Read Books Online, for Free
|Biology||H. G. [Herbert George] Wells|
|Page 2 of 3||
"Yes, but men;" said Ann Veronica, plunging; "don't you want the love of men?"
For some seconds they remained silent, both shocked by this question.
Miss Miniver looked over her glasses at her friend almost balefully. "NO!" she said, at last, with something in her voice that reminded Ann Veronica of a sprung tennis-racket.
"I've been through all that," she went on, after a pause.
She spoke slowly. "I have never yet met a man whose intellect I could respect."
Ann Veronica looked at her thoughtfully for a moment, and decided to persist on principle.
"But if you had?" she said.
"I can't imagine it," said Miss Miniver. "And think, think"--her voice sank--"of the horrible coarseness!"
"What coarseness?" said Ann Veronica.
"My dear Vee!" Her voice became very low. "Don't you know?"
"Oh! I know--"
"Well--" Her face was an unaccustomed pink.
Ann Veronica ignored her friend's confusion.
"Don't we all rather humbug about the coarseness? All we women, I mean," said she. She decided to go on, after a momentary halt. "We pretend bodies are ugly. Really they are the most beautiful things in the world. We pretend we never think of everything that makes us what we are."
"No," cried Miss Miniver, almost vehemently. "You are wrong! I did not think you thought such things. Bodies! Bodies! Horrible things! We are souls. Love lives on a higher plane. We are not animals. If ever I did meet a man I could love, I should love him" --her voice dropped again--"platonically."
She made her glasses glint. "Absolutely platonically," she said.
"Soul to soul."
She turned her face to the fire, gripped her hands upon her elbows, and drew her thin shoulders together in a shrug. "Ugh!" she said.
Ann Veronica watched her and wondered about her.
"We do not want the men," said Miss Miniver; "we do not want them, with their sneers and loud laughter. Empty, silly, coarse brutes. Brutes! They are the brute still with us! Science some day may teach us a way to do without them. It is only the women matter. It is not every sort of creature needs--these males. Some have no males."
"There's green-fly," admitted Ann Veronica. "And even then--"
The conversation hung for a thoughtful moment.
Ann Veronica readjusted her chin on her hand. "I wonder which of us is right," she said. "I haven't a scrap--of this sort of aversion."
"Tolstoy is so good about this," said Miss Miniver, regardless of her friend's attitude. "He sees through it all. The Higher Life and the Lower. He sees men all defiled by coarse thoughts, coarse ways of living cruelties. Simply because they are hardened by--by bestiality, and poisoned by the juices of meat slain in anger and fermented drinks--fancy! drinks that have been swarmed in by thousands and thousands of horrible little bacteria!"
"It's yeast," said Ann Veronica--"a vegetable."
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
H. G. [Herbert George] Wells
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004