“Under the influence of vodka and a good dinner, Somov grows more good-humoured, lively, and soft…. He watches his pretty wife making the salad with an anxious face and a rush of affection for her, of indulgence and forgiveness comes over him.
‘It was stupid of me to depress her, poor girl… ,’ he thought. ‘Why did I say such a lot of dreadful things? She is silly, that’s true, uncivilised and narrow; but… there are two sides to the question, and audiatur et altera pars.… Perhaps people are perfectly right when they say that woman’s shallowness rests on her very vocation. Granted that it is her vocation to love her husband, to bear children, and to mix salad, what the devil does she want with learning? No, indeed!’
At that point he remembers that learned women are usually tedious, that they are exacting, strict, and unyielding; and, on the other hand, how easy it is to get on with silly Lidotchka, who never pokes her nose into anything, does not understand so much, and never obtrudes her criticism. There is peace and comfort with Lidotchka, and no risk of being interfered with.
‘Confound them, those clever and learned women! It’s better and easier to live with simple ones,’ he thinks, as he takes a plate of chicken from Lidotchka.
He recollects that a civilised man sometimes feels a desire to talk and share his thoughts with a clever and well-educated woman. “What of it?” thinks Somov. “If I want to talk of intellectual subjects, I’ll go to Natalya Andreyevna… or to Marya Frantsovna…. It’s very simple! But no, I shan’t go. One can discuss intellectual subjects with men,” he finally decides.”
A Pink Stocking by Anton Chekhov