Jane and I agree that this excerpt from the book I was reading last night, The Minister's Wooing, hits the nail straight on the head when it comes to a man's attractiveness and appeal to women. Interesting food for thought...
"If women have one weakness more marked than another, it is towards
veneration, They are born worshippers,--makers of silver shrines for some
divinity or other, which, of course, they always think fell straight down from
The first step towards their falling in love with an ordinary mortal is
generally to dress him out with all manner of real or fancified superiority; and
having made him up, they worship him.
Now a truly great man, a man really grand and noble in heart and intellect,
has this advantage with women, that he is an idol ready-made to hand; and so
that very painstaking and ingenious sex have less labor in getting him up, and
can be ready to worship him on shorter notice."...
"Never was there a distinguished man whose greatness could sustain the test
of minute domestic inspection better than our Doctor. Strong in a single hearted
humility, a perfect unconsciousness of self, an honest and sincere absorption
in high and holy themes and objects, there was in him what we so seldom see,--a
perfect logic of life; his minutest deeds were the true results of his sublimest
principles. His whole nature, moral, physical and intellectual, was simple,
pure, and cleanly. He was temperate as an anchorite in all matters of
living,--avoiding, from a healthy instinct, all those intoxicating stimuli then
common among the clergy. In his early youth, indeed, he had formed an attachment
to the almost universal clerical pipe,--but, observing a delicate woman once
nauseated by coming into the atmosphere which he and his brethren had polluted,
he set himself gravely to reflect that that which could so offend a woman must
needs be uncomely and unworthy a Christian man; wherefore he laid his pipe on
the mantelpiece, and never afterwards resumed the indulgence.
In all his relations with womanhood he was delicate and reverential,
forming his manners by that old precept, "The elder women entreat as mothers,
the younger as sisters,"--which rule, short and simple as it is, is,
nevertheless, the most perfect resume of all true gentlemanliness.
Then, as for person, the Doctor was not handsome, to be sure; but he was what
sometimes serves with women better,--majestic and manly; and, when animated by
thought and feeling, having even a commanding grandeur of mien. Add to all this,
that our valiant hero is now on the straight road to bring him into that
situation most likely to engage the warm partisanship of a true woman,--namely,
that of a man unjustly abused for rightdoing,--and one may see that it is ten to
one our Mary may fall in love with him yet before she knows it."