Honore de Balzac: Ferragus. . .

BalzacFerragus01It is my hope that the few readers that my still happen my this defunct and lonely place might chance to see this truth bomb and spread it about.  It is an exceptional statement of the nature of woman from Honore de Balzac’s Ferragus.  Let me set the stage:

One Monsieur de Maulincour has happened to see Madame Desmarets, a woman he suffers unrequited oneitis for, entering a house of ill repute on a street of ill repute. After confronting her a fete he takes up spying on the woman to discover her secret.  A series of assassination attempts leave Maulincour in a state of racked nerves–not unlike Raskolnikov from Crime and Punishment–when after believing the police have disposed of the woman’s accomplice approaches the Madame at yet another Parisian ball.

——

“Madame, your bravi have missed me three times.”

“What can you mean monsieur?” she said flushing. “I know that you have had several unfortunate accidents lately, which I have greatly regretted; but how could I have had anything to do with them?”

“You knew that bravi were employed against me by that man of the rue Soly?”

“Monsieur!”

“Madame, I now call you to account, not for my happiness only, but for my blood–:

At that instant Jules Desmarets approached them.

“What are you saying to my wife, monsieur?”

“Make that inquiry at my own house, monsieur, if you are curious,” said Maulincour, moving away, and leaving Madame [Desmarets] in an almost fainting condition.

There are few women who have not found themselves, once at least in their live, a propos of some undeniable fact, confronted with a direct, sharp, uncompromising question–one of those questions pitilessly asked by husbands, the mere apprehension of which gives a chill, while the actual words enter the heart like the blade of a dagger. It is from such cries that the maxim has come, “All women lie.: Falsehood, kindly falsehood, venial falsehood, sublime falsehood, horrible falsehood–but always the necessity to lie. This necessity admitted, ought they not to know how to lie well? French women do it admirably. Our manners and customs teach them deception! Besides, women are so naively saucy, so pretty, graceful, and withal so true in lying,–they recognize so fully the utility of doing so in order to avoid in social life the violent shocks which happiness might not resist,–that lying seem to be as necessary to their lives as the cottonwool in which they put away their jewels. Falsehood becomes to them the foundation of speech; truth is exceptional; they tell it, if they are virtuous, by caprice or calculation. According to individual character, some women laugh when they lie; others weep; others are grave; some grow angry. After beginning life by feigning indifference to the homage that deeply flatters them, they often end by lying to themselves. Who has not admired their apparent superiority to everything at the very moment when they are trembling for the secret treasures of their love? Who has never studied their ease, their readiness, their freedom of mind in the greatest embarrassments of life? In them, nothing is put on. Deception comes as the snow from heaven And then, with what art they discover the truth in others! With what shrewdness they employ a direct logic in answer to some passionate question which has revealed to them the secret of the heart of a man who was guileless enough to proceed by questioning! To question a woman! why, that is delivering one’s self up to her;  does she not learn in that way all that we seek to hide from her? Does she not know also how to be dumb, though speaking? What men are daring enough to struggle with Parisian women?–a woman who knows how to hold herself above all dagger thrusts, saying: “You are very inquisitive; what is it to you? Why do you wish to know? Ah! you are jealous! And suppose I do not choose to answer you?”–in short, a woman who possesses the hundred and thirty-seven methods of saying No, and incommensurable variations of the word Yes. Is not a treatise on the words yes and no, a fine diplomatic, philosophic, logographic, and moral work, still waiting to be written? But to accomplish this work, which we may call diabolic, isn’t an androgynous genius necessary? For that reason, probably, it will never be attempted. And besides, of all unpublished works isn’t it the best known and the best practiced among women? Have you studied the behavior, the pose, the disinvoltura of a falsehood? Examine it.

Ferragus, Honore de Balzac

Balzac is undoubtedly the greatest novelist to ever life. Not that has lived yet, but most probably the greatest that ever will. He astute, observant, and messy.  I cannot comment on his style as I do not read French, but his translators convey something elegant and unstilted. Examine him.

