Since time immemorial, women have been deemed mysterious, enigmatic creatures - which, come to think of it, is quite contrary to a materialist outlook on the world, and to progress in general.
Yet the mystery must by the very nature of things be solvable, so why not get elucidation from some of the best brains the world has known?
The Editors have therefore carefully sifted the conclusions of sages of all varieties for your benefit, and here present the most significant of them.
India, the fifth century A.D. Between us and the people of that time is an abyss of fifteen centuries, a gulf one would think impassable, which would prevent our understanding the concept of beauty held by people of that time. Yet it is not so. The woman on the left depicted by the Indian artist (on an Ajanta mural) is 1,500 years old - but she remains our contemporary. And this figure above from pre-Columbus Mexico is also alive today - it stands face to face with life, and in it we see assurance and tranquility.
"If you are ever in doubt as to whether or not you should kiss a pretty girl, always give her the benefit of the doubt."
"I don't mind living in a man's world so long as I can be a woman in it."
Women are the first educators of the human race.
Theodor von Hippel
In certain cases one woman is far more perspicacious than a hundred men.
"In the arms of her first lover, woman already dreams of the next one."
A man does not love a woman for what she says; he only likes what she says because he loves her.
It is by work that women have largely bridged the distance that separated them from men; it is only work that can guarantee them real freedom.
Simone de Beauvoir
"Here's to woman! Would that we could fall into her arms without falling into her hands."
Whether a woman says yes or no, she is always happy to have been asked.
A woman's character, without exception, rests on two poles - love and revenge.
Lope de Vega
Not only can a woman understand self-sacrifice, she is capable of sacrificing herself.
"However malicious a man may be, he can never say anything worse of women than they think of themselves."
Honore de Balzac
One woman is stronger than a thousand men.
Joost Van den Vondel
"Woman's tongue is her sword which she never lets rust."
Man is weak, woman strong...
"When the candles are out all women are fair."
To be a woman and to be silent - these are in compatibles.
Tirso de Molina
Tongue; well, that's a very good thing when it an't a woman's.
"If your mistress hears about another affair of yours, deny it, say it is the lying work of envious enemies. Do not act guilty or too fond of her for a while. But when her heart begins to get cold or she gets too angry, grab her around the neck and thrust a weepy face into her bosom. Kiss her breasts and caress them. Then, when she is in full retreat, propose to adjourn bedward."
Napoleon Bonaparte (whose legal code prevailed in France until some changes were made recently) once said: "Woman is given to man to bear children; she is therefore his property, as the tree is the gardener's."
"Women are one and all a set of vultures."
I'm not denyin' the women are foolish; God Almighty made 'em to match the men.
She wavers, she hesitates; in short, she is a woman.
Women know everything, even details of the nuptials of the gods.
"When a man says he had pleasure with a woman, he does not mean conversation."
When someone sings the praises of a pretty woman to me and tells me of his love for her, I see a fanatic extolling a viper, whose charms he recounts and by whom he considers he has had the good fortune to be bitten.
Pierre de Marivaux
To a woman: "Be charming and keep quiet."
Frailty, thy name is woman!
Brigands demand your money or your life; women require both.
A woman never sees what you do for her; she sees only what you do not do.
"I expect that women will be the last thing civilized by man."
"Woman is a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, a deadly fascination and a painted ill."
Saint John Chrysotom
Woman is always fickle and changing.
A woman will always be a danger to any paradise.
... It is a woman's job to stay at home and preserve silence.
"Girls ought early to be brought under restraint."
Jean Jacques Rousseau
"A woman is never taken by surprise; regardless of the day her lover leaves her, she had already left him the day before."
Love, tenderness, sweetness, these are the main ingredients used by God to make the soul of a woman; to love, to heal, and to give consolation, this is her destiny on earth.
"Courtship is to marriage like a very witty prologue to a very dull play."