Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Quote of the Day (Moliere, on How Women Can ‘Run Rings Around the Cleverest Man’)

“Yes, all these stern precautions are inhuman.
Are we in Turkey, where they lock up women?
 It's said that females there are slaves or worse,
And that's why Turks are under Heaven's curse.
Our honor, sir, is truly very frail
If we, to keep it, must be kept in jail.
But do you think that such severities
Bar us, in fact, from doing what we please,
Or that, when we're dead set upon some plan,
We can't run rings around the cleverest man?
All these constraints are vain and ludicrous:
The best course, always, is to trust in us.
It's dangerous, Sir, to underrate our gender.
Our honor likes to be its own defender.
It almost gives us a desire to sin
When men mount guard on us and lock us in,
And if my husband were so prone to doubt me,
I just might justify his fears about me.”—French playwright and satirist Moliere (1622-1673), The School for Husbands (1661), translated by Richard Wilbur (1992)

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