I came there again another time. And I looked many times again. I was filled with consolation, with my consolation. The thirty-three abominations were truthful. They were the truth. They were life. The sharp fragments of life, sharp, complete moments. Such are women. They have lovers. Each of these thirty-three (or how many of them were there?) had painted his mistress. Excellent! I grew used to myself being in their presence. Thirty-three mistresses! Thirty-three mistresses! And I was all of them and yet all were not me. I studied the abomination for a long while: before I modeled for them, as well as afterwards. I modelled in order to study. This I felt so keenly. It seemed to me that I was learning about life by pieces, by separate pieces, fragments, but every fragment possessed all its own complexity and power. The abominations began to divide in half. With every day this became clearer. One half became mistresses and the other half queens. Each of the thirty-three created his mistress or his queen. ("Thirty Three Abominations")
That's what the great masters and mistresses have been saying ever since time began. They can point the way, leave signposts and little instructions in various books that are now called holy and worshipped for the cover of the book and not for what it says, but the instructions are all there for all to see, have always been and always will be.
I wonder if it is possible to have two boyfriends. I mean, times are changing. Relationships are more complicated. In France men always have mistresses and wives and so on. Henri probably has two girlfriends. He would laugh if you told him you just had one. He would say, 'C'est tres, tres tragique.'
To me heaven would be a big bull ring with me holding two barrera seats and a trout stream outside that no one else was allowed to fish in and two lovely houses in the town; one where I would have my wife and children and be monogamous and love them truly and well and the other where I would have my nine beautiful mistresses on nine different floors.
It is comic that a mentally disordered man picks up any piece of granite and carries it around because he thinks it is money, and in the same way it is comic that Don Juan has 1, 003 mistresses, for the number simply indicates that they have no value. Therefore, one should stay within one's means in the use of the word "love".
Sandy's was one of those places that made poor, white trash feel like high-class consumers. This was the kind of place you'd take your mistress to, but never your wife. Wives expected better. Mistresses were impressed by the blandness of the over-priced wine and the vast Italian menu options.
Most loverspicture to themselves, in their mistresses, a secret reality, beyond and different from what they see every day. They are in love with somebody else--their own invention. And sometimes there is a secret reality; and sometimes reality and appearance are the same. The discovery, in either case, is likely to cause a shock.
At last there dawned the most beautiful day of all the days of my life. How perfectly I remember even the smallest details of those sacred hours! The joyful awakening, the reverent and tender embraces of my mistresses and older companions, the room filled with white frocks, like so many snowflakes, where each child was dressed in turn.
Therese of Lisieux
I did a film called The Jesuit, which was an independent film. I did that shortly after Mistresses. I was still feeling soft and I was nursing, but it was a character I'd never played before. That was a Paul Schrader script, with an up-and-coming Mexican director, named Alfonso Ulloa. That has Tim Roth and Paz Vega in it, and I enjoyed that, as well.
Some people collect paperweights, or pre-Columbian figures, or old masters, or young mistresses, or tombstone rubbings, or five-minute recipes, or any of a thousand other things ... My own collection is sunrises; and I find that they have their advantages. Sunrises are usually handsome, they can't possibly be dusted, and they take only a little room, so long as it has a window to see them from.
Since I am a man, my heart is three or four times less sensitive, because I have three or four times as much power of reason and experience of the world -- a thing which you women call hard-heartedness. As a man, I can take refuge in having mistresses. The more of them I have, and the greater the scandal, the more I acquire reputation and brilliance in society.
They heard rumors of other robot ponies [... ] who were left to themselves after their mistresses and masters had grown weary of them, falling into a stupor before their hydraulic limbs squealed and locked, freezing up forever while their circuit boards fizzled and died. It sounded to Jenn that they had died of broken hearts- but to everyone else, they were just defective.
Madeline Claire Franklin
One evening, on being quite occupied by the state of the struffoli, I seated the Duca di San Orvieta with the Duchessa opposite, and between two of his mistresses. They fought over his attentions, above the table and below, like squid intent on extracting a mollusc from its shell. The poor man was so distracted that he hardly ate a bite. The Duchessa's words to me afterwards were not lacking in picturesque vividness.
Emmanuelle de Maupassant
He feared me as many men fear women: because their mistresses (or their wives) understand them. They are scarcely adult, some men: they wish women to understand them, and to that end they tell them all their secrets; and then, when they are properly understood, they hate their women for understanding them.
