Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free

In Association with
Tea-table Talk Jerome K. Jerome

Chapter V

Page 6 of 6

Table Of Contents: Tea-table Talk

Previous Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

"When I was editing a paper," I said, "I opened my columns to a correspondence on this very subject. Many letters were sent to me-- most of them trite, many of them foolish. One, a genuine document, I remember. It came from a girl who for six years had been assistant to a fashionable dressmaker. She was rather tired of the axiom that all women, at all times, are perfection. She suggested that poets and novelists should take service for a year in any large drapery or millinery establishment where they would have an opportunity of studying woman in her natural state, so to speak."

"It is unfair to judge us by what, I confess, is our chief weakness," argued the Woman of the World. "Woman in pursuit of clothes ceases to be human--she reverts to the original brute. Besides, dressmakers can be very trying. The fault is not entirely on one side."

"I still fail to be convinced," remarked the Girton Girl, "that woman is over-praised. Not even the present conversation, so far as it has gone, altogether proves your point."

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

"I am not saying it is the case among intelligent thinkers," explained the Philosopher, "but in popular literature the convention still lingers. To woman's face no man cares to protest against it; and woman, to her harm, has come to accept it as a truism. 'What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all that's nice.' In more or less varied form the idea has entered into her blood, shutting out from her hope of improvement. The girl is discouraged from asking herself the occasionally needful question: Am I on the way to becoming a sound, useful member of society? Or am I in danger of degenerating into a vain, selfish, lazy piece of good-for- nothing rubbish? She is quite content so long as she can detect in herself no tendency to male vices, forgetful that there are also feminine vices. Woman is the spoilt child of the age. No one tells her of her faults. The World with its thousand voices flatters her. Sulks, bad temper, and pig-headed obstinacy are translated as 'pretty Fanny's wilful ways.' Cowardice, contemptible in man or woman, she is encouraged to cultivate as a charm. Incompetence to pack her own bag or find her own way across a square and round a corner is deemed an attraction. Abnormal ignorance and dense stupidity entitle her to pose as the poetical ideal. If she give a penny to a street beggar, selecting generally the fraud, or kiss a puppy's nose, we exhaust the language of eulogy, proclaiming her a saint. The marvel to me is that, in spite of the folly upon which they are fed, so many of them grow to be sensible women."

"Myself," remarked the Minor Poet, "I find much comfort in the conviction that talk, as talk, is responsible for much less good and much less harm in the world than we who talk are apt to imagine. Words to grow and bear fruit must fall upon the earth of fact."

"But you hold it right to fight against folly?" demanded the Philosopher.

"Heavens, yes!" cried the Minor Poet. "That is how one knows it is Folly--if we can kill it. Against the Truth our arrows rattle harmlessly."

Page 6 of 6 Previous Page   Next Chapter
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Tea-table Talk
Jerome K. Jerome

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004