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The Middle-Aged Woman

By Davis, Rebecca Harding

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Book Id: WPLBN0000016185
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.5 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: The Middle-Aged Woman  
Author: Davis, Rebecca Harding
Language: English
Subject: Literature, Literature & thought, Writing.
Collections: Classic Literature Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: World Ebook Library


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Davis, R. H. (n.d.). The Middle-Aged Woman. Retrieved from

CHOOSE any artist that you know — the one with the kindliest nature and the finest perceptions — and ask him to give you his idea of the genius of the commonplace, and any word for it, he paints you a middle-aged woman. The thing, he will say, proves itself. Here is a creature jogging on leisurely at midday in the sight of all men along a well-tramped road. The mists of dawn are far behind her; she has not yet reached the shadows of evening. The softness and blushes, and shy, sparkling glances of the girl she was, have long been absorbed into muddy thick skin, sodden outlines, rational eyes. There are crows' feet at either temple, and yellowish blotches on the flesh below the soggy under-jaw. Her chestnut-brown hair used to warm and glitter in the sun, and after a few years it will make a white crown upon her head, a sacred halo to her children; but just now it is stiff with a greasy hair dye, and is of an unclean and indescribable hue. Young girls, with that misty dawn about them, may lack both beauty and wit; but there is a charm in their fresh untainted homeliness, in the ardor of their foolishness. They pour forth their thoughts in silly school essays, and they seem to run no deeper than roses and moonlight and eternal friendships. They talk all day long about their lovers and pretty finery, and we listen with delight to it all, and do not ask for common sense any more than we would in the chatter of the swallows building their nests. It is the fresh morning air which blows about them and revives us. It is because they bear white shields of expectation....

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