Saturday, 7 February 2009

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 42

I really uhmmed and ahhed over my quote this month - it is so hard to pick just one out of Jane's wealth of wisdom and all-around awesomeness. But this week my quote is from Mansfield Park, and I've chosen it just because I love it. ;)

The quote is from chapter 42. Fanny Price has been shipped back to Portsmouth, and is deep in coversation with the persistant Henry Crawford, who is pressing/flattering Fanny up a storm:

(Henry) '... Shall I go? Do you advise it?'

'I advise! - you know very well what is right.'

'Yes. When you give me your opinion, I always know what is right. Your judgment is my rule of right.'

'Oh, no! - do not say so. We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be. Good bye ...'

Mansfield Park, Chapter 24

Ah Fanny, what a beautiful brush-off.

But isn't it a fantastic and thought-provoking statement? I am always struck by Jane's frequent comments regarding personal conscience / responsibility for ones self, etc (although now pressed I can't think of a handful of the bat), but my choice this week was partly inspired by Linda's earlier quote from Pride & Prejudice: 'That is a question which I hardly know how to answer. We all love to instruct, though we can teach only what is not worth knowing.'

I think what the character's are saying here in P&P relate back to Fanny's statement - that there are some things we need to decide in our hearts, for ourselves - that no one can make that choice for us, or instruct us what to do (life choices, moral choices, etc) - the conscience must guide - does this make sense? (It has been a ridiculous day ...)

Anyway - they are ideas I like to think about. Thank you Jane!

Have a great week, friends. :)

Pic: Fanny & Henry in Mansfield Park 1999 (yes, this pic is contrary to what the quote is getting at, but how hard to find Fanny & Henry pics online!) from: Jim and Ellen


Anonymous said...

Taking Michelle’s thought of “…the conscience must guide…” one step further to possibly explain “…a better guide in ourselves…” let me offer the following from a Christian religious point of view a la Jane Austen.

The ‘better guide’ could refer to the Holy Spirit who abides in us. Sometimes we refer to Him as the ‘still, small voice’. I can relate to that on a personal level in that I believe I really heard that ‘still, small voice’ once in my life. Since I was raised as a good Southern Baptist who was not part of the Charismatic movement who were into all the varied manifestations of the Holy Spirit, I adhered to my English reserve character traits and have only mentioned this phenomenon to very few people in my life time. I believe Jane Austen would have been aware of the working of the Holy Spirit due to her exposure to the Holy Bible.

Having this further explanation of this quote, also sheds some light on my quote Michelle referred to ‘though we can teach only what is not worth knowing’. In other words what we do teach may not be the best that should be taught since we do not have total Truth.

There you have my two pence at any rate. And Maria, that illness bug must be traveling the world. Hope you all get better. We are making progress ever so slowly.

Love to all,
Linda the Librarian

Anonymous said...

.....what else to say?? beautiful line...!

Adriana Sales Zardini said...

Girls, your blog is fabulous!! thanks!!

Adriana Zardini

Icha said...

Sorry dearest Michelle, the sea and weather have been rough up north, I didn't have enough e-time. But hey...

We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.

Jane did it again! What a great quote, and I agree 100%! Oh, totally agree! We should always have time to sit calmly and quietly and listen to that very tiny voice within us that can never go wrong...

Adriana, sorry that I can't speak and read Spanish (that's Spanish, right?), but your blog is amazing too! I am in love with Scent and Sensitivity already! Bwahahaha! I always LOVE Miss Piggy! Love Stinks, bwahahaha! Thanks for visiting us, dear friend, and welcome!