THE MAXIMS OF METHUSELAH Being the Advice given by the Patriarch in his Nine Hundred Sixty and Ninth Year to his Great Grandson at Shem 's Coming of Age IN REGARD TO WOMEN
AUTHOR'S INTRODUCTION THE following is, so far as I know, the only authentic rendering into the English language of the three hundred and thirty parables attributed to Methuselah. The authorship of these precepts was first traced to the aged patriarch by the cabalists, after having found by a transposition of the letters of his name the anagram, "he who prophesied in parables." (Fabricious)
Of its origin, the book, although freely rendered into the idiom of the hour, still bears intrinsic evidence of having been compiled by one who had had extraordinary experience with women. The amorous expert will not find it hard to believe that nine hundred and sixty-nine years would be none too short a time for any one man to have accumulated such a profound lore. Indeed, women tell us that the present span of life is entirely too brief for any ordinary man to obtain the slightest comprehension of the extreme complexity of feminine psychology. Men live and die without having acquired the rudiments of its categories. Methuselah himself, despite his unrivalled opportunities for investigation, could hardly have formulated so exhaustive a hand-, or, shall we say, heart-book, without some help from his contemporaries.
Moreover, that the author of these Maxims had what passes for humor is plainly apparent from the jocosity of many of his verses, and this must be reckoned with in adjudicating Methuselah's claims to the honor. The patriarch undoubtedly had a dry wit, as historical evidence proves.
On his five hundredth birthday, Methuselah, having lived out-of-doors all his life, was visited by an angel, who advised him to build himself a house.
" How much longer have I to live?" the old man inquired." About five hundred years," replied the visitant." Oh, well, then," said Methuselah, " I hardly think it's worth while for me to bother myself, just for that little while." CHAPTER 1 The Use of the Maxims
1. THE Maxims of Methuselah the son of Enoch : To know wisdom and instruction concerning women; to perceive the words of knowledge, whereby the damsels of his choice may be judged, 2 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion in his loves. 3 The fear of women is the beginning of knowledge ; but fools despise experience and instruction. An Exhortation to Subtlety 4 My son, hear the instruction of thy great-grandfather, and forsake not the law of those who walk safely nor are distracted by womens ways- 5 So that thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips shall win praise of women. For the joys of thy life shall be many. 6 Where thou goest she will gladly receive thee; and when thou flirtest thou shalt not stumble. 7 For the days of my life are nine hundred, sixty and nine years, and I have | known much women. To Avoid Trouble 8 l counsel thee, introduce not female contemporaries one to another; verily, keep thy loves apart, for their wrath kin- dleth and bitter words arise when thy doings are made plain. 9 For to a woman all women are enemies; yet men are allies, one with another. 10 Make no manner of personal remark to a woman, unless, peradventure, thou wishest to hear it misquoted in thine ear for seventy and seven years withal. Her Attire.... 11. Forget in no wise to speak to her new raiment; but remember also her attire of yore, when thous first met her And Loves 12 Tell not thy previous loves to a woman, lest she also telleth thee hers. 13 See that thou givest a maiden her way; gainsay her in nothing. Howbeit, if thou robbest the victory of all material advantage, the glory will content her. The Use of Secrets 14 Wouldst thou become acquainted with a damsel? See that thou havest a secret with her straightway. 15 That when she seeth thy photograph she may smile and think untellable thoughts. End of Chapter 1