Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"The Crock of Gold" by James Stephens

Delycia and I belong to a book group called "The Classics Book Club",  led by a retired English professor, and this month we're reading a book I had never heard of, called  "The Crock of Gold" (1912), by the Irish novelist and poet James Stephens. The professor called it a profound and inspiring book, and today we did read some pages that seemed to ring with wisdom and beauty. Here's just one of the many passages that gave us food for thought -- a description of a woman's ability to give comfort:
     "Gaiety is good to look upon and an innocent face is delightful to our souls, but no woman can resist sadness or weakness, and ugliness she dare not resist. Her nature leaps to be the comforter. It is her reason. It exalts her to an ecstasy wherein nothing but the sacrifice of herself has any proportion. Men are not fathers by instinct but by chance, but women are mothers beyond thought, beyond instinct which is the father of thought. Motherliness, pity, self-sacrifice—these are the charges of her primal cell, and not even the discovery that men are comedians, liars, and egotists will wean her from this."

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