Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Tom Lefroy Quote of the Week 43

Sorry for the delay in posting this week, here is Linda's quote of the week.

I am amazed every time I go to the Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy and find such information that is still relevant today.  Since I am recovering from a bout of illness, I looked up the word "sick" and found the following letter to his Wife on page 198:

Library, House of Commons

16th March, 1836

Not only every session but every day and hour increases my distaste for the course I am thrown into here, and makes me long to flee away and be at rest.  It has, however, one good effect in guarding me from the snare of falling in love with politics and making me seek for comfort in looking away from all things around and about me, and forward to the things before and above.  There, and there only, is a true resting-place for the sick and weary heart.   I join you all in the morning around the Throne of Grace, and often feel delight at the thought that though separate in the body we are joined together in the spirit.  These are the thoughts upon which my spirit rallies and my heart revives again, and is enabled to make a fresh fight against the onset of discontent.  I must hasten away to the House of Commons.

 T. L.

What really amazed me was his "distaste for the course I am thrown into here" - meaning the House of Commons.  This leads me to the "distaste" for what I find in our own Congressional House over here nowadays.  I really need to find time to read the complete Memoir.


Yrs aff'ly,

Linda the Librarian

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 279



I think that we are all plagued with the feeling that life just goes far too quickly and we are always chasing our tails, rarely able to just stop and appreciate the moment we are experiencing and it might be a moment that changes everything. When we try to reflect on an exact moment that triggered change it is often impossible.

I am picking a fantastic quote that is taken from a conversation between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, taken from chapter 60 of Pride and Prejudice:

Elizabeth's spirits soon rising to playfulness again, she wanted Mr Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with her. ``How could you begin?'' said she. ``I can comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning; but what could set you off in the first place?''

``I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.''

``My beauty you had early withstood, and as for my manners -- my behaviour to you was at least always bordering on the uncivil, and I never spoke to you without rather wishing to give you pain than not. Now be sincere; did you admire me for my impertinence?''
``For the liveliness of your mind, I did.''

I love this quote for it's romance but it also is a good reminder for us to slow down and appreciate everything for it could be gone forever and we may not have truly experienced the beauty of it in the moment.


Pic 1: Moment of love
Pic 2: Moments

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 278

Jane Bennet (Rosamund Pike) nursed by Lizzy (Keira Knightley) in PP 2005

 


Dearest Folks, Your Librarian has been "under the weather" some 2 week now, so of course, my thoughts turned to what Jane might call "sickness".   What is amazing is that she used the word "sick" just as we do, namely, meaning to "be sick of something" as in disgust, weariness etc.  She also uses it to mean "ill health".  Here are a couple of quotes from P&P to illustrate both uses.


In Chapter 20 Lizzie accuses Darcy thusly:

The fact is, that you were sick of civility, of deference, of officious attention. You were disgusted with the women who were always speaking and looking and thinking for your approbation alone.

In Chapter 8 where Jane Bennett is ill at the Bingley's, Jane is described thusly:

They solaced their wretchedness, however, by duets after supper, while he could find no better relief to his feelings than by giving his housekeeper directions that every possible attention might be paid to the sick lady and her sister.

So, I leave you with those thoughts and hoping to be completely "well" in just a few days.  Sigh.

Yrs aff'ly,
Linda the Librarian

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Tom Lefroy Quote of the Week 42





We received a very interesting email a couple of weeks ago from a man who owns the former church of St. Oswalds in Fulford, York, England. His garden is the former grave yard and he emailed us to tell us that there were two mid 19th century burials in this graveyard, captain Anthony Lefroy and his wife Elizabeth.


We have touched on Anthony Lefroy, Tom Lefroy's younger brother, before in previous quotes but here are some details below. Anthony Lefroy was born on October 19 1777 –and became a Captain in the 65th Regiment, the commission being purchased for him by his Langlois great-uncles. Anthony had a love match marriage in 1798 to Elizabeth Wilkin, she was considered undesirable due to her lack of fortune and the Langlois family refused to provide any further financial assistance. Tom Lefroy was eventually able to obtain for his brother the position of Barrack-Master, first in Arundel and later in York, where this branch of the family therefore remained. One of Anthony and Elizabeth's sons, Thomas Edward Preston Lefroy (1815-1887), married in 1846 his cousin Anna-Jemima Lefroy (daughter of Anna Austen and Benjamin Lefroy. Anthony Lefroy died on September 7th 1857. 


