1000 Years of Annoying the French by Stephen Clarke

By Stephen Clarke

Used to be the conflict of Hastings a French victory? Non! William the Conqueror used to be Norman and hated the French. have been the Brits fairly chargeable for the dying of Joan of Arc? Non! The French sentenced her to demise for donning trousers. was once the guillotine a French invention? Non! It was once invented in Yorkshire. Ten centuries' worthy of French old 'facts' chunk the airborne dirt and dust as Stephen Clarke appears at what has fairly been happening when you consider that 1066...

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You have never let the world soil you. To the world, as to myself, you have been an ideal always. ” This seeming compliment is agonizing: Robert is being loved for his rectitude, not for himself. She then goes on: “Robert, is there in your life any secret dishonor or disgrace? ” Here is true blackmail, far more sinister than the blackmail of either Mrs. Cheveley or, later, Arthur Goring. When Robert admits he would do anything rather than lose her, she forces him, immediately, to write a letter to Mrs.

The reason given for this shocking ingratitude is that Robert had heard Arthur’s praise of the woman hiding in the drawing room. Anyone who so dotes on Mrs. Cheveley cannot be worthy of his sister. Arthur, not wanting to expose Gertrude, nobly refuses to defend himself; but when Gertrude herself explain it was she, and not Mrs. Cheveley, who was supposed to be there, that final snarl is unsnarled and all is well. Or is it? How are we to understand Gertrude’s remarkable volte face? Consistency of character is the one essential quality demanded of great playwrights, for without this consistency we are left solely to the techniques of ridiculous plots where the rankest serendipity both causes and resolves all problems.

And how I worshiped you. You were to me something apart from common life, a pure thing, noble, honest, without stain. The world seemed to me finer because you were in it. . And now—oh, when I think that I made of a man like you my ideal! ” This cry of anguish from his wife allows Robert to say what is crucial to the entire dramatic point: “There was your mistake. There was your error. The error all women commit. Why can’t you women love us faults and all? Why do you place us on monstrous pedestals?

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