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Astonishing pertinacity


tenacious, steadfast / Oct. 2007

I like the sound of this word. Pertinacity. I found it in the following passage where the social activist and champion of women's rights, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, is writing about a trip to France in 1892:

“At Jacournassy, the country seat of Mme. Berry, whose daughter my son Theodore married, I spent a month full of surprises. How everything differed from America, and even from the plain below! The peasants, many of them at least, can neither speak French nor understand it. Their language is a patois, resembling both Spanish and Italian, and they cling to it with astonishing pertinacity. Their agricultural implements are not less quaint than their speech. The plow is a long beam with a most primitive share in the middle, a cow at one end, and a boy at the other. The grain is cut with a sickle and threshed with a flail on the barn floor, as in Scripture times. Manure is scattered over the fields with the hands. There was a certain pleasure in studying these old-time ways. I caught glimpses of the anti-revolutionary epoch, when the king ruled the state and the nobles held the lands. Here again I saw, as never before, what vast strides the world has made within one century. ”
~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton, writing in her memoir: EIGHTY YEARS AND MORE REMINISCENCES 1815-1897


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