Veritas numquam perit,
The Gentleman Poet

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Alexandre Dumas (pere). . .

With this hair, banged six sluts before lunch.

With this hair, banged six sluts before lunch. Then wrote two books before dinner.

“Monsieur!” said the young woman, supplicating him, and clasping her hands together; “monsieur, in the name of heaven, by the name of a soldier, by the courtesy of a gentleman depart–there–there is midnight striking–that is the hour at which I am expected.”

“Madame,” said the young man, boding; “I can refuse nothing asked of me thus; be satisfied, I will depart.”

“But, you will not follow me; you will not watch me?”

“I will return home instantly.”

“Ah! I was quite sure you were a good and brave man,” said Madame Bonacieux, holding out her hand to him, and placing the other upon the knocker of a little door almost hidden in the wall.

D’Artagnan seized the hand that was held out to him, and kissed it ardently.

“Ah! I wish I had never seen you!” cried D’Artagnan, with that ingenuous roughness,which women often prefer to the affections of politeness, because it betrays the depth of the thought, and proves that feeling prevails over reason.

“Well!” resumed Madame Bonacieux, in a voice that was almost caressing, and pressing the hand of D’Artagnan, who had not left hold of hers, “well! I will not say as much as you do: what is lost for to-day may not be lost forever. Who knows, when I shall be some day at liberty, that I may not satisfy your curiosity?”. . .

-The Three Musketeers

Alexandre Dumas (pere) both a great literary master and a master of the venereal arts boffed forty women in forty known affairs and likely more than this in unkown affairs.  Such a pair of stone had he, that one such bastard, a literary giant in his own right, Alexandre Dumas (fils), bears the name of his father.  This in the middle of the 19th century France.

Also of note, though best known for the D’Artagnan romantic cycle (Three Musketeers, Man in the Iron Mask, et al) Dumas hustled. His hustle, like that of master artists from bygone years, consisted of a literary factory so that when considering the breadth of Dumas’ 100,000 word corpus remember that his stamp is upon them all but not his pen.  Roosh might consider setting himself up with a corps of his own and press out Bangs for the remaining couple hundred countries Food for thought.

Veritas numquam perit,

The Poet.

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The Lays Of Ancient Rome. . .

Never enough time. . .

Lays_of_Ancient_Rome

Now by your children’s cradles, now by your father’s graves,
Be men today, Quirites, or be forever slaves!
For this did Servius give us laws? For this did Lucrece bleed?
For this was the great vengeance wrought on Tarquin’s evil seed?
For this did those false sons make red the axes of their sire?
For this did Scaevola’s right had hiss in the Tuscan fire?
Shall the vile fox-earth awe the race that stormed the lion’s den?
Shall we, who could not brook one lord, crouch to the wicked Ten?
Oh for that ancient spirit which curbed the Senate’s will!
Oh for the tents which in old time whitened the Sacred Hill!
In those brave days our father stood firmly side by side;
They faced the Marcian fury; they tamed the Fabian pride:
They drove the fiercest Quinctius outcast forth from Rome;
They sent the haughtiest Claudius with shivered fasces home.
But what their care bequeathed us our madness flung away:
All the ripe fruit of three score years was blighted in a day.
Exult, ye proud Patricians! The hard-fought fight is o’er.
We strove for honours–twas in vain: for freedom–’tis no more.
No crier to the polling summons the eager throng;
No tribune breathes the word of might that guards the weak from wrong.
Our very hearts, that were so high, sink down beneath your will.
Riches, and lands, and power, and state–ye have them:–keep them still.
Still keep the holy fillets’; still keep the purple gown,
The axes, and the curule chair, the car, and laurel crown:
Still press us for your cohorts, and, when the fight is done,
Still fill your garners from the soil which our good swords have won.
Still, like a spreading ulcer, which leechcraft may not cure,
Let your foul usance eat away the substance of the poor.
Still let your haggard debtors bear all their fathers bore;
Still let your dens of torment be noisome of yore;
No fire when Tiber freezes; no air in dog-star heat;
And store of rods for free-born backs, and holes for free-born feet.
Heap heavier still the fetter; bar closer still the grate;
Patient as sheep we yield us up unto your cruel hate.
But, by the Shades beneath us, and by the Gods above,
Add not unto your cruel hate your yet more cruel love!