Sometimes, they wait. Sometimes, you see the dead come in to the harbor, and their old dogs are all along the docks, wagging their tails, for they have waited for their masters and mistresses for many years. You see mothers who have missed their sons. Fathers who had never spoken of love to their children, ready to embrace them as they voyage from the end of life. It shows the lies of this world, you see. We are wrong about so many things here. Mankind has done terrible things, yet we are forgiven.
To the Memory of those faithful brown slave-men of the plantations throughout the South, Daddy's contemporaries all, who during the war while their masters were away fighting in a cause opposed to their emancipation, brought their blankets and slept outside their mistresses' doors, thus keeping night-watch over otherwise unprotected women and children -- a faithful guardianship of which the annals of those troublous times record no instance of betrayal.
Upon the decease [of] my wife, it is my Will and desire th[at] all the Slaves which I hold in [my] own right, shall receive their free[dom] . . . . The Negroes thus bound, are (by their Masters or Mistresses) to be taught to read and write; and to be brought up to some useful occupation, agreeably to the Laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, providing for the support of Orphan and other poor Children. And I do hereby expressly forbid the Sale, or transportation out of the said Commonwealth, of any Slave I may die possessed of, under any pretence whatsoever.
We love being in love, that's the truth on't. If we had not met Joan, we should have met Kate, and adored her. We know our mistresses are no better than many other women, nor no prettier, nor no wiser, nor no wittier. 'Tis not for these reasons we love a woman, or for any special quality or charm I know of; we might as well demand that a lady should be the tallest woman in the world, like the Shropshire giantess, as that she should be a paragon in any other character, before we began to love her.
William Makepeace Thackeray
A good many causes tend to make good masters and mistresses quite as rare as good servants.... The large and rapid fortunes by which vulgar and ignorant people become possessed of splendid houses, splendidly furnished, do not, of course, give them the feelings and manners of gentle folks, or in any way really raise them above the servants they employ, who are quite aware of this fact, and that the possession of wealth is literally the only superiority their employers have over them.
The reputation of a Don Juan gives to a man the most dangerous power. Wise virgins resist it, but foolish virgins frequently yield to the desire to take a celebrated lover from a rival - even from a friend. This emotion is a complex one, mad up of vanity, respect for another woman's taste, and the need to establish self-assurance by winning a difficult victory. Don Juan chose his first mistresses; later he was chosen.
Today all good things are made lawful for you. And the food of those given the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. So are chaste believing women, and chaste women from the people who were given the Scripture before you, provided you give them their dowries, and take them in marriage, not in adultery, nor as mistresses. But whoever rejects faith, his work will be in vain, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers.
... if you desire to marry you must realize that a mistress is won by the good temper and grace displayed while dancing... for dancing is practiced to reveal whether lovers are in good health and sound of limb, after which they are permitted to kiss their mistresses in order that they may touch and savor one another thus to ascertain if they are shapley or emit an unpleasant odor as of bad meat. Therefore, from this standpoint, quite apart from the many other advantages to be derived from dancing, it becomes an essential to a well-ordered society.
Nim looked aghast. 'Of course not. Do you think my future wife would be a servant? No-it's Number Seven of the wives. Her name is Begonia.' 'Oh, no, Nim, ' Vesper said. 'You can't fall for one of the wives! She's married. And to the king, no less. That's illegal. Maybe it shouldn't be, but you'll still probably be arrested if anyone finds out-or worse.' 'I knew you'd say that, ' Nim said, turning away. 'You're such a prude, Vesper. Love is above things like rules. And the king has so many wives and mistresses-he doesn't even remember all of them.
Mistresses, have you ever noticed that when we disagree with a male - I hesitate to say 'man' - or find ourselves in a position over males, the first comment they make is always about our reputations or our monthlies?' One of the new women snorted. Others snickered. Kel looked at the man, who was momentarily speechless. 'If I disagree with you, should I place blame on the misworkings of your manhood? Or do I refrain from so serious an insult' - she made a face - 'far more serious, of course, than your hint that I am a whore. Because my mother taught me courtesy, I only suggest that my monthlies will come long after your hair has escaped your head entirely.
