June 27, 2006

"Nothing is of so much importance and of so much use to a young man entering life as to be well criticized by women."

That's a quote from Benjamin Disraeli, "man of fashion, satiric novelist, twice Prime Minister, and the dominant figure of the Conservative Party in Britain from 1846 until his death, in 1881." Adam Gopnik has a good piece about him in The New Yorker. Don't you love quotes like that? Startling, chewable, likeable even without the ring of truth.

10 comments:

Buddy Larsen said...

Disraeli was right--at that age, in the mating game, if you're liked you can do no wrong, if you're not liked, you can do no right.

The trick, looking back on it (and regretting lost loves) is to realize that one day's charming irresponsibilty is the next day's useless frivolity, depending on when she stops seeing you as Mr Fun and starts seeing you as Mr Dad.

And this of course is how it must be, or we wouldn't even be here.

Goesh said...

My Mother used to boss us boys around. She used to make us clean the whole upstairs including waxing the floors and dusting and she made us learn to sew and cook and do dishes and laundry and said we were not going to live like pigs when we got out on our own. When we got some size and muscle on us, we quit taking orders from her but we never resented her for what she taught us. She would grab a fly-swat and shake it at us and we would take it from her, bend it in half, hand it back to her and run out of the house. She couldn't stop us once we got big enough. She used to stand at the bottom of the steps when we were up there cleaning and block us from running outside. We even once tried to gang-rush her but to no avail, but we kept growing and getting bigger.

Ricardo said...

Maybe the point he was trying to make (with a little humor) is that women are habitually more critical than men, so men might as well get used to it at a young age, if men are to survive in the grown up world.

Or, in other words: "Get them young, and train them."

Ricardo said...

And I'm surprised that you didn't use this quote, from later in the article:

"In America, the conservatism in power is rooted in three of the things he most despised: unquestioning faith in the free market, public displays of narrow religiosity (he called ritualism in church “high jinks”), and wars fought for the moral improvement of foreigners."

Hypatia 370 said...

I mentioned this quote to a few men in my path this morning. Two of them -- college boys -- are pissed off at me, shooting the messenger as it were. "That's crap. That guy must have been doing crack. Where's the coffee?" Another returned afterwards to tell me Disraeli was either brilliant or misled, but not both. My favorite guy said he wondered who the women were in Almodóvar's life.

Ok.

As to quotable quotes...

I've lost the attribution, but have always enjoyed this for it's chewy factor: “Only no money and new money talk about money.”

Right.

I suppose the words "investment",
"inheritance", and "my new Gulfstream 550" don't count?

andthenblammo! said...

“Nothing is of so much importance and of so much use to a young man entering life as to be well criticized by women."

Well, Ann, I hope quxxo appreciates all you're trying to do for him. Someday.

R C Dean said...

I suspect that what Disraeli was really commenting on wasn't how important and useful it is to be hectored by women, as how universal and apparently inevitable it seems to be.

Buddy Larsen said...

Could be, too, that by "criticized" he meant something different than our modern useage.

Substitute "discussed"and it changes radically.

DBrooks said...

If that comment was true, I would be a God by now.

Rick Lee said...

I think this is a great quote. All my life I've been embarrassed to look back at myself and the crass things I didn't know I was doing until a good woman pointed them out. My guy friends certainly would not have pointed them out.