This story has always been interesting to us as the marriage between Anthony and Elizabeth was in 1798, this is the year that Tom Lefroy would have still had very strong feelings for Jane Austen. Given that his younger brother had married a woman of no fortune and gone against the families wishes, it would have been very difficult for Tom to also cut himself off from the family too, he would have felt a huge responsibility to "marry well" given that his second younger brother (Benjamin) was still 16 years old.




The email received recently stated:


"He was indeed the master of nearby Fulford cavalry barracks, but I have no more information regarding his tenure. The grave consists of a huge thick slab of stone
surrounded by railings. There is a full inscription of who he was and more
importantly, who his father was. It is said he married without the support of
his family, especially his rich uncle Benjamin and  subsequently lost the
support of his family. Perhaps this explains why he remained in obscurity as a
lowly captain when his brother achieved greatness. What is sure he remained true
to his wife and they stayed together until his death - she died only a few
months later."



We have asked whether a photograph can be sent with the inscription and we will be sure to post it if we do receive.


I think that this story demonstrates that true love and following your heart always wins in the end.



Pic: True Love


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 277

Hayley Atwell as Mary Crawford, Mansfield Park 2007

I received an email a few days ago that brought me disappointment. It was announcing the result of a long-awaited funding proposal result, which turned out to be negative. It was the second time I tried for this donor, and I still failed. I do see that their arguments in rejecting my proposal were valid, and I am determined to improve it for the next time. However, I am still disappointed.

Then I looked for Jane Austen's advice for disappointment, and I found this below, from Mansfield Park chapter 5. I think Rachel has posted this quote a while ago (spoken by Mary Crawford), but since it resonates with my heart at the moment, I choose to repost it here.

"...you see but half. You see the evil, but you do not see the consolation. There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere."

I hope if you do encounter disappointments, you will find the silver lining and move on. Try again, or try another thing, and move on.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 276



My partner and I just returned from a walk up the hill sort of behind our house, about 35 minutes up and 25 minutes down, with extra time to arrive there which took us in total two hours of a healthy walking regime.  My legs and ankles are very sore at the moment, but I enjoyed the walk (okay, I panted and struggled to breathe, but I still thought it was a good exercise). Then I thought about Austen heroines and characters who loved walking or doing any physical exercises, and my mind naturally wondered to Elizabeth Bennet and her walking three miles to Netherfield to visit her sister.

Keira Knightley as Lizzy Bennet (PP 2005) having a walk


Hence, here’s the excerpt from Pride and Prejudice Chapter 7. Elizabeth, upon learning that Jane was ill, set to Netherfield, accompanied by Catherine and Lydia until Meryton (the other two also loved walking, especially due to the prospect of meeting young, handsome officers in scarlet coats at the said destination). But of course, not before dear Mrs Bennet’s objection.

``How can you be so silly,'' cried her mother, ``as to think of such a thing, in all this dirt! You will not be fit to be seen when you get there.''

``I shall be very fit to see Jane -- which is all I want.''

``Is this a hint to me, Lizzy,'' said her father, ``to send for the horses?''

``No, indeed. I do not wish to avoid the walk. The distance is nothing, when one has a motive; only three miles. I shall be back by dinner.''

``I admire the activity of your benevolence,'' observed Mary, ``but every impulse of feeling should be guided by reason; and, in my opinion, exertion should always be in proportion to what is required.''

``We will go as far as Meryton with you,'' said Catherine and Lydia. -- Elizabeth accepted their company, and the three young ladies set off together.

``If we make haste,'' said Lydia, as they walked along, ``perhaps we may see something of Captain Carter before he goes.''

In Meryton they parted; the two youngest repaired to the lodgings of one of the officers' wives, and Elizabeth continued her walk alone, crossing field after field at a quick pace, jumping over stiles and springing over puddles with impatient activity, and finding herself at last within view of the house, with weary ancles, dirty stockings, and a face glowing with the warmth of exercise.


I wondered how long did it take for Elizabeth to reach Netherfield. A little over an hour?
So, how is your Sunday so far? Any exciting exercise? Or reading your favourite book? Or watching a long-awaited movie at the local theatre? Whatever it has been, I hope you enjoy this weekend.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 275


I have developed a keen interest in the term "Lady" - with a capital "L".   My present path began with a post at the Republic of Pemberley by a friend of mine, namely "Line".  We met some 11 years ago in Cape Cod at a RoP conference.  You may read her post and the replies here:  What distinguishes a Lady? 
 
