Sunday, 29 August 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 123

My apologies for the rather late installment for this week's quote. I originally wanted to pull something from the Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy, but after contemplating, I chose another quote from Emma, chapter 21 when Mr Woodhouse was contemplating the pleasant evening they just had.

"I hope every body had a pleasant evening," said Mr. Woodhouse, in his quiet way. "I had. Once, I felt the fire rather too much; but then I moved back my chair a little, a very little, and it did not disturb me. Miss Bates was very chatty and good-humoured, as she always is, though she speaks rather too quick. However, she is very agreeable, and Mrs. Bates too, in a different way. I like old friends; and Miss Jane Fairfax is a very pretty sort of young lady, a very pretty and a very well-behaved young lady indeed. She must have found the evening agreeable, Mr. Knightley, because she had Emma."

"True, sir; and Emma, because she had Miss Fairfax."

Emma saw his anxiety, and wishing to appease it, at least for the present, said, and with a sincerity which no one could question --

"She is a sort of elegant creature that one cannot keep one's eyes from. I am always watching her to admire; and I do pity her from my heart."

We all know that Emma is jealous of Jane Fairfax, and perhaps for a good reason for everyone always loves to talk about Jane's merits. Being a rather spoiled (but actually golden-hearted) girl, Emma forgets that everyone has his/her own merits. 'Just' because everyone is praising Jane Fairfax, doesn't mean that she has nothing to be proud of. If anything, Emma's desire to mend the fences after insulting Miss Bates is something of a good quality for her. Also her willingness to (eventually) listen to Mr Knightley (albeit grudgingly). Emma's tremendous care and love for her father is something that caught my attention as well.

I guess what I want to say is, there was a reason for me picking this quote too. I have a tendency to compare myself with others, and unwillingly get jealous of him/her. I am now trying to learn to admit other's positive characteristics and talents... while at the same time also try to understand that I also have good things that I can contribute to others. For everyone is unique and has his/her own place in this world.

Does it make sense? I hope it makes sense...

Pic: 2009 Jane Fairfax and Emma Woodhouse (Romola Garai)

Friday, 20 August 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week - Week 122

We were deliberating whether we should keep these quote of the week dedicated to words only written by Jane Austen but we thought that it would be ok, on occasion and not too regularly, to include quotes made by other prominant people in Jane's life. So who better to start with than Tom Lefroy.

This is taken from a letter he wrote to his wife Mary in 1801. It is written in his memoirs, page 29 - 30. The title of the letter is: To His Wife (Mountrath, Friday night).

"I do not say that we are to extinguish the affections which belong to the different relations of life; on the contrary, by the pure and sincere exercise of them, selfishness is in some degree extinguished, but the gratification arising from the most delightful of these affections should not form the stay, and hope, and prop of life. No; therein consists the excess and the abuse: but I’ll say no more on this head, lest you should tell me that nothing but my vanity could suggest the necessity of sermonizing you in this manner. I own, however, it is grounded on a conviction that the sensibility and devotedness of my darling wife’s attachment to a certain degree impair her own enjoyment. But, remember, I am not willing to part with the least atom of it to any earthly object; whatever of it ought to be pruned away, let it be transplanted to that region where we may hope and trust to enjoy it in bliss unfading."
I think that this quote lends to lots of different interpretations. I think that it is clear to say that he knows what love means. I like to believe he is saying that love is ultimate selflessness and is aiming to distinguish between the short term gratifications arising from a lustful relationship and the long term foundations which develop a truly loving relationship. He goes on to state that Mary is obviously a highly devoted and attentive wife and he fears that her own enjoyment is impaired by such actions. He does not want her regard for him to diminish, only for it to be translated to another form in which they both can enjoy it forever.

I think that this quote demonstrates his awareness of matters of the heart. My interpretation may be very different from others so I welcome comments and alternatives.

Pic: Tom Lefroy

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Mariana's UK videos

The followings are Mariana's YouTube videos she made based on her recent trip to UK. This is an excerpt of her note:

"I’ve only started to learn how to use Windows Movie Maker the week before leaving on vacation. These are my first videos, nothing really fancy, just a compilation of the pictures and short clips I captured/recorded during my journey and wanted to share them with you. Icha my dear, these videos are especially dedicated to you. I truly hope and wish in the near future you will be able to make this journey, not only through my eyes or the help of Internet."

Hope you enjoy the video as much as I do!

From London to Alton:


The Bakehose and the Garden

The House - the Drawing Room

Thank you so much Mariana!

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 121

Inspired by the meeting between Rachel and Mariana last week, this week I chose a quote about friendship. From Northanger Abbey chapter 4 when Catherine was anxiously waiting for Mr. Tilney to arrive at the Pump Room, yet his presence was nowhere to be found.

The whole being explained, many obliging things were said by the Miss Thorpes of their wish of being better acquainted with her; of being considered as already friends, through the friendship of their brothers, etc., which Catherine heard with pleasure, and answered with all the pretty expressions she could command; and, as the first proof of amity, she was soon invited to accept an arm of the eldest Miss Thorpe, and take a turn with her about the room. Catherine was delighted with this extension of her Bath acquaintance, and almost forgot Mr. Tilney while she talked to Miss Thorpe. Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.

Of course I hope we don't only need friendship when we have disappointment in love. Certainly to me, friendship is very much treasured in any situation whatsoever.

But it is true that friendship endures us. Here I translate 'love' as general love, not only between a man and a woman. Our love to life is also love... and at times, such love is also tested. At times, I also wonder where my life will lead me, and will I have enough faith that I shall be okay... that all will be okay... And at such times, in addition to my faith to myself and the Power That Be, the presence of my friends also sustains me.

To my dearest Mariana who shall read this soon: Have Faith my dearest. We all have our troubled times, and yours too shall past, with clearer sky above your head to shine upon your smiling countenance.

love always,

Pic: Felicity Jones (Catherine Morland) from Northanger Abbey 2007

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Meeting Mariana

After being good friends through this blog for a long time now, I finally managed to meet one of the blog's most loyal fans. Marianna and her husband visited England and Jane Austen's homeland last week and I was fortunate enough to meet up with them at the airport before their return home.

It nearly didnt happen (sorry guys!) but I am so glad that it did, even if it was far too short. Both Marianna and her husband are such wonderful people and I am so happy that I had the time I did to chat with them. I was furnished with gifts from Canada and embraced with such care and warmth.

Mariana, your passion for Jane is uplifting and exciting. I really do hope that you can come here again and we can explore more of Jane's life together. Icha, Linda, Michelle and our other loyal friends, you are most welcome too. I have faith that one day it will happen and I am already excited.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 120

This weekend I choose a famous quote from Marianne Dashwood that echoes what has been happening to my life. Although Marianne was in her reckless age when she uttered it, there is a grain of truth there, and some of them applies to me now. Sense & Sensibility Chapter 12:

It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.

I met someone about two months ago, and we started seeing each two weeks after. We're going steady. Externally, our development may be considered as being too quickly, but I just think that it's the right time. This is where I agree and disagree at the same time with Marianne. Timing is also important, opportunity is also important. We would not have come this far had we not met at the right time, moment, setting, etc. Of course our dispositions, i.e. our characters is also an important factor, but we both agree that had we met six months ago or so, this would not happen. It was not the right time.

But now, it is the right time. We're of the right age and maturity to move on. And I'm very grateful for every moment I spend with him.

May Love, in whatever forms, graces you all.

Pic: Lovely Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood