Archive for October, 2006

Worth knowing fact #320 – How to win a sweetheart

Monday, October 16th, 2006

Fact worth knowing #320:

Before I start, I must point out that this fact appears right after the how to make “Oyster Powder” entry and right before the “Lemon Sponge” recipe. Also, it is pretty long, but I find it’s better unabridged.

The attention and the admiration of an individual of the opposite sex may be obtained in various ways ; and love may be and is often engendered where none is felt by the opposite party. But all this is accomplished by playing upon some passion or passions of the individual whose love is desired and whose hand is to be won. Thus some are obtained by playing upon the desire for wealth or high station in society ; others through their pride, by flattery of their persons ; others through their kindness, by exciting their benevolent feelings ; others through their natural amative passions, by exciting the desire of sexual love ; others by showing one’s self to possess, or by pretending to possess, kindred sympathies and feelings –kindred emotions of head and heart –kindred likes and desires –kindred tastes and sentiments.

I like that love can be engendered, and also that they rank wealth and status first, in the traits to play upon.

To win the affections, therefore, we should learn the character of the individual whose love is sought. That being known, success is to be obtained by bringing the batteries to bear properly upon the prominent traits of that character.

True love arises from a principle of sympathy –from a oneness of feeling– from a similarity in some points of character, although other points may be very dissimilar, –from showing that you possess semething which the other admires. Acting upon this you may induce in another love for you, and cement the affections upon you.

In case it wasn’t clear enough, affections can be won. But wait, there is more to learn!

Upon this subject, I give you the phrenological [ tells me that phrenology is a psychological theory or analytical method based on the belief that certain mental faculties and character traits are indicated by the configurations of the skull.] teachings of O.S. Fowler, who says: —
“If approbativeness predominate, and causality be moderate, you may flatter, and if the brain is small, put it on thickly. Praise their dress features, appearances, on particular occasions, and any and everything they take pride in. Take much notice of them, and keep continually saying something to tickle their vanity ; for this organization will bear all the “soft soap” you can administer. When you have gained this organ, you have got the “bell sheep,” which all the other faculties will blindly follow on the run. But if approbativeness be only full or large, with reason and morality quite as large or larger, and the head of a good size, and well developed, “soft soap” will not take, but will only sicken ; for reason will soon penetrate your motive, and morality will reverse the other faculties against you, and destroy all chance of gaining the affections. See to it that you really esteem those with this organization –esteem them not for their dress, beauty, manners, &c., but for their moral purity, their elevated sentiments, their fine feelings, and their intellectual attainments. As they estimate themselves and others not by a standard of wealth, beauty, dress, &c., but by a moral and intellectual standard, so your showing them that you really esteem those qualities which they prize so highly, will cause them to perceive that your tastes harmonize with theirs, and this turn their leading organs in your favour, and unite and endear them to you.

“If benevolence predominate in the person, show yourself kind, not to the individual alone, nor in little matters of modern politeness, but as an habitual feeling of your soul, always gushing forth spontaneously at the call of want or suffering, and ready to make personal sacrifices to do good. Be philanthropic, and show yourself deeply interested in the welfare of your fellowmen. This will gratify his or her benevolence, and bring it over in your behalf, which will draw the other faculties along with it.

“To one who has large intellectual organs, do not talk fasionable nonsense, or words without ideas –chit-chat, or small talk– I mean the polite tete-a-tete of fashionable young people ; but converse intellectually upon sensible subjects ; evince good sense and sound judgement in all you can say and do ; present ideas and exhibit intellect. This will gratify their intellects, and lay a deep intellectual basis for mutual love, as well as go for towards exciting it.

“If the person be pious and devout, be religious yourself, and your religious feelings will strike a chord that will throb through her whole soul, kindling an irresistible flame of mutual love.

“If the individual be a timid damsel, do not frighten her ; for this will drive away every vestige of lurking affection, and turn her faculties against you ; but be gentle and soothing and offer her all the protection in your power, causing her to feel safe under your wing, and she will hover under it, and love you devoutly for the care you bestwo upon her.

If ideality be large show refinement and good taste, and avoid all grossness and improper allusions ; for nothing will more effectually array her against you than either impropriety or vulgarity, or even inelegance. Descant on the exquisite and sentimental, on poetry and oratory, and expatiate on the beauties of nature and art, and especially of natural scenery. If order be also large, see to it that your person be neat, apparel nice, and every trace of the slovenly removed.

