Monday, May 3, 2010

Essay: "The Noble Science of Self-justification." Maria Edgeworth (1).

Review: The war of the sexes—if they are married. How to torture your husband. How to destroy the enemy’s [your husband’s] logical, rational arguments—when you are a woman in the 16th or 17th centuries. Sounds very contemporary to me.

“…let me teach you the art of defending the wrong.”

“Timid brides, you have, probably, hitherto been addressed as angels. Prepare for the time when you shall again become mortal.”

“Can superior with inferior power contend? No; the spirit of a lion is not to be roused by the teasing of an insect.”

“…he will yield to you in trifles, particularly in trifles which do not militate against his authority.”

“If the point in dispute be some opinion relative to your character or disposition, allow in general, that you are sure you have a great many faults; but to every specific charge reply, well, I am sure I don’t know, but I did not think that was one of my faults! Nobody ever accused me of that before.”

“Begin by preventing, if possible, the specific statement of any position, or, if reduced to it, use the most general terms, and take advantage of the ambiguity which all languages and which most philosophers allow.”

“…if he should grow absolutely angry, you will in the same proportion grow calm and wonder at his rage….”

To be continued.

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