The following is Linda’s choice for Jane Austen quote for the 4th week. Thanks so much dear Linda for the lovely quote!
One of my favorite quotes is this passage in Persuasion where Anne…:
Persuasion, Chapter 11
This passage made me curious about the writings that Jane Austen might have read, so I began collecting the works of
I have only found a few minutes of time to glance at these, but I was amazed at what I found. Then I stumbled onto “The Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy” where I got the shock of my life on page 2 of the Preface. The Chief Justice states that:
"I had from the year 1795, more or less, read the Scriptures, but not with faith - nor as a little child - but in the pride of a Socinian spirit, and consequently I remained long in the dark."
-- Now what on earth happened to him in the year "1795" -- He met Jane!
It sounds like he began an earnest reading of the Scriptures in 1795. To be perfectly clear, let’s place the Chief Justice’s words in context from the Memoir:
“…written by himself (the Chief Justice) under the date 10th Aug., 1822:
The papers in this parcel were written at different times from the year 1816, when I first began to have any view of God’s true method of salvation for a sinner. I had from the year 1795, more or less, read the Scriptures, but not with faith - nor as a little child - but in the pride of a Socinian spirit, and consequently I remained long in the dark. As truth began to dawn I was enabled to see many things, but darkly, and therefore in these papers will be observed more or less of error; but I have preserved them, and mention the circumstances, as a testimony to the great benefit of applying with constancy to this source of all truth, and to glorify the long suffering, the tender mercy, and grace of our Lord God, and at the same time to show what it is that hinders us from reaping the blessed fruits with which the Scriptures abound, as soon as we otherwise should do – namely, leaning on our own poor though proud understandings.”
The situation could be so similar to the events with Anne's advice to Benwick in Persuasion, namely, to read more of the scriptures and how to read them, in addition to his secular studies at school. Also, his words “our own poor though proud understandings” reminds us of whom? “Proud”, oh no, not Mr. Darcy!
After reading the Memoir in its entirety, I couldn’t help but notice all the lovely and touching religious passages. I am going to stick my neck out and say that during the conversations at those country dances, Jane might have suggested to Tom the same advice that Anne gave to Benwick. For me, at least, I see a lot of “real life” in Jane’s writings that others might classify as “made up or fanciful” stuff. In my opinion, she wrote what she knew.
Linda the Librarian
Pic 1. Sally Hawkins as Anne Elliot, Persuasion, ITV 2007, from Daybookery
Pic 2. DVD cover to the 1995 Persuasion, Wikipedia