“But since it is the affections, mainly, that you wish to enlist, show yourself affectionate and tender. As like begets like, whatever faculty is lively in you will be excited in them ; therefore your friendship and love, as they beam forth from your eyes, soften your countenance, burn on your lips, escape through the soft and tender tones of your voice, light up your countenance with the smile of love, or impress the kiss of affection, imbue your whole soul and are embodied in every look, word and action, will as surely find a way to their hearts as the river to the ocean, and kindle in the,m a reciprocity of love. By these and other similar applications of this principle, the disengaged affections of almoste any one can be secured, especially if the organs of bogh be similar ; the feelings, will, and even judgement, is almost unlimited.

From the excellent “Inquire Within for Anything You Want To Know or Over Three Thousand Seven Hundred Facts Worth Knowing” of 1858.

Worth knowing fact #2865 – The Etiquette of Courtship and Marriage

Sunday, October 15th, 2006

Fact worth knowing #2865:

No subject in this work is more important, and certainly none wil be studied with as much attention, as that of the present section. Love is the universal passion, courtship is the most interesting avocation of human life, and marriage one of the great ends of existence. As our wives are not purchased as in China, nor stolen as in some parts of Africa, nor in general negotiated for by parents, as in some countries in Europe, but wooed and won by polite attentions, the manner in which a gentleman should behave towards ladies is a matter of the greatest importance. Charms, filters, and talismans, are used no longer –the only proper talismans are worth and accomplishments.

From the excellent “Inquire Within for Anything You Want To Know or Over Three Thousand Seven Hundred Facts Worth Knowing” of 1858.

The slow decline of American positivism?

Saturday, October 14th, 2006

[crikey! a serious post from dino]

I’ve noticed a gradual but distinct change in America since I started visiting it often, around 2000. American people used to be unimaginably positive, especially when talking about anything related to America. They had the best, biggest, fastest, mostest and happiest of everything. Many people took it to be American arrogance, but I never thought of it like that. I don’t mean this to be insulting in any way: it is one of the most endearing things about a culture I love.

However, I’ve noticed this has started to change. I’m certainly neither a sociologist nor anything qualified that would give any credibility to what I say – it’s just a feeling I have. I sense that America is losing its positive attitude.

Here are some photos I took this week.

Sign on a church reading: The worst kind of religion is no religion at all.

The first, taken in Central Square, Cambridge, is a sign on a church that reads “The Worst Kind of Religion is no Religion at all”. I can’t help but read this as “Religion: better than nothing”. As a strictly non-religious person I appreciate the lack of strong messaging. However, it still puzzles me that one of the most religious countries in the World, a country whose government is basically chosen by the religious majority, has started to soften.

Sign on a school in Roslindale that reads: Students please do your best

The next is a sign in front of a school in Roslindale, MA that reads “Students please do your best”. It makes no mention of inspiration, achievement, goals, self-worth or encouragement of any kind. Instead it sounds like a desperate plea to the students to at least try for the minimum. I wonder what type of environment this school provides.

Of course these are only two minor examples. But I’m not hearing the positive statements I used to hear from my American friends. Instead they seem almost resigned to a lack of achievement.

I wonder if it is the way the American Government has broadcast the message of fear for the last 5 years: that America needs to be afraid of the rest of the World, of unseen, unstoppable terrorists that could strike at the heart of the country at any moment. It’s probably hard to be positive in that environment.

Then there is the fact that their armed forces, the bulging bicep of the World’s Greatest Democracy, has been unable to ‘finish’ in Iraq. Despite ending the reign of Saddam Hussain, something that I think of as a success, the current situation appears to be considered hopeless by my American friends. Maybe because it isn’t a loss? Americans can bounce back from a loss, they way they did from September 11, but an ambiguous and difficult situation like Iraq seems to be more upsetting in the long term.

Meanwhile we’ve seen the increasing rise in popularity of programs like “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” which clearly point out the inadequacies of the government and much of American industry. I love these shows, as do many of the Americans I know, but they are successful because they make fun of the negatives in American life, or more accurately, the negatives that really should be (or used to be) considered positives.

Another fact: their obviously (to me) smart President acts like a moron. Sure, a minority of America can be happy in thinking that they don’t need to be the smartest in the world because they have it better than everyone in the world. But I see a huge amount of intellectual pride in cultures like France, Germany, Sweden, Japan, Canada, Australia and England. I’m sure Americans had more of that pride while they had an intelligent President. The current government looks like they chose a type of messaging that would get them elected at the cost of their nation’s self belief.

[wow, I’m really getting into this blogging thing now!]

I don’t want to see America lose its positive attitude. America, please don’t change any more. Please elect a government that will keep you they way you used to be. I liked it.