Have ye not graceful ladies, whose spotless lineage springs
From Consuls, and High Pontiffs, and ancient Alban kings?
Ladies, who deign not on our paths to set their tender feet,
Who from their cars look down with scorn upon the wondering street,
Who in Corinthian mirrors their own proud smiles behold,
And breathe of Capuan odours, and shine with Spanish gold?
Then leave the poor Plebian his single tie to life–
The sweet, sweet love of daughter, of sister, and of wife,
The gentle speech, the balm for all that his vexed soul endures,
The kiss, in which he half forgets even such a yoke as yours.
Still let the maiden’s beauty swell the father’s breast with pride;
Still let the bridegroom’s arms infold an unpolluted bride.
Spare us the inexpiable wrong, the unutterable shame,
That turns the cowards hearth to steel, the sluggard’s blood to flame,
Lest, when our latest hope is fled, ye taste of our despair,
And learn by proof, in some wild how much the wretched dare.

-Macualay’s Virginia, from The Lays of Ancient Rome

Make of it what you will, the acts are all the same;
The players may have shifted, the story is unchanged.

Veritas numquam perit,
The Gentleman Poet

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GK Chesterton And The Modern Surrender

A number of not-to-important and very poor excuses stalled what would otherwise be the long watched for return to regular SoAG posting. Now, excluding other poor and halfhearted excuses, there are in my pocket a handful of posts and thoughts of protean substance which given a little effort could appear as regular posts.

GK Chesteron, if you would no nothing else about him, wrote as the late nineteenth century’s and twentieth century Bronan (RIP). Sarcastic, sardonic, a clever wit, and an astute observer.  One could fill weeks and months reading and rereading the cleverness of Chesteron and be greatly blessed for having done so, yet in a single post a discriminating judgement can present only so very little, a penance of prose for your edification.  Chesterton wrote at the precipice as a conscious observer of the maladies that transpired to tarnish the West. Here from What Is Wrong With The World which contains an entire section of commentary of feminism.

But in this corner called England, at this end of the century, there has happened a strange and startling thing. Openly and to all appearance, this ancestral conflict has silently and abruptly ended; one of the two sexes has suddenly surrendered to the other. By the beginning of the twentieth century, within the last few years, the woman has in public surrendered to the man. She has seriously and officially owned that the man has been right all along; that the public house (or Parliament) is really more important than the private house; that politics are not (as woman had always maintained) an excuse for pots of beer, but are a sacred solemnity to which new female worshipers may kneel; that the talkative patriots in the tavern are not only admirable but enviable; that talk is not a waste of time, and therefore (as a consequence, surely) that taverns are not a waste of money. All we men had grown used to our wives and mothers, and grandmothers, and great aunts all pouring a chorus of contempt upon our hobbies of sport, drink and party politics. And now comes Miss Pankhhurst with tears in her eyes, owning that all the women were wrong and all the men were right; humbly imploring to be admitted into so much as an outer court, from which she may catch a glimpse of those masculine merits which her erring sisters had so thoughtlessly scorned.

