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Chapter XII.—Womanhood Self-Evident, and Not to Be Concealed by Just Leaving the Head Bare.

Recognise the woman, ay, recognise the wedded woman, by the testimonies both of body 35and of spirit, which she experiences both in conscience and in flesh.  These are the earlier tablets of natural espousals and nuptials.  Impose a veil externally upon her who has (already) a covering internally.  Let her whose lower parts are not bare have her upper likewise covered.  Would you know what is the authority which age carries?  Set before yourself each (of these two); one prematurely 315315     Oehler’s “ immutare” appears certainly to be a misprint for “ immature. compressed in woman’s garb, and one who, though advanced in maturity, persists in virginity with its appropriate garb:  the former will more easily be denied to be a woman than the latter believed a virgin.  Such is, then, the honesty of age, that there is no overpowering it even by garb.  What of the fact that these ( virgins) of ours confess their change of age even by their garb; and, as soon as they have understood themselves to be women, withdraw themselves from virgins, laying aside (beginning with their head itself) their former selves:  dye 316316     Vertunt:  or perhaps “change the style of.”  But comp. (with Oehler) de Cult. Fem., l. ii. c. vi. their hair; and fasten their hair with more wanton pin; professing manifest womanhood with their hair parted from the front.  The next thing is, they consult the looking-glass to aid their beauty, and thin down their over-exacting face with washing, perhaps withal vamp it up with cosmetics, toss their mantle about them with an air, fit tightly the multiform shoe, carry down more ample appliances to the baths.  Why should I pursue particulars?  But their manifest appliances alone 317317     i.e., without appealing to any further proof. exhibit their perfect womanhood:  yet they wish to play the virgin by the sole fact of leaving their head bare—denying by one single feature what they profess by their entire deportment.


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