Conrad First The Joseph Conrad Periodical Archive
Extract (Chance: A Tale in Two Parts)

Withold Truth in Mercy: Author's Opinion of Why Women Use 'Tact' Instead of Being Too Plainly Outspoken

in The Pointer (Riverdale, IL, USA) (Jun 26, 1914): (Page imagery not yet available)

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Author's Opinion of Why Women Use "Tact" Instead of Being Too Plainly Out Sppoken.
"I call a woman sincere," Marlow began after giving me a cigar and lighting one himself. "1 call a woman sincere when she volunteers a statement resembling remotely in form what she really would like to say, what she really thinks ought to be said If it were not for the necessity to spare the stupid sensitiveness of men. The woman's rougher, simpler, more upright judgment embraces the whole truth, which their tact, their mistrust of masculine idealism, ever prevents them from speaking In Its entirety And their tact is unerring. We could_ not stand women speaking the truth. We could not bear it. It would cause infinite misery and bring about most awful disturbances in this rather mediocre but still idealistic fool's paradise in which each of us lives his own little life—the unit in the great sum of existence. And they know It. They are merciful."
-- From "Chance" by Joseph Conrad.

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