man humble, generous, and gallant. Girls who do not throw themselves away on the first man who happens along, also have an advantage over others who are less fastidious and coy, and by transmitting their disposition to
their daughters they give it greater vogue. Female coyness prevents too hasty marriages, and the girls who lack it often live to repent their shortcomings at leisure. Coyness prolongs the period of courtship and, by keeping the suitor in suspense and doubt, it develops the imaginative, sentimental side of love.
HOW WOMEN PROPOSE
Sufficient reasons, these, why coyness should have gradually become a general attribute of femininity. Nevertheless, it is an artificial product of imperfect social conditions, and in an ideal world women would not be called upon to romance about their feelings. As a mark of modesty, coyness will always have a charm for men, and a woman devoid of it will never inspire genuine love. But what I have elsewhere called "spring-chicken coyness"—the disposition of European girls to hide shyly behind their mammas-as chickens do under a hen at the sight of a hawk-is losing its charm in face of the frank confidingness of American girls in the presence of gentlemen; and as for that phase of coyness which consists in concealing affection for a man, girls usually manage to circumvent it in a more or less refined manner. Some girls who are coarse, or have little control of their feelings, propose bluntly to the men they want. I myself have known several such cases, but the man always refused. Others have a thousand subtle ways of betraying themselves without actually "giving themselves away." A very amusing story of how an ingenious maiden tries to bring a young man to bay has been told by Anthony Hope. Dowden calls attention to the fact that it is Juliet" who proposes and urges on the sudden marriage." Romeo has only spoken of love; it is she who asks him, if his purpose be marriage, to send her word next day. In Troilus and Cressida (III., 2), the heroine exclaims :
But, though I loved you well, I woo'd you not;
In his Old Virginia (II., 127) John Fiske tells a funny story of how Parson Camm was wooed. A young friend of his, who had been courting Miss Betsy Hansford of his parish, asked him to assist him with his eloquence. The parson did so by citing to the girl texts from the Bible enjoining matrimony as a duty. But she beat him at his own game, telling him to take his Bible when he got home and look at 2 Sam. xii. 7, which would explain her obduracy. He did so, and found this: "And Nathan said to David, thou art the man." The parson took the hint-and the girl.
V. HOPE AND DESPAIR-MIXED MOODS
She never told her love;
But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,
Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought;
She sat, like Patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?
asks Viola in As You Like It. It was love indeed; but only two phases of it are indicated in the lines quoted-coyness ("She never told her love") and the mixture of emotions ("smiling at grief "), which is another characteristic of love. Romantic love is a pendulum swinging perpetually between hope and despair. A single unkind word or sign of indifference may make a lover feel the agony of death, while a smile may raise him from the abyss of despair to heavenly heights of bliss. As Goethe puts it:
When a Marguerite plucks the petals of a marguerite, muttering "he loves me he loves me not," her heart flutters in momentary anguish with every "not," till the next petal soothes it again.
I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe;
wails Romeo; and again:
Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
In commenting on Romeo, who in his love for Rosaline indulges in emotion for emotion's sake, and "stimulates his fancy with the sought-out phrases, the curious antitheses of the amorous dialect of the period," Dowden writes: "Mrs. Jameson has noticed that in All's Well that Ends Well (I., 180-89), Helena mockingly reproduces this style of amorous antithesis. Helena, who lives so effectively in the world. of fact, is contemptuous toward all unreality and affectation."
Now, it is quite true that expressions like "cold fire" and "sick health" sound unreal and affected to sober minds, and it is also true that many poets have exercised their emulous ingenuity in inventing such antitheses just for the fun of the thing and because it has been the fashion to do so. Nevertheless, with all their artificiality, they were hinting at an emotional phenomenon which actually exists. Romantic love is in reality a state of mind in which cold and heat may and do alternate so rapidly that "cold fire" seems the only proper expression to apply to such a mixed feeling. It is literally true that, as Bailey sang, "the sweetest joy, the wildest woe is love;" literally true that "the sweets of love are washed with tears," as Carew wrote, or, as H. K. White expressed it, ""Tis painful, though 'tis sweet to love." A man
who has actually experienced the feeling of uncertain love. sees nothing unreal or affected in Tennyson's
or in Drayton's
or in Dryden's
The cruel madness of love
or in Juliet's
"Tis nothing to be plagued in hell
I feed a flame within, which so torments me
Good-night! good-night! parting is such sweet sorrow,
This mysterious mixture of moods, constantly maintained through the alternations of hope and doubt, elation and despair,
And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
as Coleridge puts it; or
Where hot and cold, where sharp and sweet,
Where pleasures mixed with pains appear,
as Swift rhymes it, is thus seen to be one of the essential and most characteristic ingredients of modern romantic love.
COURTSHIP AND IMAGINATION
Here, again, the question confronts us, How far down among the strata of human life can we find traces of this ingredient of love? Do we find it among the Eskimos, for instance? Nansen relates (II., 317), that "In the old Greenland days marriage was a simple and speedy affair. If a man took a fancy to a