Sunday Observer Online    


Sunday, 21 April 2013





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Do mistresses energise men?

Intrigued by media reports on mistresses lording it over political arenas in France, England, America and even China where Communism has failed to erase human foibles, I asked a casual visitor who exactly a mistress is. It is not a regular practice of mine to bewilder visitors with such queries but here was one who loved such topics. But he was beating about the bush on this topic and going on to trace the historical evolution of a mistress.

“One could say that this phenomenon originated with the institution of formal marriage. In the hunting days of the human they were conspicuous by absence”.

Was William Shakespeare inspired by a Dark Lady?

“What you insinuate is that the mistress is a product of advanced civilisation but who exactly is a mistress?”

“The closest female of a man other than his wife, usually an ominous character to the legal partner who awaits a chance to wring the rival’s neck”.


That definition gave me a good base to re-read those articles with a more trained mind. The “pieces” are all about “public sinners” and when caught topple down their high chairs. High? Most of them are highly placed. Having a mistress is considered an act that contravenes public morals. Especially the high and mighty are expected to maintain high morals by having only one wife and no dilly –dallying with another woman. Naturally in Communist China the same rule applies.

A senior Communist Party adviser named Jinquin has been sacked after his mistress spurned him, putting it all on “online”, trying the latest form of vengeance in cyber form. His photograph shows him laughing but it is no laughing matter for the vast Chinese population is now entertained with the most intimate details of their love life including what happened in the bathroom. It is called, “Private naughtiness”.

Among those whose private naughtiness has been exposed over recent years, according to media reports, is Britain's Heritage Minister, David Mellor who quit his job after his affair with mistress Sancha was revealed. Yeo, another Chinese stepped down his ministerial post after his mistress delivered his “Love child” and the news became public. Please excuse me for “Washing dirty linen in public” or providing gossip matter, but I am only quoting the media.

Matters came to a head when talk about a mistress dilemma began to taint John Major himself. The mistress dilemma became so rampant that the Labour administration of Britain passed a law that MPs no longer had to offer their resignations once “a mistress gossip spreads“ which is usually based on true facts.

Glorious career

America is supposed to be more moral what with the family clinging to the President. General Petraeus resigned as CIA boss last year after a mistress spoilt his glorious career. France? You cannot expect things to be as moral here as in the USA. Almost every French politician is said to have a second wife. Billboard campaign exposes all major politicians including Hollande, Sarkozy, Chirac and Mitterand, exhibiting lipstick kisses on their faces. Whose kisses, you need not marvel. A wife’s kisses never can earn billboard publicity!

Francois Mitterand had a love child and Chirac once said, “Many women I have loved a lot, discreetly“.

One can conclude from all this that for many men at the top, the wife’s love is not enough. A second wife’s or a mistress’s love seems necessary to energise them.


Why so, only psychologists can analyse. And of course this type of dilemma should not be made an excuse for otherwise public sinners would swarm the top rungs.

Poor me, just busy-bodying over issues far beyond me.

But some pieces just hit me on the eye. Take this one with the title “Great artists need their dark ladies.” Shakespeare, Britain's greatest dramatist is no exception. The dark lady inspired many of his sonnets

Sonnet CXXV11 says,
“Therefore my mistress’s brows are raven black
Her eyes so suited ….”


According to a recent research, Aline, wife of translator John Florio is the stimulator behind all that creativity. “Sweet beauty has no name” he sang, but now the name has been discovered.

There is even a book titled Shakespeare’s Mistress where the author acknowledges the Dark Lady as a possibility. Researchers seem to have a game out of tracing who the Dark Lady was one even stating her name as Lucy Negro.

The writer Stephen Bayley, gives a whole host of names of literary men, sorry, no women whose stimulus for creativity have now been discovered. Needless to say, most are females with a sprinkling of young men thrown in.

The ‘Dark Ladies’ who stimulated the artistes seem to have been called muses too. That Shakespeare’s muse or mistress was dark is revealed by these lines of the earller quoted sonnet.

“As such who, not born fair, no beauty lack
Slandering creation with a false esteem
Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe
That every tongue says beauty should look so”

Were someone in the Bard’s time to read between lines and accuse him of having a mistress, probably dark, the great poet would not topple down a chair or be taken to Courts. He held no high public post. He was a free literary man. And no online existed at that time to vilify and downgrade a man or woman. Maybe mistresses flourished then, much to the dismay of the first wife.


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