Kingsblood Royal, by Sinclair Lewis

Chapter 50

She was the Little Woman of the Ages, very pleasant and kind, helpful to the ambitions of her husband and the boys, and many of them were very bad ambitions. She made cookies for the neighborhood children and listened fondly to foolish serials on the radio; she was a good church-worker and a willing neighbor. She believed everything that her minister, her congressman and the secret anarch who invents the fashions in shoes and cosmetics told her, and it is she who has licensed and justified all the ravenous armies, all the pompous churches and courts and universities and good society, all the wars and misery since time was.

The Little Woman of the Ages spoke, and she said, “I don’t know anything about anthropology and ethnology and biology and all that silly highbrow junk, and you can say what you like and quote all these long books, but I tell you there’s a darky family lives right down the alley from us where they keep goats, and I know and I’m telling you that the darkies ARE inferior to us, and I’m not going to have ’em working in any store or bank or office where I have to go. I’m sure I wish ’em all the good luck in the world, as long as they stay in their places. And folks that say the colored folks are just like you and me — why should I pay any attention to ignorant talk like that — they don’t really believe a word they say.

“I am the Little Woman of the Ages, and my dainty foot is upon all thrones and swords and mitres; for my nice little voice are all songs made, and for my delight on lonely evenings all stories told; nations shall not assemble nor men and women love nor labor save by such bonds and ceremonies and complexions as are approved in the holy laws that I learned from my father, who was a wonderful man, and if he were alive today, he simply would not stand for all this nonsense that a lot of irresponsible people seem to be spreading around, and who learned the laws from his mother who had them from her pastor who had them from his bishop who had them from his mother who had them from her spiritualist medium to whom they were handed during a trance in which the medium talked with God in person.

“You can say what you like, but Italians are tricky and Okies are shiftless and Negroes are lazy and Jews are too smart and a world-government is against human nature and against all the principles laid down by George Washington, and I don’t want to hear any more such wicked nonsense, and I, who am Hertha and Isis and Ashtaroth and the recording secretary of the D.A.R., proclaim that when all civilization flattens out in the universal propriety of death, then everything will be nice and respectable everywhere, and there won’t be any more of this trying to be smart and show off with such silly talk, and now let’s have another nice cup of coffee and say nothing more about it.”

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:57