To be beautiful, handsome, means that you possess a power which makes all smile upon and welcome you; that everybody is impressed in your favor and inclined to be of your opinion; that you have only to pass through a street or to show yourself at a balcony to make friends and to win mistresses from among those who look upon you. What a splendid, what a magnificent gift is that which spares you the need to be amiable in order to be loved, which relieves you of the need of being clever and ready to serve, which you must be if ugly, and enables you to dispense with the innumerable moral qualities which you must possess in order to make up for the lack of personal beauty.
Words are harsh mistresses, to be sure. Like petulant divas, they want only those parts that play to their talents and mask their blemishes, and only when complete companies of players who love their parts are assembled will they sing in harmony. I am your director for this stage production and will employ my best wiles to create a performance both truthful, and beautiful. I know that words are tricksters who show one face to you and another to me, so I am never certain you'll hear in your head what I hear in my head. Since I deliver even this little truth with words, I acknowledge the irony.
But the most obvious fact about praise -- whether of God or anything -- strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honor. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise. ... The world rings with praise -- lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game. ... I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.
C. S. Lewis
That is who I want you to remember, lad. The man so filled with Arman's love that he could forgive his son for taking his life and the life of his bride. That is the man I knew. The king I served. Just you remember it.' 'But a man with many mistresses. A man who wouldn't have had that problem if he'd-' 'Aye, he was no porcelain saint. He was mixed, torn, pulled by light and darkness, as is every follower of Arman. That is what it is to know Arman and yet still live in this world. Pity those who do not know Arman, because in them there is nothing at all pulling them toward light.
But in those solitary Masses they began to be aware that once again they were mistresses of their fate, after having renounced not only their family name but their own identity in exchange for a security that was no more than another of a bride's many illusions. They alone knew how tiresome was the man they loved to distraction, who perhaps loved them but whom they had to continue nurturing until his last breath as if he were a child, suckling him, changing his soiled diapers, distracting him with a mother's tricks to ease his terror at going out each morning to face reality. And nevertheless, when they watched him leave the house, this man they themselves had urged to conquer the world, then they were the ones left with the terror that he would never return. That was their life. (4.113)
Gabriel GarceÂa Me¡rquez
Please let him come, and give me the resilience & guts to make him respect me, be interested, and not to throw myself at him with loudness or hysterical yelling; calmly, gently, easy baby easy. He is probably strutting the backs among crocuses now with seven Scandinavian mistresses. And I sit, spiderlike, waiting, here, home; Penelope weaving webs of Webster, turning spindles of Tourneur. Oh, he is here; my black marauder; oh hungry hungry. I am so hungry for a big smashing creative burgeoning burdened love: I am here; I wait; and he plays on the banks of the river Cam like a casual faun.
So, " Nathan said, attention focused on Adrian, "now that Vasilisa's graduated, what are you going to do with yourself? You aren't going to keep slumming with high school students, are you? There's no point in you being there anymore. " "I don't know, " said Adrian lazily. "I kind of like hanging out with them. They think I'm funnier than I really am. " "Unsurprising, " his father replied. "You aren't funny at all. It's time you do something productive. If you aren't going to go back to college, you should at least start sitting in on some of the family business meetings. Tatiana spoils you, but you could learn a lot from Rufus. " "True, " said Adrian deadpan."I'd really like to know how he keeps his two mistresses a secret from his wife. " "Adrian!" snapped Daniella, a flush spilling over her pale cheeks
The chef turned back to the housekeeper. 'Why is there doubt about the relations between Monsieur and Madame Rutledge?' The sheets, ' she said succinctly. Jake nearly choked on his pastry. 'You have the housemaids spying on them?' he asked around a mouthful of custard and cream. Not at all, ' the housekeeper said defensively. 'It's only that we have vigilant maids who tell me everything. And even if they didn't, one hardly needs great powers of observation to see that they do not behave like a married couple.' The chef looked deeply concerned. 'You think there's a problem with his carrot?' Watercress, carrot-is everything food to you?' Jake demanded. The chef shrugged. 'Oui.' Well, ' Jake said testily, 'there is a string of Rutledge's past mistresses who would undoubtedly testify there is nothing wrong with his carrot.' Alors, he is a virile man... she is a beautiful woman... why are they not making salad together?
