* * * * *
“My friend has complained about you,” said Wanda to-day.
“Perhaps she feels that I despise her.”
“But why do you despise her, you foolish young man?” exclaimed
Wanda, pulling my ears with both hands.
“Because she is a hypocrite,” I said. “I respect only a woman who is
actually virtuous, or who openly lives for pleasure’s sake.”
“Like me, for instance,” replied Wanda jestingly, “but you see,
child, a woman can only do that in the rarest cases. She can neither
be as gaily sensual, nor as spiritually free as man; her state is
always a mixture of the sensual and spiritual. Her heart desires to
enchain man permanently, while she herself is ever subject to the
desire for change. The result is a conflict, and thus usually against
her wishes lies and deception enter into her actions and personality
and corrupt her character.”
“Certainly that is true,” I said. “The transcendental character with
which woman wants to stamp love leads her to deception.”
“But the world likewise demands it,” Wanda interrupted. “Look at
this woman. She has a husband and a lover in Lemberg and has found
a new admirer here. She deceives all three and yet is honored by all
and respected by the world.”
“I don’t care,” I exclaimed, “but she is to leave you alone; she
treats you like an article of commerce.”
“Why not?” the beautiful woman interrupted vivaciously. “Every woman
has the instinct or desire to draw advantage out of her attractions,
and much is to be said for giving one’s self without love or pleasure
because if you do it in cold blood, you can reap profit to best
“Wanda, what are you saying?”
“Why not?” she said, “and take note of what I am about to say to you.
Never feel secure with the woman you love, for there are more
dangers in woman’s nature than you imagine. Women are neither as
good as their admirers and defenders maintain, nor as bad as their
enemies make them out to be. Woman’s character is characterlessness.
The best woman will momentarily go down into the mire, and the worst
unexpectedly rises to deeds of greatness and goodness and puts to
shame those that despise her. No woman is so good or so bad, but that
at any moment she is capable of the most diabolical as well as of the
most divine, of the filthiest as well as of the purest, thoughts,
emotions, and actions. In spite of all the advances of civilization,
woman has remained as she came out of the hand of nature. She has the
nature of a savage, who is faithful or faithless, magnanimous or
cruel, according to the impulse that dominates at the moment.
Throughout history it has always been a serious deep culture which has
produced moral character. Man even when he is selfish or evil always
follows principles, woman never follows anything but impulses.
Don’t ever forget that, and never feel secure with the woman you