CORNELIUS AGRIPPA: »Since beauty itself is nothing other than the refulgence of the divine countenance and light which is found in things and shines through a beautiful body, women - who reflect the divine - were much more lavishly endowed and furnished with beauty than man. Whence follows the wonderful softness of the female body to sight and touch, her tender flesh, her fair and clear complexion, her shiny skin, the beauty of her head decked with long silky hair shining and supple, the great majesty of her face with its cheerful demeanor, her face the most fair of all creatures, her neck of a milky whiteness, her forehead large, high, noble. She has penetrating and sparkling eyes, which unite with grace and an amiable gaiety; the slender arch of her eyebrows rises above them, between them a beautiful open space, descending from which is a nose straight and properly proportioned. Under her nose is a red mouth, which owes its beauty to the symmetrical disposition of her tender lips; when she smiles we see her dainty teeth, well placed, as white as ivory, less numerous however than those of men, for woman is neither a glutton nor as aggressive as man. The cheeks and jaws impart to her a tender softness, a tinted rosy glow and modest demeanor; she has a delightful chin, round and with a charming dimple. Under this she has a slender neck, long enough, elevated above round shoulders. Her throat is delicate and white, of medium size. Her voice and her words are agreeable; her chest, large and prominent, makes for a harmonious unity of flesh and of breasts, with the same plumpness on each side both in the firmness of the breasts and in the roundness of both them and the belly. Her sides are supple, her back rises straight up; she has long arms, her hands are well made, her fingers slender with fine joints, her hips and thighs full, her calves plump, the ends of her hands and feet rounded off; all her members are full of vitality. In addition, she has a modest bearing, propriety in her movement, dignified gestures, and is, besides, in her whole body of a universally attractive proportion and symmetry, figure, and carriage.
There is no other creature who offers a sight so admirable, a smiliar marvel to behold, to the point that one would have to be blind not to see that God himself has put together in woman all that is beautiful in the whole world.«
CORNELIUS AGRIPPA: »But since the excessive tyranny of men prevails over divine right and natural laws, the freedom that was once accorded to women is in our day obstructed by unjust laws, suppressed by custom and usage, reduced to nothing by education. For as soon as she is born a woman is confined in idleness at home from her earliest years, and, as if incapable of functions more important, she has no other prospect than needle and thread. Further, when she has reached the age of puberty, she is delivered over to the jealous power of a husband, or she is enclosed forever in a workhouse for religious.«
DECLAMATIO DE NOBILITATE ET PRAECELLENTIA FOEMINEI SEXUS
Declamation on the nobility and preeminence of the female sex, 1529
(Oversat af Albert Rabil, Jr.)