What a vapid job title our culture gives to those honorable laborers the ancient Egyptians and Sumerians variously called Learned Men of the Magic Library, Scribes of the Double House of Life, Mistresses of the House of Books, or Ordainers of the Universe. 'Librarian' - that mouth-contorting, graceless grind of a word, that dry gulch in the dictionary between 'libido' and 'licentious' - it practically begs you to envision a stoop-shouldered loser, socks mismatched, eyes locked in a permanent squint from reading too much microfiche. If it were up to me, I would abolish the word entirely and turn back to the lexicological wisdom of the ancients, who saw librarians not as feeble sorters and shelvers but as heroic guardians. In Assyrian, Babylonian, and Egyptian cultures alike, those who toiled at the shelves were often bestowed with a proud, even soldierly, title: Keeper of the Books. - p.113
The frequent hearing of my mistress reading the bible-for she often read aloud when her husband was absent-soon awakened my curiosity in respect to this mystery of reading, and roused in me the desire to learn. Having no fear of my kind mistress before my eyes, (she had given me no reason to fear, ) I frankly asked her to teach me to read; and without hesitation, the dear woman began the task, and very soon, by her assistance, I was master of the alphabet, and could spell words of three or four letters... Master Hugh was amazed at the simplicity of his spouse, and, probably for the first time, he unfolded to her the true philosophy of slavery, and the peculiar rules necessary to be observed by masters and mistresses, in the management of their human chattels. Mr. Auld promptly forbade the continuance of her [reading] instruction; telling her, in the first place, that the thing itself was unlawful; that it was also unsafe, and could only lead to mischief... Mrs. Auld evidently felt the force of his remarks; and, like an obedient wife, began to shape her course in the direction indicated by her husband. The effect of his words, on me, was neither slight nor transitory. His iron sentences-cold and harsh-sunk deep into my heart, and stirred up not only my feelings into a sort of rebellion, but awakened within me a slumbering train of vital thought. It was a new and special revelation, dispelling a painful mystery, against which my youthful understanding had struggled, and struggled in vain, to wit: the white man's power to perpetuate the enslavement of the black man. "Very well, " thought I; "knowledge unfits a child to be a slave." I instinctively assented to the proposition; and from that moment I understood the direct pathway from slavery to freedom. This was just what I needed; and got it at a time, and from a source, whence I least expected it... Wise as Mr. Auld was, he evidently underrated my comprehension, and had little idea of the use to which I was capable of putting the impressive lesson he was giving to his wife... That which he most loved I most hated; and the very determination which he expressed to keep me in ignorance, only rendered me the more resolute in seeking intelligence.
Little Red-Cap At childhood's end, the houses petered out into playing fields, the factory, allotments kept, like mistresses, by kneeling married men, the silent railway line, the hermit's caravan, till you came at last to the edge of the woods. It was there that I first clapped eyes on the wolf. He stood in a clearing, reading his verse out loud in his wolfy drawl, a paperback in his hairy paw, red wine staining his bearded jaw. What big ears he had! What big eyes he had! What teeth! In the interval, I made quite sure he spotted me, sweet sixteen, never been, babe, waif, and bought me a drink, my first. You might ask why. Here's why. Poetry. The wolf, I knew, would lead me deep into the woods, away from home, to a dark tangled thorny place lit by the eyes of owls. I crawled in his wake, my stockings ripped to shreds, scraps of red from my blazer snagged on twig and branch, murder clues. I lost both shoes but got there, wolf's lair, better beware. Lesson one that night, breath of the wolf in my ear, was the love poem. I clung till dawn to his thrashing fur, for what little girl doesn't dearly love a wolf? Then I slid from between his heavy matted paws and went in search of a living bird - white dove - which flew, straight, from my hands to his hope mouth. One bite, dead. How nice, breakfast in bed, he said, licking his chops. As soon as he slept, I crept to the back of the lair, where a whole wall was crimson, gold, aglow with books. Words, words were truly alive on the tongue, in the head, warm, beating, frantic, winged; music and blood. But then I was young - and it took ten years in the woods to tell that a mushroom stoppers the mouth of a buried corpse, that birds are the uttered thought of trees, that a greying wolf howls the same old song at the moon, year in, year out, season after season, same rhyme, same reason. I took an axe to a willow to see how it wept. I took an axe to a salmon to see how it leapt. I took an axe to the wolf as he slept, one chop, scrotum to throat, and saw the glistening, virgin white of my grandmother's bones. I filled his old belly with stones. I stitched him up. Out of the forest I come with my flowers, singing, all alone.
Carol Ann Duffy