Saturday, 31 October 2009

Quote of the Week – Week 80

This week’s quote popped up when, in the Emma euphoria, I randomly opened Emma (Penguin Classics, 2003, Chapter 43) for inspiration. It was during the Box Hill picnic when Frank Churchill gaily flirted with Emma Woodhouse, who said to him:

“It is hotter to-day.”

“Not to my feelings. I am perfectly comfortable to-day.”

“You are comfortable because you are under command.”

Your command? –Yes.”

“Perhaps I intended you to say so, but I meant self-command. You had, somehow or other, broken bounds yesterday, and run away from your own management; but to-day you are got back again – and as I cannot be always with you, it is best to believe your temper under your own command rather than mine.”

This time, the often unwise Miss Woodhouse was correct. We are comfortable when we are under our own self-command. Another, modern, way of saying it: When we are fully in charge of our lives. There is an old saying: ‘we cannot change the way the wind blows, but we can always adjust the sails’? Whoever said that, he/she too, was right.

Pic: Emma Woodhouse (Romola Garai) and Frank Churchill (Rupert Evans) ‘flirted together excessively’ in Emma 2009, from Enchanted Serenity Period Films

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