valentine wannop

8

I t ’ s  t h e  b e g i n n i n g  o f  t h e  l o n g e s t  d a y, the summer solstice. Sistere and sol, because the sun seems to stand still. We got through the night. My dear, it couldn’t have lasted forever. But you’re a good man. Very clever. Y o u ’ l l  m a k e  i t  t h r o u g h.

Men, at any rate, never fulfilled expectations. They might, upon acquaintance, turn out more entertaining than they appeared; but almost always taking up with a man was like reading a book you had read when you had forgotten that you had read it. You had not been for ten minutes in any sort of intimacy with any man before you had said: ‘But I’ve read all this before…’ You knew the opening, you were already bored by the middle, and, especially, you knew the end….
—  Ford Madox Ford talking reality in “Parade’s End”
Upon my soul!’ Tietjens said to himself, ‘that girl down there is the only intelligent living soul I’ve met for years.’ A little pronounced in manner sometimes; faulty in reasoning naturally, but quite intelligent, with a touch of wrong accent now and then. But if she was wanted anywhere, there she’d be! Of good stock, of course: on both sides! But positively, she ans Sylvia were the only two human beings he had met for years whom he could respect: the one for sheer efficiency in killing; the other for having the constructive desire and knowing how set about it. Kill or cure! The two functions of man. If you wanted something killed you’d go to Sylvia Tietjens in sure faith that she would kill it: emotion, hope, ideal; kill it quick and sure. If you wanted something kept alive you’d go to Valentine: she’s find something to do for it… . The two types of mind: remorseless enemy, sure screen, dagger … sheath!
—  Ford Madox Ford,  Parade’s End