Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Fantastic Quote from Phantastes

I've finally picked up Phantastes, by George MacDonald, a book that was highly influential in the life of C. S. Lewis, and found a quote well worth passing on. MacDonald is speaking, through a helpful female character, about a dangerous temptress:

"I cannot quite tell," she said, "but I am sure she would not look so beautiful if she did not take means to make herself look more beautiful than she is. And then, you know, you began by being in love with her before you saw her beauty, mistaking her for the lady of the marble - another kind altogether, I should think. But the chief thing that makes her beautiful is this: that, although she loves no man, she loves the love of any man; and when she finds one in her power, her desire to bewitch him and gain his love (not for the sake of his love either, but that she may be conscious anew of her own beauty, through the admiration he manifests), makes her very lovely - with a self-destructive beauty, though; for it is that which is constantly wearing her away within, till, at last, the decay will reach her face, and her whole front, when all the lovely mask of nothing will fall to pieces, and she be vanished for ever.
This sounds much like some empty modern women I could picture.

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