Saturday, January 25, 2003

Woman's Hate -- The Folk-Lore of Women -- T.F. Thistelton-Dyer

"Not even the soldiers' fury, raised in war,
The rage of tyrants when defiance stings 'em!
The pride of priests, so bloodless when in power,
Are half so dreadful as a woman's vengeance."
IT is generally agreed that a thing to be avoided by man at any cost is a woman's hatred; although, according to Walter Savage Landor, "No friendship is so cordial or so sweet as that of a girl for a girl; no hatred so intense or immovable as that of woman for woman." And the dislike of one woman for another is mostly attributed to jealousy; for, according to a common French proverb, "It is the men who cause the women to dislike each other."

But, as it has been observed, "The anger of a woman is the greatest evil with which one can threaten enemies, especially as proverbial experience tells us that "A woman is more constant in hate than in love" a maxim which has additional warning when it is remembered that "No woman is too silly not to have a genius for spite"--added to which may be quoted this piece of German proverb lore: "A woman's vengeance knows no bounds;" and, again: "A woman, when inflamed by love or hatred, will do anything." To the same effect is the French saying: "Women's counsels are ever cruel," the warning being added that "you should believe only one word in forty that a woman speaks," a fact which is said to be specially true when she is anxious to emphasise her expressions of hatred against her unfortunate victim.

And we are reminded that the hate of a woman is all the more to be dreaded, for even when at her best we are told that "Women like good wine are a secret poison," and that "whereas women's love is dangerous, their hate is fatal."

This view, too, is the same everywhere, and a well-known Hindustani maxim tells us that "the rage of a woman, a player, and a bull is something dreadful" but it consoles us by adding that "A woman's threats and goblin's stones break no bones."

And, as in love, so in hate, a woman is mentally proverbially blind, seeing nothing but what is thoroughly bad in the object of her hatred; and hence the popular proverb, of which there are many versions: "Hatred is blind as well as love."

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