Monday, 20 January 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 258

Sunrise in north Bali (my own collection)

It’s my first turn of the year, and I already am late! