But there is something about human beings that too often makes our love for the world look very much like hatred for it.
Was joy created always to live under that threat? Always defenseless to those who would rather be miserable than have their self will be crossed? Can you really have thought that love and joy would always be at the mercy of frowns and sighs?The demand of the loveless; that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe; that til they consent to be happy-on their own terms- no one else shall taste joy; that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to VETO HEAVEN?
JACKThat is nonsense. If I marry a charming girl like Gwendolen, and she is the only girl I ever saw in my life that I would marry, I certainly won't want to know Bunbury.ALGERNONThen your wife will. You don't seem to realize, that in married life three is company and two is none.JACKThat, my dear young friend, is the theory that the corrupt French Drama has been propounding for the last fifty years.ALGERNONYes; and that the happy English home has proved in half the time.
the battered woman--for she wore a skirt--with her right hand exposed, her left clutching at her side, stood singing of love--love which has lasted a million years, she sang, love which prevails, and millions of years ago, her lover, who had been dead these centuries, had walked, she crooned, with her in May; but in the course of ages, long as summer days, and flaming, she remembered, with nothing but red asters, he had gone; death's enormous sickle had swept those tremendous hills, and when at last she laid her hoary and immensely aged head on the earth, now become a mere cinder of ice, she implored the Gods to lay by her side a bunch of purple heather, there on her high burial place which the last rays of the last sun caressed; for then the pageant of the universe would be over.
He went to the church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and for, and patted the children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of homes, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed of any walk, that anything, could give him so much happiness. (p. 119)
When the Irishman is found outside of Ireland in another environment, he very often becomes a respected man. The economic and intellectual conditions that prevail in his own country do not permit the development of individuality. No one who has any self-respect stays in Ireland, but flees afar as though from a country that has undergone the visitation of an angered Jove.