About Men’s Logic

 

“I am a practical man and a man of character; for me beauty and external appearance generally take a secondary place, for, as you know yourself, beauty is neither bowl nor platter, and a pretty wife involves a great deal of anxiety. The way I look at it is, what matters most in a woman is not what is external, but what lies within — that is, that she should have soul and all the qualities. (…)
Of course, it would be very agreeable that one’s wife should be rather plump, but for mutual happiness it is not of great consequence; what matters is the mind. Properly speaking, a woman does not need mind either, for if she has brains she will have too high an opinion of herself, and take all sorts of ideas into her head. One cannot do without education nowadays, of course, but education is of different kinds. It would be pleasing for one’s wife to know French and German, to speak various languages, very pleasing; but what’s the use of that if she can’t sew on one’s buttons, perhaps? I am a man of the educated class: I am just as much at home, I may say, with Prince Kanitelin as I am with you here now. But my habits are simple, and I want a girl who is not too much a fine lady. Above all, she must have respect for me and feel that I have made her happiness.”
(…)
“Well, now as regards the essential…. I do not want a wealthy bride; I would never condescend to anything so low as to marry for money. I desire not to be kept by my wife, but to keep her, and that she may be sensible of it. But I do not want a poor girl either. Though I am a man of means, and am marrying not from mercenary motives, but from love, yet I cannot take a poor girl, for, as you know yourself, prices have gone up so, and there will be children.”
A Happy Ending by Anton Chekhov

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5 thoughts on “About Men’s Logic

    1. oleanderia Post author

      The title “A Happy Ending” is ironic. The hero of the story is talking to the matchmaker, a woman very good in her profession, but not very attractive as wife material. At one point, he asks how much he has to pay for a service. The matchmaker is enjoying quite a high income. So the man says : “Allow me to make you a proposal!”. She agrees. And the end of the story is: “He sat down, and, heaving a deep sigh, began expounding to his bride-elect his views on domestic life and a wife’s duties.”

      Reply

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