In Chapter 10 of Emma we find Harriet and Emma out walking and Emma had a charitable visit to pay to a poor sick family who lived a little way out of Highbury. Several topics are discussed and then we come to this:
They were now approaching the cottage, and all idle topics were superseded. Emma was very compassionate; and the distresses of the poor were as sure of relief from her personal attention and kindness, her counsel and her patience, as from her purse. She understood their ways, could allow for their ignorance and their temptations, had no romantic expectations of extraordinary virtue from those, for whom education had done so little; entered into their troubles with ready sympathy, and always gave her assistance with as much intelligence as good-will.
If only the whole world could act as Emma did with understanding and support, it would be a better place. There would be no need for all those government programs. I can remember way back in my younger days when our community did just that. We took care of our own.
End of today’s sermon.
Yrs most aff’ly,
Linda the Librarian
Pic: Emma Woodhouse (Kate Beckinsale) and Harriet Smith (Samantha Morton) from Emma 1996, from Jimandellen