Her post led me to another blog post by fellow Pemberlian, TimLee, and you can read that post here:  Ladies vs. Women.  The replies he received are very interesting also.
 
During all that reading I found a Wikipedia article of interest here:  Cult of Domesticity which explains a lot of the history of the word "Lady".
 
To top all of that off, I proceeded to look into our Jane's writings to see if she used the term "lady/ladies".  She surely did!  And I will quote only one instance from "Persuasion", chapter 26.  The surrounding story is involved so I won't give all the details, and just quote the main section with the use of 'ladies':
 
The party separated. The gentlemen had their own pursuits, the ladies proceeded on their own business, and they met no more while Anne belonged to them.
 
You may notice that she uses the term 'gentlemen' and 'ladies' in the same sentence.  Now here is the hard part.  I have a lot of the above information to digest and sort out and it will take a while.  So I will make this post a "Part One" on the term "Lady".
 
And please feel free to join in with your thoughts on this subject.
 




















Yrs aff'ly,  Linda the Librarian
 
 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Tom Lefroy Quote of the Week 41

For MH17 with love

I once posted this quote below in September 2010 as a sign of respect to a friend of a friend. Now, it seems - sadly - I need to post it again here. It's not even the turn for a Tom Lefroy quote (FYI, Rachel and Linda), but I cannot help it. I need to post this quote here again...

From The Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy page 386, the young Tom Lefroy (son of Thomas Langlois Lefroy) recalled the last moments of his late father’s life.

To the last he retained a cheerful and patient endurance under suffering which often elicited the astonishment and admiration of those who attended upon his sickness. I remember in his last illness (only two days before he was taken from us), after he had spent a very wearisome night from want of sleep, and great oppression of breathing, we closed the window-shutters in the morning, in the hope of his getting some sleep; just then the physician for whom an express had been sent, arrived from Dublin. After feeling his pulse, the doctor asked whether it would annoy him if the window-shutters were opened for a moment, when he replied with a cheerful smile, “not at all, doctor, I always like to have light thrown upon a subject.”

Thomas Langlois Lefroy welcomed the last moments of his life with great courage and - dare I say, peace. I wish, I hope, it was also the case for the 298 people onboard Malaysian Airlines MH17 that was shut down over eastern Ukraine last Thursday (17 July 2014). Those lives that ended too short, too cruelly...


I certainly have my opinions about that matter, including who the responsible party is. But here, I just want to extend my prayers, that in their last moments, those innocent lives on board the plane were in peace. That they were courageous, and even if they were afraid, calm and peace immediately took over, and they left this world swiftly, in bliss.

And for their loved ones who remain on Earth, may they find warmth, love and support within them and all around them to continue living, as those who left them would have wanted them to. That the bodies of their loved ones be returned home a.s.a.p. for the final respectful rest they deserve.

And for us all who remain here, may we find the love, forgiveness and courage to work together for peace. True peace and harmony based on understanding and respect, not just so that we have no conflict. 

Amen.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 274

I hope you have all had a good week.


This week I realised that I have been working really hard with little thought for myself and no time taken to relax and reflect. I always seem to be chasing my tail rather than actually stopping and enjoying the moment. It led me to consider what I love and what makes me relax. Music is the best remedy to any stress, and the best tool to relax both the body and the mind, and make you happy. I was thinking about Emma and dancing and I found this quote from Chapter 38:


"In another moment a happier sight caught her -- Mr. Knightley leading Harriet to the set! Never had she been more surprised, seldom more delighted, than at that instant. She was all pleasure and gratitude, both for Harriet and herself, and longed to be thanking him; and though too distant for speech, her countenance said much, as soon as she could catch his eye again.
    His dancing proved to be just what she had believed it, extremely good; and Harriet would have seemed almost too lucky, if it had not been for the cruel state of things before, and for the very complete enjoyment and very high sense of the distinction which her happy features announced. It was not thrown away on her, she bounded higher than ever, flew farther down the middle, and was in a continual course of smiles."


It of course helps if you are with a partner who can dance! This point in the novel is one of the turning points for Emma and Mr Knightley.





Have a calm weekend, and take some time for yourselves to do what you love.




