Sunday, September 26, 2021
HomePatriot DispatchesThe Maxims of Methuselah, Part II

The Maxims of Methuselah, Part II

(Part I is available here)


1 LISTEN and hear my counsel;
hearken unto my precept. For
the maidens of the Land of Nod
are known unto me, and the damsels of
Uz are as rings on mine hand. 

Of Calf-Love

2 Teach thy son to love an older
woman with his first love, for he shall
know much and come to no harm. She
shall teach him, and he shall learn divers
things; he shall amuse her, and she shall
train him in the way of women without

3 Yet if he wooeth a doll-like virgin,
surfeit him with her presence and
make her ways easy. So shall he,
peradventure, fall aweary and learn

4 Verily, men do foolish things
thoughtlessly, knowing not why; but no
women doeth aught without a reason.
Search her acts and learn her follies. 

Forbidden Topics of Conversation

5 Explain not machinery to her; on
politics shalt thou keep thy mouth shut. 

6 For she hath curiosity but of one
thing, which is love. 

7 She writeth in the magazines, she
composeth verses; yea, she scribbleth
much. Yet she publisheth only her own
affairs and the affairs of her friends.
Imagination is not in her; she layeth
her hand to her heart and exposeth its

Women's Sense of Humor

8 My son, a woman shall come unto
thee, saying: Hearken not unto the words
of thy great-grandfather, for he doteth; he
maketh a jest of women, comprehending
nothing. He sayeth so-and-so concerning

9 But how about men? Is not this true
even of them, also ? 

10 Then shalt thou know that she lack-
eth humor. She floateth in her folly,
she is blind; do not discuss with her.
Kiss her patiently and praise her hair. 

11 For a woman without humor is an
annoyance; she is as the touch of wet
velvet, or a mouse nibbling in the night.
She is as a cigar whose wrapper is torn,
and the air leaketh therein; nothing can
mend her. 

12 I say unto thee: it is easier to
find a pet fly in a butcher's shop, than a
woman who can sharpen a pencil. 

Certain Women to be Avoided

13 Beware of the woman who exhaust-
eth thine ammunition; she shall make
thee to be weary. Thou shalt tell her all
thy secrets, and yet learn naught of her.
Thou shalt give her rich gifts, and
receive nothing. Thou shalt write her
poems and be in no wise rewarded. 

14 Beware of a woman who signeth
not her name to her letters; she will
bear watching, aye, she hath a past. 

15 But she who dealeth in ciphers and
symbols, who hath her secret name for
this and for that, so that none but thee
may understand her, seek her and woo
her, for she hath cunning; observe her
ways and be wise. 

16 Curling locks are rather to be chosen
than great riches; and a good figure is
better than diamond rings. 

On Public Dinners

17 Better is a dinner of macaroni
where thou canst hear thyself think,
than a banquet of dainty meats with
music and loud timbrels, where her
words escape thee in the tumult. 

18 Also, that men see her blushes, it
is not good; and he that sheweth her off
in public places, sinneth. 

19 A reproof entereth more into a
woman of sense than an hundred
compliments into a fool. 

20 The spirit of a proud woman may
sustain a slight; but a crooked nose-line
who can bear? 

21 The end of a flirtation is as when
one letteth out the last gasp of a siphon ;
but love endeth like the chianti flask, its
drops are bitter. 

Chapter iii

The Vanity of men...  

1. BEWARE the wiles of women, and
curb thy vanity; for by that door
she entereth in to destroy thee.
Out of the words of thy mouth shall she
bring thee low. 

...And How Women Work them

2 I have watched her at her work in
the cosy-corner, when she said: Lo, for an
hour have I made him to talk of himself;
till he thinketh he is the best ever; 

3 Now will I fall upon him and deyour
him; he shall do my bidding, for
I have gotten him going. 

4 He shall tell me his inmost thought,
and all that my rival hath said concern-
ing me. In my sleeve shall be heard the
tinkling of silvery laughter; he shall
send me flowers, 

5 Precious confections, and gloves, and
pins of fine gold, theatre tickets, and
much cabfare. 

6 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
 she considereth man as a child; she
feedeth man's pride and nourisheth it, and
he groweth fat; his chest protrudeth. 

The Value of Silence

 7 Yet a silent man affrighteth her, yea,
she is astonied at him. She stumbleth
and falleth down; there is no way to
work him. 

8 ! knew a man who lived in the city
of Enoch, and he married a wife. She
was a shrew, she complained much; yet
did he subdue her. 

9 She railed continually with grievous
plaints, saying: Behold, thou hast come in
late, and I am lonely; long have I awaited

10 And he said: Yes'm 

11 So was her tongue broken against
him, and there was peace in his house.

Of Chaperones 

12 My son, obey the law, and observe
prudence. When thou invitest a maid,
take her chaperone also, that thou may-
est flirt with her, unafraid. 

The Dangers of Regularity

 13 If thou hast called on her three
Thursdays, take heed and avoid the fourth;
make thy call Tuesday, lest she thinketh
she knoweth all thy ways. Bore her
not with regularity; let her expect thee
alway. Let her not say unto her sister:
Lo, I have him on the string. 

First Kisses

14 Hast thou given the first kiss to a
maiden? Write her speedily on the morrow
 before she giveth thee fierce words;
assure her and comfort her woe; let her
remorse be abated, give unto her an excuse
 for her conduct

15 Lest she say: Lo, I have spent the
night in tears, thinking on my shame.
Sleep would not come nigh unto me; I
marvelled what thou shouldst think of me;
my sorrow is great because "of * my

End of Part II
Citizen With Bark On


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