Now this development naturally perturbs and even paralyzes us. Males, like females, in the course of that old fight between the public and private house, had indulged in overstatement and extravagance, feeling that they must keep up their end of the see-saw. We told our wives that Parliament had sat late on most essential business  but it never crossed our minds that our wives would believe it. We said that everyone must have a vote in the country; similarly our wives said that no one must have a pipe in the drawing-room. In both cases the idea was the same. “It does not matter much, but if you let those things slide there is chaos ”  WE said that Lord Huggins or Mr. Buggins was absolutely necessary to the country. We knew quite well that nothing is absolutely necessary to the country except that the men should be men and the women women. We knew this; we thought the women knew it even more clearly; and we thought the women would say it. Suddenly, without warning, the women have begun to say all the nonsense we ourselves hardly believed when we said it. The solemnity of politics; the necessity of votes; the necessity of Huggins; the necessity of Buggins; all these flow in a pellucid stream from the lips of all the suffragette speakers. I suppose in every fight, however old, one has a vague aspiration to conquer; but we never wanted to conquer women so completely as this.  We only expected that they might leave us a little more margin for our nonsense  we never expected that they would accept it seriously as sense.  . . .

Veritas numquam perit,
The Poet

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Updates, Irving, And Carlyle’s Assumption Of Certainty

This week a number of changes have been made. The most pertinent is the addition of a tablet to my Luddite’s lack of technological advancements allowing, for the first time since moving  in September–this would be when the SoAG began slipping away from weekly linkage to falling away from posts in general–allowing ready and easy access to the manosphere. . . again. . .finally.  Time is still an issue and will remain for the moment.  For this reason I have pared down my reading list to a quarter of what it was, hoping to take the essence of the ‘sphere without requiring the commitment to devour it in toto. For now at the least, no continuing of the weekly Linkage but I hope to resume a more regular schedule of posting. So without further adieu:

Washington Irving’s Sketch Book
The other evening I was reading from Washington Irving’s Sketch Book, a collection of travel ruminations recorded by Irving before, after, and during a trip he took to Europe.  The work includes little anecdotes as well as his more well known stories of Ichabod and Rip Van Winkle. The anecdotes are the meat of it and what I was more interested in reading. The first to catch my full attention was a little tidbit about crossing the Ocean at the start of the 19th century. Irving describes himself staring into the waters as they sailed and his wondering about the creatures that he had read about and all their world below. 

I could not help but smile as we now have Planet Earth and other video recording an accurate picture of all the goings on in the deep blue. But then one must wonder if Irving had the advantage in such a case. As interesting, as fascinating as having such knowledge can be is there not something lost in not imagining what is under the crashing waves of the ocean.  Moreover, in flying and not sailing the sea, one is taken across the pond so quickly they the opportunity to wonder is hardly afforded.  The question becomes then does having this certainty, this assumption that one knows what is in the ocean, or that one knows what a cloud is, what causes the wind, or the nature of man for instance; does this certainty destroy the ability, or even the incentive, for questioning and for wondering about such things.

Let us assume for a moment that we could take Irving from the day he describes in his sketch book and transplant him onto a modern cruise ship. Were he to ponder out loud of the mystic kingdoms that could wait under the sea, or the majesty of the octopus or any other such fantastic rumination, who would not except some herb in cargo shorts to offer up his smart phone and youtube his way to oceanic video; in one sense he clarifies a lack of knowledge and yet in another he destroys a facility of wonder in locking in this certain picture of what under water must be.

All this carrying on must appear to have very little correspondence with the ‘sphere, yet the same thing happens to everyone brought up in the west. It is not only what lives under the sea but all blue pill knowledge that has a locked-in certainty.  All things are certain in the land of relativity and personal irresponsibility.  Is this not a wonder in itself? A culture that carries on about its openness where everyone’s idea are valid–but where all thoughts must fit within certain guidelines.  Who of the red-pilled initiates has not spoke in the moment a red pill truth and found either dumbfound silence, heated disagreement, or outright outrage? The assumption of certainty is foundational to blue-pill thought.

