Sunday, 30 September 2012

The sad fate of Carrigglas Manor

We received an email a few days ago from a John O'Neill. He conveyed sad news about what is happening to Carrigglas Manor, the former home of the Lefroys (including our Tom Lefroy, of course). John went to Carrigglas earlier last year, and found the estate to be in an unkept condition.

It seems that whatever hotel/estate development it was meant to be done in Carrigglas isn't happening now. We wrote several posts about Carrigglas here, here and here. Sad that that Tom Lefroy's symbol of pride and love is now in an utterly desperate state....

Tom Lefroy Quote of the Week 24

This weeks quote is from chapter XII, page 370 of Tom Lefroy's memoir.

"I feel that any memorial of him would be wanting which omitted to notice his unalterable cheerfulness under the little every-day crosses of life. Though the shadow of a cloud might flit past, it seemed as if it could never long obscure the sunshine of his temper or his countenance. If a wet day interfered with some cherished plan for a holiday excursion (and he retained to the very last an almost childlike enjoyment of such occasions) we were sure soon to hear some such remark as "well, only think of the good this gracious rain will do in the country," or "Really when I come to think of it, 'tis a decided advantage to me to have the day at home."

What a wonderful way to be remembered!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 207

This week, I was lucky enough to receive a nice email from Mariana Georghe who analysed a passage from Sense & Sensibility versus The Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy. Thank you Mariana for the email!


Hello dear Ladies,

I’m sending you a quick note regarding Westminster school that may be of use to you for the blog, containing few paragraphs from Sense and Sensibility and from Tom Lefroy’s Memoir. Now that we know Tom’s uncle, I. P. George Lefroy and his son J. Henry George Lefroy were sent to Westminster  - a public school, with the recommendation from their uncle, Benjamin Langlois (according to the Notes and documents relating to the family of Loffroy, by a cadet [J.H. Lefroy] ), and that Tom Lefroy instead had received private education, being the pupil of Rev Burrowes between 1790-95 when he met Mary Paul, maybe we’ll read with different eyes the story of Edward Ferrars and the following paragraph from Chapter 36:

"Upon my soul," he added, "I believe it is nothing more; and so I often tell my mother, when she is grieving about it. 'My dear Madam,' I always say to her, 'you must make yourself easy. The evil is now irremediable, and it has been entirely your own doing. Why would you be persuaded by my uncle, Sir Robert, against your own judgment, to place Edward under private tuition, at the most critical time of his life? If you had only sent him to Westminster as well as myself, instead of sending him to Mr. Pratt's, all this would have been prevented.' This is the way in which I always consider the matter, and my mother is perfectly convinced of her error." 

“Elinor would not oppose his opinion, because, whatever might be her general estimation of the advantage of a public school, she could not think of Edward's abode in Mr. Pratt's family, with any satisfaction.”

We know that Edward and Lucy met while Edward studied with Lucy's uncle, Mr. Pratt, and have been secretly engaged for four years. Edward was a pupil of Lucy's uncle in Plymouth, and that is where their relationship began.

Based on the Memoir [pages 3, 14 and 20], Tom Lefroy, “after a private education entered the University of Dublin, on the 2nd November, 1790, at the early age of fourteen.” The distance between Limerick and Dublin being “at that time a work of three days”, Tom was sent to a college tutor, Rev Dr. Burrowes “who kindly consented to receive him into his family circle”. In the Memoir we are told that Tom developed “a warm friendship” with a fellow student, Mr. Thomas Paul, “during their College course” between November 1790 and April 1795 and that Lefroy visited Paul family “and, very soon, an attachment sprung up between him and Mr. and Mrs. Paul’s only daughter

This is not really new, but I think the Westminster school part that’s related now to the Lefroys of Ashe does bring a little bit more light on what Jane Austen knew and wrote in her books as related to Tom Lefroy and his engagement to Mary Paul. I still have to check Mansfield Park for the Westminster school connections with Henry Crawford & J.Henry George Lefroy.

In the Memoir also, I found an interesting note that I think will connect once again the surroundings from the “unseen portrait” with Tom Lefroy:

“...written while he was keeping his Law Terms at Lincoln’s Inn, that would rank high...During his stay at the Temple, he resided with his grand uncle, Mr. Langlois, in London, and attended daily at Westminster Hall, where, in the Courts presided over by such men as lord Eldon and Lord Kenyon...”

Have a delightful weekend!

Lots of Hugs,

Pic: The yummy Dan Stevens as Edward Ferrars in Sense & Sensibility 2008

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 206

 I have a special reason for using the following quote this week.  My granddaughter and I went to see a local presentation on stage of "Pride and Prejudice" with local actors.  And that is why this quote is a wee bit late.  I must say that it was beatifully done, the actors were superb, the script well done, and the stage props lovely!   I had no idea that the local folks were quite as capable of putting on such a lovely show!  I am now inclined to go see some of next seasons presentations.
So, from Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 1 I quote:
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
That is of course, a very well-known sentence, but it does carry lots of wisdom also. And dear Jane proves it with the rest of the novel.
Yrs aff'ly,
Linda the Librarian

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 205

I have chosen this letter from Jane's Love and Friendship. It is part of Lettter The Firth - From a Young Lady Very Much in Love to Her Friend. It is regarding this letter sent from Mr Musgrove to Henrietta:

                                                                                                                  Sackville Street: January 7th

It is a month today since I first beheld my lovely Henrietta, and the sacred anniversary must, and shall, be kept in a manner becoming the day - by writing to her. Never shall I forget the moment when her beauties first broke on my sight - no time, as you well know, can erase it from my memory. It was at Lady Scudamore's. Happy Lady Scudamore to live within a mile of the divine Henrietta! When the lovely creature first entered the room, oh! what were my sensations? The sight of you was like the sight of a wonderful fine thing. I started - I gazed at her with admiration - she appeared every moment more charming, and the unfortunate Musgrove became a captive to your charms before I had time to look about me. Yes, madam, I had the happiness of adoring you, a happiness for which I cannot be too grateful. "What!' said he to himself. 'Is Musgrove allowed to die for Henrietta?' Enviable Mortal! and may he pine for her who is the object of universal admiration, who is adored by a colonel, and toasted by a baronet! Adorable Henrietta how beautiful you are! I declare you are quite divine! You are more than mortal. You are an angel. You are Venus herself. In short, madam, you are the prettiest girl I ever saw in my life - and her beauty is increased in her Musgrove's eyes, by permitting him to love her, and allowing me to hope. And ah! angelic Miss Henrietta, Heaven is my witness how ardently I do hope for the death of your villanous uncle and his abandoned wife, since my fair one will not consent to be mine till their decease has placed her in affluence above what my fortune can procure. Though it is an improvable estate -.

Cruel Henrietta to persist in such a resolution! I am at present with my sister where I mean to continue till my own house which, though an excellent one is at present somewhat out of repair, is ready to receive me. Amiable princess of my heart, farewell - of that heart which trembles while it signs itself -

Your most ardent admirer and devoted humble servant,

T. Musgrove.

This letter is then described by Henrietta to her friend Matilda as "Such sense, such sentiment, such purity of thought, such flow of language and such unfeigned love in one sheet."
I quite agree!

Pic: Buddha and true love
Extract from link above: "Life has a great need of the presence of love, but not the sort of love that is based on lust, passion, attachment, discrimination, and prejudice."

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Tom Lefroy Quote of the Week 23

This is quite a story for a simple quote, but it pulled at my heartstrings, so I have to tell it!

I noticed our copy of the movie "A Little Princess" and decided to watch it.  It was the ending that really made a point in my own life.  Briefly, the story is about going from riches to rags and back to riches.

At the end of the movie the young girl, Sara, is speaking with her Father's friend, Mr. Carrisford, who makes her rich again.  The conversation goes thusly:

Mr. C.:  "What are you thinking, Sara?"

Sara:  "I was just thinking about your question, why Karma should have treated me so cruelly.  I believe it was to teach me a lesson."

Mr. C.:  "What lesson?"

Sara:  "There are so many poor people in the world, I took my Papa's money for granted, you see.  But I had no idea what it was like not to have any."

Mr. C.:  "It taught me a lesson, too.  That money doesn't buy happiness."

Sara:  " But it prevents people from starving, though, doesn't it?  And gives them a roof over their heads."

Mr. C.:  "Yes."

Sara:  "I remember one day, when I was particularly hungry, there was little girl outside a bun shop who was even hungrier than I was.  I wonder what became of her, what becomes of all other children who don't have enough to eat.  I wish I could help them."


Next Mr. C. and Sara visit the bun shop where Sara offers to pay for any buns the Mistress gives to any hungry child who comes by.  The Mistress of the shop has taken in that hungry girl, Anne, that Sara had given buns to even though at the time Sara was poor and hungry.  Sara and Mr. C. leave the shop and

Anne says:  "Who is she, Ma'am?  I thought she was poor like me!"

Mistress:  "Poor?  That little one's never been poor.  Not even when she hadn't a penny to her name."


The movie ends with Sara saying:  "It's the magic, that's what it is.  The Magic.  Remember I told you that when things are at their blackest, the magic always comes to your rescue?  Well, it's come.  It's just like being a princess after all."


My Point being - that no matter how bleak life may seem, it could always be worse.  Now what has that got to do with our own Tom Lefroy.  Well, I must quote him.  The quote is a letter Tom wrote to his wife from the "Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy" on page 47 at this site:  


Castle Connell,


She is a striking instance how utterly inadequate what is called firmness or strength of mind is to contend with affliction. Nothing can do that but what teaches us that it is good for us that we are afflicted, and makes us see through our very heaviest trouble the merciful purpose of Him who makes us perfect by suffering, but who at the same time that He sends the rod, holds out the staff also. There is in true piety a humility of mind, a bowing down of the spirit, an acquiescence in all that comes, as coming from the source of love, which proceeds from faith to patience, from patience to resignation, and from resignation at length kindles into joy, that holy joy which is allied with peace, the joint offspring of that Holy Spirit who alone can bind up the broken heart and pour oil into those wounds which set human consolation at defiance. If, in prosperity, we prepare for trials, we shall never be taken entirely by surprise ; and this I believe is another way by which religion makes good its promises of increased comfort, even in this life.

T. L.

His language is a bit hard for me to cipher out, but I hope I get the gist of what he means because I think it is beautiful.  It puts into words my own belief.  And to think he wrote those words so long ago - over 150 years! 

Also, to put the quote in context, it is best to read at least the preceding pages from page 45.  I think I must read the Memoir in its entirety!

The moral of the story reminds me of the old saying "I cried because I had no shoes until I saw the man who had no feet."

Yrs aff'ly,
Linda the Librarian

Pic: A Little Princess,