The manly man is never timid. Timidity is like living half a life, or less, for it inhibits action, and men must act. It also clouds thinking with trifles and obsessions, cluttering up the intellect: men must also think. Timidity is a euphemism for fear. It requires the euphemism because timidity is fear of life itself. It is a bedfellow of shame.
Naturally, one must not ride roughshod over politeness. All those moments of inaction and indecisiveness in Jane Austen’s corpus occur for good reason. But they do not ultimately put permanent hindrances before her heroes, for where they do, it amounts to character flaw. The impolite man acts without thinking, and duly makes trouble. He is the opposite of timid: the bull at the gate; the Tuppy Glossop, if you will. The bookish man thinks without acting, and is duly ignored. He does not enter the world sufficiently to be concerned with such things. A well-measured dose each of consideration and execution, laced with a healthy portion of confidence, makes for the ideal type.
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