This week I have chosen a quote from Chapter 9 of Mansfield Park. Mrs Rushworth is showing Fanny, Edmund and Miss Crawford around the house and upon arriving at the chapel, there is some witty exchange between them. Edmund states:
"At any rate, it is safer to leave people to their own devices on such subjects. Everybody likes to go their own way—to chuse their own time and manner of devotion. The obligation of attendance, the formality, the restraint, the length of time—altogether it is a formidable thing, and what nobody likes; and if the good people who used to kneel and gape in that gallery could have foreseen that the time would ever come when men and women might lie another ten minutes in bed, when they woke with a headache, without danger of reprobation, because chapel was missed, they would have jumped with joy and envy."
Fanny is angered by Edmunds open and clever display of disagreement. I love this example of the chemistry between them.
I also simply love the line bolded above. Even in our modern day, I think it is still all too easy to try to please everyone all of the time and to strive to consistently meet rules and conventions. Sometimes it is nice to just be how we want to be and do what we want to do without this pressure. Choice is such a powerful thing and I think that we should sometimes not be so afraid to be free.
Pic 1: Austen Prose