Sunday, 24 October 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 131 by Linda

In Emma, Chapter 12, there is a mystery lurking for me. Maybe someone can shed some light on it for me. It seems that Emma is interjecting something to change the subject in the course of conversation. Here is the quote:

"I did not thoroughly understand what you were telling your brother," cried Emma, "about your friend Mr. Graham's intending to have a bailiff from Scotland, to look after his new estate. But will it answer? Will not the old prejudice be too strong?"

I am in the dark about the meaning of “the old prejudice be too strong”. The only thing I can think of is that the English harbor a prejudice of some kind against the Scottish. I get the sense that this must be the case, but is this really true? And if so, what is the nature of it?

Speaking of prejudices, I grew up with a certain prejudice which I overcame in my later years. What I discovered is that there is some good in the worst of us and some bad in the best of us. Also, wherever I travelled it seems that each group carried a prejudice against another group in the area. I learned to take each person on their own merit instead of simply lumping them all together. That’s my philosophy and I’m sticking to it!

I had to do a bit of research to discover what Emma meant by using the term ‘bailiff’. Wikepedia included this definition which I suspect comes closest to what she was speaking of. “Under the manorial system a bailiff was in charge of superintending the cultivation of the manor.”

So, if anyone can shed some light on this topic, I would be most grateful. And by the way, I am mostly English with one ancestor of Scottish origin and another one of German origin. No wonder I am always fighting with myself. ;-)

Yrs aff’ly,
Linda the Librarian

Pic: Kate Beckinsale's Emma

1 comment:


Some time ago that I follow this wonderful blog, up to the moment I abstained from commenting on myself because my translator was terrible and my Englishman's level unfortunately not everything good that I would like.

I expect to have improved this matter and from already visiting with more assiduity this beautiful saloncito.

PD. I declare myself an unconditional fan of the lady Austen and in general of the whole period Goergiano-Regencia-Victoriano!

Cordial kisses