Saturday, 12 July 2008

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 12

I am so torn this week - I have a handful of amazing quotes to post - but I have decided to go with Mary Crawford and Mansfield Park.


“My dear Miss Price,” said Miss Crawford, as soon as she was at all within hearing, “I am come to make my own apologies for keeping you waiting; but I have nothing in the world to say for myself-I knew it was very late, and that I was behaving extremely ill; and therefore, if you please, you must forgive me. Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure.” - Mansfield Park, (Penguin Red 2006), Volume I, Chapter 7, Page 70.

Not to be on a moral soapbox here, for I have hundreds of vices of my own, but there are two vices I particularly hate - nastiness and selfishness. Nastiness, because deliberate intention to hurt other people is just evil, and acute selfishness because it unnecessarily impacts so many people.
I love Mary's "selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure". This is so interesting! As a rule of thumb I have always thought that truly selfish people do not realise they are selfish, or the extent of their selfishness and its effect on others. I wonder if Mary is jokingly acknowledging she is "cutely selfish" without realising the full extent of her self-centeredness? What do you think?

As for "no hope of a cure", this I agree with. 1) If a selfish person does not realise their selfishness, why would they change? 2) Of course, anyone can change, but they have to want to themselves - no earthly person can make them change. So then you can have the cycle of person #1 telling #2 they are selfish, and number #2 denies it ... and so it goes. But of course, there are exceptions to everything. The above scenario is what I have personally observed over and over agin, and so Mary's quote really rang true. :)

Pic: Mary & Henry Crawford Stamp from: Collect GB Stamps

3 comments:

Rachel said...

Thanks Michelle and what a wonderful picture!! I have never seen this before.
Surely the most selfish people are the ones that know that they are being selfish?
As you say its a very interesting cycle.....isnt the study of human behaviour just mind boggling?!

Icha said...

Michelle, thanks a lot! For the quote and also taking care of the week's quote, as it should have been mine, but I was so entangled with real world affairs, hence was late with posting!

And I think Mary Crawford (the 1999 version) is a very lovely female antagonist. She's on the verge of annoying, but still makes me like her --well, the actress, actually.

And though I don't like selfishness, I can't help to say (again) how JA has captured perfectly human nature here. Superb example of a selfish person, Miss Crawford is.

Maria said...

Hi ladies. Rain and thunder made sit down by the computer and make another bj-fanvid. check it out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2sWTI_3_A0

hugs and kisses