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13. ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT. (continued)
I believe if two women were cast together upon a desert island, they would spend each day arguing the respective merits of sea-shells and birds' eggs considered as trimmings, and would have a new fashion in fig-leaves every month.
Very young men think a good deal about clothes, but they don't talk about them to each other. They would not find much encouragement. A fop is not a favorite with his own sex. Indeed, he gets a good deal more abuse from them than is necessary. His is a harmless failing and it soon wears out. Besides, a man who has no foppery at twenty will be a slatternly, dirty-collar, unbrushed-coat man at forty. A little foppishness in a young man is good; it is human. I like to see a young cock ruffle his feathers, stretch his neck, and crow as if the whole world belonged to him. I don't like a modest, retiring man. Nobody does--not really, however much they may prate about modest worth and other things they do not understand.
A meek deportment is a great mistake in the world. Uriah Heap's father was a very poor judge of human nature, or he would not have told his son, as he did, that people liked humbleness. There is nothing annoys them more, as a rule. Rows are half the fun of life, and you can't have rows with humble, meek-answering individuals. They turn away our wrath, and that is just what we do not want. We want to let it out. We have worked ourselves up into a state of exhilarating fury, and then just as we are anticipating the enjoyment of a vigorous set-to, they spoil all our plans with their exasperating humility.
Xantippe's life must have been one long misery, tied to that calmly irritating man, Socrates. Fancy a married woman doomed to live on from day to day without one single quarrel with her husband! A man ought to humor his wife in these things.
Heaven knows their lives are dull enough, poor girls. They have none of the enjoyments we have. They go to no political meetings; they may not even belong to the local amateur parliament; they are excluded from smoking-carriages on the Metropolitan Railway, and they never see a comic paper--or if they do, they do not know it is comic: nobody tells them.
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