Woman and Child

Friendship and marriage. – The best friend will probably acquire the best wife, because a good marriage is founded on the talent for friendship.

Continuance of the parent. – The unresolved dissonances between the characters and dispositions of the parents continue to resound in the nature of the child and constitute the history of his inner sufferings.

From the mother. – Everyone bears within him a picture of woman derived from his mother; it is this which determines whether, in his dealings with women, he respects them or despises them or is in general indifferent to them.

Correcting nature. – If one does not have a good father one should furnish oneself with one.

Fathers and sons. – Fathers have much to do to make amends for having sons.

A male sickness. – For the male sickness of self-contempt the surest cure is to be loved by a clever woman.

Rational irrationality. – In the maturity of his life and understanding a man is overcome by the feeling his father was wrong to beget him.

Love-matches. – Marriages contracted from love (so-called love-matches) have error for their father and need for their mother.

Friendship with women. – Women are quite able to make friends with a man; but to preserve such a friendship – that no doubt requires the assistance of a slight physical antipathy.

Marriage as a long conversation. – When entering into a marriage one ought to ask oneself: do you believe you are going to enjoy talking with this woman up into your old age? Everything else in a marriage is transitory, but most of the time you are together will be devoted to conversation

Love. – The idealization of love practiced by women is fundamentally and originally an invention of their shrewdness, inasmuch as it enhances their power and makes them seem ever more desirable in the eyes of men. But through centuries-long habituation to this exaggerated evaluation of love it has come to pass that they have become entangled in their own net and forgotten how it originated. They themselves are now more deceived than men are and consequently suffer more from disillusionment that is almost certain to come into the life of every woman – insofar as she has sufficient intelligence and imagination to be deceived and disillusioned at all.

Tragedy of childhood. – It is perhaps no rare occurrence that noble-minded and aspiring people have to undergo their severest trials in their childhood; perhaps through having to assert themselves against a low-minded father absorbed in appearance and deception, or, like Lord Byron, to live in continual conflict with a childish and irritable mother. If one has experienced such a thing one will, one’s whole life long, never get over the knowledge of who one’s greatest and most dangerous foe has actually been.

Finally. – There are many kinds of hemlock, and fate usually finds an opportunity of setting a cup of this poison draught to the lips of the free spirit – so as to ‘punish’ him, as all the world then says. What will the women around him then do? They will lament and cry out and perhaps disturb the repose of the thinker’s sunset hours; as they did in the prison at Athens. ‘O Criton, do tell someone to take those women away!’, Socrates finally said.