Saturday, March 31, 2012

Chesterton for March XXXI

I begin with a little girl's hair. That I know is a good thing at any rate. Whatever else is evil, the pride of a good mother in the beauty of her daughter is good. It is one of those adamantine tendernesses which are the touchstones of every age and race. If other things are against it, other things must go down. If landlords and laws and sciences are against it, landlords and laws and sciences must go down. With the red hair of one she-urchin in the gutter I will set fire to all modern civilization. Because a girl should have long hair, she should have clean hair; because she should have clean hair, she should not have an unclean home: because she should not have an unclean home, she should have a free and leisured mother; because she should have a free mother, she should not have an usurious landlord; because there should not be an usurious landlord, there should be a redistribution of property; because there should be a redistribution of property, there shall be a revolution. That little urchin with the gold-red hair, whom I have just watched toddling past my house, she shall not be lopped and lamed and altered; her hair shall not be cut short like a convict's; no, all the kingdoms of the earth shall be hacked about and mutilated to suit her. She is the human and sacred image; all around her the social fabric shall sway and split and fall; the pillars of society shall be shaken, and the roofs of ages come rushing down, and not one hair of her head shall be harmed.

Source: What's Wrong with the World


  1. Cat Hodge8:43 AM

    This is a lovely and admirable sentiment, but I suspect Chesterton's knowledge of little girl hair was purely aesthetic and theoretical, since to my practiced eye his writing doesn't reflect the practical aspects of fighting with a howling lass while trying to coax the tangles out of her long hair. Perhaps this means that I am not free and leisured enough, though that's not the fault of the usurious landlord.

  2. branemrys8:44 AM

    Yes, it does seem to be the sort of sentiment that would be easier to someone who was just watching a little girl walk by the house rather than having to deal with her on a constant basis!

  3. branemrys8:41 AM

    I must be more distracted than I thought; I only just now caught the point that you weren't making a general comment but talking about haircuts. (slaps forehead)


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