Sunday, 21 September 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 280

Capt Wentworth (Rupert Penry-Jones) and Anne Elliot (Sally Hawkins) in Persuasion 2007

I was pondering on how Jane Austen loved having her heroines walking about the village/town. Some of them, like Emma Woodhouse, could certainly afford a carriage of her own. However, Miss Austen seemed to like depicting her heroines exploring the surroundings on foot. We all know Elizabeth Bennet's famous walk from Longbourn to Netherfield and Marianne Dashwood's walk to Combe Magna, to name a few. Anne Elliot, the oldest of Jane's heroines, also loved walking, as proven from the passage below (Persuasion, Chapter 19):

Lady Dalrymple's carriage, for which Miss Elliot was growing very impatient, now drew up; the servant came in to announce it. It was beginning to rain again, and altogether there was a delay, and a bustle, and a talking, which must make all the little crowd in the shop understand that Lady Dalrymple was calling to convey Miss Elliot. At last Miss Elliot and her friend, unattended but by the servant, (for there was no cousin returned), were walking off; and Captain Wentworth, watching them, turned again to Anne, and by manner, rather than words, was offering his services to her.

'I am much obliged to you,' was her answer, 'but I am not going with them. The carriage would not accommodate so many. I walk: I prefer walking.'

'But it rains.'

'Oh! very little, Nothing that I regard.'

I find it refreshing to see that, even 200 years ago, some ladies seemed to love engaging in healthy exercise regimes such as walking. Since we are now back in the age of fitness, I often remind myself that I need a healthy dose of exercise per day to stay fit.

During the weekends, I usually walked up the hill behind our apartment, but today I skipped it to join the Global Mala this morning doing 108 sun salutations (and now I am nurturing a pair of jelly legs as a result... though I am certain I will be fine again in the morning).

So, my dear friends, what exercise have you been doing this weekend?

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