Thomas Carlyle
These thoughts had been in my mind for days, coming to the surface here and there to be toyed with a moment then put back away, when this morning I decided to do a little reading and picked up a copy of the Works of Thomas Carlyle.  I am not one to often read Carlyle for his thoughts, though they are not unprofitable, but his styling, the pure aesthetic pleasure of his wordsmithing, so outweighs the profundity that I often do not expect the weight of truth which is uncovered. This is what I read:

You remember that fancy of Plato’s, of a man who had grown to maturity in some dark distance, and was brought on a sudden into the upper air to see the sun rise. What would his wonder be, his rapt astonishment at the sight we daily witness with indifference! With the free open sense of a child, yet with the ripe faculty of a man, his whole heart would be kindled by that sight, he would discern it well to be Godlike, his soul would fall down in worship before it. Now, just such a childlike greatness was in the primitive nations. The first Pagan thinker among rude men, the first man that began to think, was precisely this child-man of Plato’s. Simple, open as a child, yet with the depth and strength of a man. Nature had as yet no name to him; he had not yet united under a name the infinite variety of sights, sounds, shapes, and motions, which we now collectively name Universe, Nature, or the like–and so with a name dismiss it from us. To the wild deep-hearted man all was yet new, not veiled under names or formulas; it stood naked, flashing in on him there, beautiful, awful, unspeakable. Nature was to this man, what to the Thinker and the Prophet it for ever is, preternatural. This green flowery rock-built earth, the trees, the mountains, rivers, many-sounding seas; –that great deep sea of azure that swims overhead; the winds sweeping through it; the black cloud fashioning itself together, now pouring out fire, now hail and rain; what is it? Ay, what? At bottom we do not yet know; we can never know at all. It is not by our superior insight that we escape the difficulty; it is by our superior levity, our inattention, our want of insight. It is by not thinking that we cease to wonder at it. Hardened round us, encasing wholly every notion we form, is a wrappage of traditions, hearsays, mere WORDS.

-Lectures on Heroes, Thomas Carlyle

And there it is the truth raised up from a century of dead men’s sighs. It is by not thinking that we cease to wonder. It is by an inundation an inculcation of mere words that the blue pill is poured in as an assumption of certainty. The world assumes its rightness by the mitigating chance that it has been told a thing, therefore that thing is true. It is the opposing force to Descartes’ dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum*.  I hear, therefore I have thought, therefore it is.

Veritas numquam perit,
The Gentleman Poet

*I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am – From Meditations on First Philosophy, Rene Descartes usually the first word dubito is elited from the quote “I think therefore I am,” this, however, misconstrues Descartes thought as it was only in doubting that he could acknowledge that he did in fact think.

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Heroism – R W Emerson

HectorSendsParisToWarWere I still in a place to spend countless hours before a computer screen these wisps would be delivered with sustained regularity like fascist trains, yet I am not so they come as they come.

Whenever I find myself nose deep in great writing from a century or more ago, before suffragettes and sexequalist slingers, I am remiss that these truths are made to be learned anew.  It is no longer true as Donne wrote, that no man is an island, for every man is an island as much as he is not.  The bell would toll for you were it to toll at all but it cannot toll when it is smelted for modern bells and whistles and the multitude of other distractions.

If I am not stopped I shall continue ranting into the morning. . . Where did all this begin?

Right. Ralph Waldo Emerson.  If you have been with us from the start you will recognize that the Society is a great fan. Today we bring a snippet from his essay on heroism, as defined by Emerson the ‘sphere is the embodiment of heroism.  I would agree. Enjoy:

“Our culture, therefore, must not omit the arming of the man. Let him hear in season, that he is born into the state of war, and that the commonwealth and his own well-being, require that he should not go dancing in the weeds of peace, but warned, self-collected, and neither defying nor dreading the thunder, let him take both reputation and life in his hand, and with perfect urbanity, dare the gibbet and the mob by the absolute truth of his speech, and the rectitude of his behavior.

