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he invariably bites.
Perhaps one of the chief charms of woman lies precisely in the fact that
they are dishonorable, i.e., that they are relatively uncivilized. In
the midst of all the puerile repressions and inhibitions that hedge them
round, they continue to show a gipsy spirit. No genuine woman ever
gives a hoot for law if law happens to stand in the way of her private
interest. She is essentially an outlaw, a rebel, what H. G. Wells
calls a nomad. The boons of civilization are so noisily cried up by
sentimentalists that we are all apt to overlook its disadvantages.
Intrinsically, it is a mere device for regimenting men. Its perfect
symbol is the goose-step. The most civilized man is simply that man who
has been most successful in caging and harnessing his honest and natural
instincts-that is, the man who has done most cruel violence to his own
ego in the interest of the commonweal. The value of this commonweal is
always overestimated. What is it at bottom? Simply the greatest good to
the greatest number--of petty rogues, ignoramuses and poltroons.
The capacity for submitting to and prospering comfortably under this
cheese-monger's civilization is far more marked in men than in women,
and far more in inferior men than in men of the higher categories. It
must be obvious to even so pathetic an ass as a university professor of
history that very few of the genuinely first-rate men of the race
have been, wholly civilized, in the sense that the term is employed
in newspapers and in the pulpit. Think of Caesar, Bonaparte, Luther,
Frederick the Great, Cromwell, Barbarossa, Innocent III, Bolivar,
Hannibal, Alexander, and to come down to our own time, Grant, Stonewall
Jackson, Bismarck, Wagner, Garibaldi and Cecil Rhodes.
13. Women and the Emotions
The fact that women have a greater capacity than men for controlling
and concealing their emotions is not an indication that they are more
civilized, but a proof that they are less civilized. This capacity,
so rare today, and withal so valuable and worthy of respect, is a
characteristic of savages, not of civilized men, and its loss is one
of the penalties that the race has paid for the tawdry boon of
civilization. Your true savage, reserved, dignified, and courteous,
knows how to mask his feelings, even in the face of the most desperate
assault upon them; your civilized man is forever yielding to them.
Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical;
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