Monday, 29 October 2012

Tom Lefroy Quote of the Week 25

The life of a chief justice apparently in the 18th century was apparently not free from gossips and accusations. In page 293 of the Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy, I found a note how a Sir John Shelley accused Tom Lefroy of avoiding his duties and ordered a substitute to do so instead. Tom Lefroy's following letter dated 23 Feb 1856 refuted such accusation with such a detailed patience, as such:

Kings Inns in Dublin

'I was called to the bar in 1797, which will appear from the Roll of Barristers in the hands of the proper officers of the King's Inns. I was appointed to the Bench as Baron of the Exchequer in 1841, and the date of my patent, which was given up on my promotion to the office of Chief Justice, will be found by the enrolment. The fact that I never missed a circuit, or part of a circuit, since I have been on the bench, can be established most correctly by the proper officer of the Treasury, certifying to his Excellency that no charge appears made at any time for a substitute, to discharge any of my duties on circuit.'

From this small passage, I learned a lot from Tom Lefroy: 1) never to negate a duty (unless you really can't help it), at least to refute any accusations!, and 2) keep records of your achievements handy. Oh, and refute any accusations with calmness and patience. No wonder he was chosen as the Chief Justice of Ireland...

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 210

I have chosen my quotes from Northanger Abbey. This week I have been thinking lots about relationships and the dynamics between the different personalities of men and women. I may be generalising but I see cases where us women often expect things from men that they simply cannot offer, often due to the fact that they do not think rather than do not care. This led me to thinking about how sometimes women can demonstrate a manipulative nature in terms of relationships.

Henry and Catherine are discussing Isabella Thorpe in in chapter 19 of the novel. Catherine is explaining to Henry how she feels that the attentions of Frederick (Henry's older brother) towards Isabelle are upsetting her brother James' as James and Isabella are engaged to be married.

“Is it my brother’s attentions to Miss Thorpe, or Miss Thorpe’s admission of them, that gives the pain?”

“Is not it the same thing?”
“I think Mr. Morland would acknowledge a difference. No man is offended by another man’s admiration of the woman he loves; it is the woman only who can make it a torment.”

This is a very astute observation by our dear Jane. I think that some women found in these situations can certainly relish in the attention, I have definitely seen it.

This is linked to another quote from chapter 6 where Isabella and Catherine are talking about a potential love interest for Catherine:

"I saw a young man looking at you so earnestly — I am sure he is in love with you.” Catherine coloured, and disclaimed again. Isabella laughed. “It is very true, upon my honour, but I see how it is; you are indifferent to everybody’s admiration, except that of one gentleman, who shall be nameless. Nay, I cannot blame you” — speaking more seriously — “your feelings are easily understood. Where the heart is really attached, I know very well how little one can be pleased with the attention of anybody else. Everything is so insipid, so uninteresting, that does not relate to the beloved object! I can perfectly comprehend your feelings.”

I dont think any of us can deny this!   Pic: Catherine and Isabella

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 209

James Austen, Jane's brother
I keep finding so much truth and relevancy to today's World in "The Loiterer" - the periodical published by Jane's brother, James Austen, that I can't resist quoting from it.  Especially since I am convinced that Jane, herself, was intimately acquainted with it and its importance.  So this week I will point you to Issue No. 17 where the subtitle is " Modern times vindicated from the charge of Degeneracy."  Here is the first paragraph:
 THE shameful degeneracy of modern times, and the visible superiority of preceding ones in point of almost every moral excellence, has been in all ages, and still continues to be a favourite topic for declamation. To consider and (if I am able) to refute the truth of so mortifying an imputation, is the design of my present paper; and though I should prove unsuccessful; yet any attempt to vindicate the honour of the present age, must surely be entitled to its pardon, if not its approbation.
I find that the premise is still true today as I recall the many (not just one) conversations with my friends that society has degenerated from the morals of our youth.  We have made note of the differences in many areas of our lives. 
Therefore, I highly recommend reading the issue in its entirety to get the complete message.  You can read it here.
I will sign off this way:  Hoping all the best for our Future, I remain
Yrs aff'ly,
Linda the Librarian

Monday, 8 October 2012

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 208

I’ve been practising gratitude these days, recording about five things that I am grateful of per day. It’s a good practice to make me realise how lucky I am. Thus, for this week (well, a few minutes past midnight), I’d like to present a quote about gratitude. Taken from Pride and Prejudice Chapter 44 (Volume III, Chapter 2), set at Pemberley after the dinner with the Gardiners.

Keira Knightley as Lizzy Bennet

As for Elizabeth, her thoughts were at Pemberley this evening more than the last; and the evening, though as it passed it seemed long, was not long enough to determine her feelings towards one in that mansion; and she lay awake two whole hours endeavouring to make them out. She certainly did not hate him. No; hatred had vanished long ago, and she had almost as long been ashamed of ever feeling a dislike against him that could be so called. The respect created by the conviction of his valuable qualities, though at first unwillingly admitted, had for some time ceased to be repugnant to her feelings; and it was now heightened into somewhat of a friendlier nature by the testimony so highly in his favour, and bringing forward his disposition in so amiable a light, which yesterday had produced. But above all, above respect and esteem, there was a motive within her of good will which could not be overlooked. It was gratitude. -- Gratitude, not merely for having once loved her, but for loving her still well enough to forgive all the petulance and acrimony of her manner in rejecting him, and all the unjust accusations accompanying her rejection. He who, she had been persuaded, would avoid her as his greatest enemy, seemed, on this accidental meeting, most eager to preserve the acquaintance, and without any indelicate display of regard, or any peculiarity of manner, where their two selves only were concerned, was soliciting the good opinion of her friends, and bent on making her known to his sister. Such a change in a man of so much pride excited not only astonishment but gratitude -- for to love, ardent love, it must be attributed; and as such, its impression on her was of a sort to be encouraged, as by no means unpleasing, though it could not be exactly defined. She respected, she esteemed, she was grateful to him; she felt a real interest in his welfare; and she only wanted to know how far she wished that welfare to depend upon herself, and how far it would be for the happiness of both that she should employ the power, which her fancy told her she still possessed, of bringing on the renewal of his addresses. [bolded sentences my own]

Gratitude can be found when we are contemplating such a big revelation as Elizabeth’s growing love to Darcy. Gratitude can also be found in simple things, such as a simple dinner with oneself or close friends, the blooming flowers in the garden, and the birds singing up in the sky.Or the simple fact of being alive. 

Have you got anything to be grateful of today, my dear friends?