Towards all this external evil, the man within the breast assumes a warlike attitude, and affirms his ability to cope single-handed with the infinite army of enemies. To this military attitude of the soul, we give the name Heroism. Its rudest form is the contempt for safety and ease, which makes the attractiveness of war. It is a self-trust which slights the restraints of prudence in the plentitude of its energy and power to repair the harms it may suffer. The hero is a mind of such balance that no disturbances can shake his will, but pleasantly, and , as it were, merrily, he advances to his own music, alike in frightful alarms, and in the tipsy mirth of universal dissoluteness.  There is somewhat not philosophical in heroism; there is somewhat not holy in it; it seems not to know that other souls are of one texture with it; it hath pride; it is the extreme of individual nature. Nevertheless, we must profoundly revere it. There is somewhat in great actions, which does not allow us to go behind them. Heroism feels and never reasons, and therefore is always right  and, although a difference breeding, different religion, and greater intellectual activity , would have modified, or even reversed the particular action, yet for the hero, that thing he does, is the slightest deed, and is not open to the censure of philosophers or divines  It is the avowal of the unschooled man, that he finds a quality in him that is negligent of expense, of health, of life, of danger, of hatred, of reproach, and that he knows that his will is higher and more excellent than all actual and all possible antagonists.

Heroism works in contradiction to the voice of mankind, and in contradiction, for a time, to the voice of the great and good. Heroism is an obedience to a secret impulse of an individual’s character. . .”

-RW Emerson, Heroism

 Veritas numquam perit,
The Poet

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Manospherian Advice and Classic Literature

Though, as of the moment, this poet lacks the hours required for a robust reentry into full time Manospheria, a snippet of advice came under my notice while reading this afternoon.  I cannot in good conscience refrain from passing it on.

. . .Halfway through supper Prince Andrew leaned his elbows on the table, and with a look of nervous agitation such as Pierre had never before seen on his face, began to talk–as one who has long had something on his mind and suddenly determines to speak out.

“Never, never marry, my dear fellow! That’s my advice: never marry till you can say to yourself that you have done all you are capable of, and until you have ceased to love the woman of you choice and have sen her plainly as she is, or else you will make a cruel and irrevocable mistake. Marry when you are old and good for nothing–or all that is good and noble in you will be lost. It will all be lost on trifles. Yes! Yes! Yes! Don’t look at me with such surprise. If you marry expecting anything from yourself in the future you will feel at every step that for you all is ended, all is closed except the drawing room, where you will be ranged side by side with a court lackey and an idiot!. . . But what’s the good?”. . . and he waved his arm.

Pierre took of his spectacles, which made his face seem different and the good-natured expression still more apparent, and gazed at his friend in amazement.

“My wife,” continued Prince Andrew, “is an excellent woman, one of those rare women with whom a man’s honor is safe; but O God, what would I not give now to be unmarried! You are the first and only one to whom I mention this, because I like you.”

. . .

“You don’t understand why I say this,” he continued, “but it is the whole story of life. You talk of Bonaparte and his career,” said he–though Pierre had not mentioned Bonaparte, “but Bonaparte when he worked went step by step toward his goal. He was free, he had nothing but his aim to consider, and he reached it. But tie yourself up with a woman, and like a chained convict you lose all freedom! And all you have of hope and strength merely weighs you down and torments you with regret. Drawing rooms, gossip, balls, vanity, and triviality–these are the enchanted circle I cannot escape from. I am now going to the war, the greatest war there ever was, and I know nothing and am fit for nothing. I am very amiable to have a caustic wit,” continued Prince Andrew, “and at Anna Pavlovna’s they listen to me. And that stupid set without whom my wife cannot exist, and those women. . . If you only knew what those society women are, and women in general! My father is right. Selfish, vain, stupid, trivial in everything–that’s what women are when you see them in their true colors! When you meet them in society it seems as if there were something in them, but there’s nothing, nothing, nothing! No, don’t marry, my dear fellow; don’t marry.”

War And Peace, Lev Tolstoy

Is it any wonder that such plain and good-natured truths are couched under the veil on contextual and literary criticism–these studies and those studies.  Were one to read plainly such things how could the walls of lies remain unbroken. heh.

Veritas numquam perit,
The Poet

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