292. XXI. THAT IN THE WORLD THERE ARE INFERNAL MARRIAGES BETWEEN PARTNERS WHO INWARDLY ARE BITTER ENEMIES AND OUTWARDLY LIKE CLOSE FRIENDS. Wives of this sort who are in the spiritual world have indeed forbidden me to set forth these marriages in public light, for they fear lest at the same time their art of gaining power over the men should be divulged, which yet they are exceedingly desirous should be concealed. But because men in that world have urged me to disclose the causes of their own intestine hatred and of the fury, as it were, aroused in their hearts against their wives because of their clandestine arts, I wish merely to present the following: the men said that unconsciously they contracted a terrific fear of their wives, on account of which they could do no otherwise than obey their will with the utmost subservience, and follow their bidding more obsequiously than the vilest slaves, so that they became like vapid wine, as it were; and that not only did men not stationed in any position of dignity become such before their wives, but also men in positions of great dignity, yea, valiant and renowned generals. They said further, that after this terror had been contracted, they did not dare to speak to their wives except in a friendly way, or to treat them except as was pleasing to them, though in their hearts they cherished deadly hatred against them; and yet that their wives talk and act courteously with them and give ready ear to some of their requests.
 Now because the men themselves greatly wondered whence such antipathy had sprung up in the wives'* internals, and such sympathy in their externals, they had searched into the causes by consulting women to whom that secret art was known. From their mouth they said they had learned that women deeply conceal within themselves the knowledge whereby they have the skill, if they wish to use it, to subject men to the yoke of their dominion. In the case of the vulgar, with some wives this is done by alternate scoldings and favors; with some by constantly harsh and unpleasant looks; and with others in other ways. In the case of refined wives, it is done by obstinate and incessant pressing of their requests, and by tenacious opposition to their husbands if they suffer hardships from them, insisting upon their right of equality by law, and on the basis of this right boldly persisting in their obstinacy; yea, insisting that if thrown out of the house, they will return at their pleasure and continue the same insistence; for they know that from their very nature men can never withstand the obstinate persistency of their wives, and that after yielding to their will they become submissive; then, to husbands under their dominion, the wives show civility and kindness. The genuine cause of the domination of wives through this cunning is, that while man acts from the understanding woman acts from the will, and the will can be obstinate but not the understanding. It was told me that the worst women of this sort, being inwardly consumed with the ambition to dominate, can stick tenaciously to their resistance even to the last breath of life.
 I have also heard the women's excuses, why they entered into the practice of this art. They said that they would not have entered into it had they not foreseen supreme contempt and future rejection, and hence their ruin, if they were subjugated by their husbands; thus, that they took up these their arms from necessity. To this they added, as a warning to men, that they should leave to wives their rights, and when in their alternations of cold, should not count them as lower than maid-servants. They said further that many of their sex are not in a state to practice this art because of their innate timidity; but I added, "because of their innate modesty."
From the above it is now made known what is meant by infernal marriages in the world between partners who are inwardly bitter enemies and outwardly like the closest of friends.
* The Latin is illorum (their--meaning the men), but the context indicates that it should be illarum (their - meaning the wives).