Monday, June 29, 2009

On The Amusements of Men

'Have you ever observed, Grace,' said Miss Dale, 'how much amusement gentlemen require, and how imperative it is that some other game should be provided when one game fails?'

'Nor particularly,' said Grace.

'Oh, but it is so. Now, with women, it is supposed that they can amuse themselves or live without amusement. Once or twice in a year, perhaps something is done for them. There is an arrow-shooting party, or a ball, or a picnic. But the catering for men's sport is never ending, and is always paramount to everything else. And yet the pet game of the day never goes off properly. In partridge time, the partridges are wild, and won't come to be killed. In hunting time the foxes won't run straight—the wretches. They show no spirit, and will take to ground to save their brushes. Then comes a nipping frost and skating is proclaimed; but the ice is always rough, and the woodcocks have deserted the country. And as for salmon,—when the summer comes round I do really believe that they suffer a great deal about the salmon. I'm sure they never catch any. So they go back to their clubs and their cards, and their billiards, and abuse their cooks and blackball their friends. That's about it, Mamma; is it not?'—from The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867), by Anthony Trollope.

1 comment:

  1. Miss Dale is talking about hooligans and aristocrats--two similar categories. What she says is is not true about intellectuals and the bourgeoisie.