“Why, the capacity to spend endless time with dull women- to spend it, I won’t say without being bored, but without minding that they are, without being driven off at a tangent by it; which comes to the same thing. I am your dull woman, a part of the daily bread for which you pray at church. That covers your tracks more than anything.”
“The Beast in the Jungle.” In The Better Sort. New York: Scribner, 1903. Internet Archive. http://archive.org/details/bettersort00jamegoog. 208-209
I found this passage funny, how women are part of men’s daily penance and yet “save” men or cover up their tracks.