Pic: Emma and Mr Knightley

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Tom Lefroy Quote of the Week 40

Since July 4th is a National Holiday here in the US, I thought to see if the word "holiday" appeared in the Memoir. It did indeed and the context makes us love Tom all the more because it gives us a sense of his character that is really good, and unfortunately not to be found in the men of my acquaintance. Sigh. In Chapter 12 of the Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy we find:

"To the inner circle of his family, and those who enjoyed the privilege of frequent intercouse with him, I feel that any memorial of him would be wanting which omitted to notice his unalterable cheerfulness under the little every-day crosses of life. Though the shadow of a cloud might flit past, it seemed as if it could never long obscure the sunshine of his temper or his countenance. If a wet day interfered with some cherished plan for a holiday excursion (and he retained to the very last an almost childlike enjoyment of such occasions) we were sure soon to hear some such remark as "well, only think of the good this gracious rain will do in the country,"...

How nice it would be to see such a positive attitude on a daily basis. It would surely make life a lot more pleasant.

Yrs aff'ly,

Linda the Librarian

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 273

Anthony Head as Sir Walter Elliot, BBC
I watched Persuasion 2007 last night and it prompted me to search for the quote from Persuasion, which seems to be my favourite Austen book after all. The quote is from Volume II, Chapter V, when Anne was about to visit her friend Mrs Smith at Westgate, and her "darling" father made a gigantic protest out of it for fear it would pollute the air of Camden Place, as Lady Catherine de Bourgh would no doubt put it.


"Westgate-buildings!' said he; "and who is Miss Anne Elliot to be visiting in Westgate-buildings?--A Mrs. Smith. A widow Mrs. Smith,--and who was her husband? One of five thousand Mr. Smiths whose names are to be met with every where. And what is her attraction? That she is old and sickly.--Upon my word, Miss Anne Elliot, you have the most extraordinary taste! Every thing that revolts other people, low company, paltry rooms, foul air, disgusting associations are inviting to you. But surely, you may put off this old lady till to-morrow. She is not so near her end, I presume, but that she may hope to see another day. What is her age? Forty?"


Well, thank you, Sir Walter, for suggesting that life is no more for a forty years old woman. I am very grateful that I live in the 21st century where we women enjoy not only a more equal education and opportunities, but also freedom to thrive and reach for our dreams in our forties. In fact, I am forty years old now, and I enjoy being at my current age.

And I'd like to know what Sir Walter would say had he had the honour to meet our dearest Linda, who is still galloping around the USA despite being much older than him. Linda dearest, what would you say to dear Sir Walter if you have the "honour" to meet his modern version?...I'm sure you will give him a good piece of your mind.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 272

Sorry for the delay in posting.

I have recently been doing an introduction to counselling course and it has been really eye-opening for me personally. We have covered very basic principles such as active listening and questioning but becoming conscious of these things and how we use them in everyday interaction has become really interesting.

I chose to look at communication in relation to some of our favourite novels and I was considering which characters are best to quote. My first is Lydia Bennett as she always has made me chuckle at her inability to listen and her total inappropriateness in communicating. The second quote is a favourite extract on this blog - the letter from Frederick Wentworth to Anne Elliot in Persuasion.

From Pride and Prejudice Chapter 39 Lydia Bennett is talking to Jane and Elizabeth and demonstrating her total lack of tact and comical communication.



``Now I have got some news for you,'' said Lydia as they sat down to table. ``What do you think? It is excellent news, capital news, and about a certain person that we all like.'' Jane and Elizabeth looked at each other, and the waiter was told that he need not stay. Lydia laughed, and said, ``Aye, that is just like your formality and discretion. You thought the waiter must not hear, as if he cared! I dare say he often hears worse things said than I am going to say. But he is an ugly fellow! I am glad he is gone. I never saw such a long chin in my life. Well, but now for my news: it is about dear Wickham; too good for the waiter, is not it? There is no danger of Wickham's marrying Mary King. There's for you! She is gone down to her uncle at Liverpool; gone to stay. Wickham is safe.''


The next quote is the perfect love letter from Frederick Wentworth to Anne taken from Chapter 23 in Persuasion. I used this for a valentines quote this year but I love it so using it again! Our other references on the blog have omitted the first line but this time its the most pertinent part related to communication. As part of the counselling training we have had to do numerous role plays just active listening with no use of language, it is so difficult, but incredibly effective to nurture a person to speak. Frederick Wentworth is feeling the frustrations of not being able to say what he is thinking and in this scenario it is magical when he does.



“I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W."


Pic: Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth