Monday, June 26, 2006

Maisie Ward on Gilbert and Woman

Just as a brief follow-up to the last post before I leave for work, here's a noteworthy paragraph from Maisie Ward's Gilbert Keith Chesterton, from the chapter, "Silver Wedding:"
His views concerning the sexes were equally at variance with those of Shaw and of most of the moderns. He was quite frankly the old-fashioned man and Frances was the old-fashioned woman. They both agreed that there is one side of life that belongs to man - the side of endless cigars smoked over endless discussions about the universe. He often said that the important thing for a country was that the men should be manly, the women womanly: the thing he hated was the modern hybrid: the woman who gate-crashes the male side of life: no one, he had said later in a letter of his engagement time, "takes such a fierce pleasure as I do in things being themselves." And both he and Frances found amusement in that "eternal equality" which Gilbert saw in the sexes so long as they kept their eternal separateness. If everything, he said, is trying to be red, some things are redder than others, but there is an eternal and unalterable equality between red and green.
The clarity of that last line is particularly striking to me, and it is one of the very few sections of text I have ever underlined in a book.

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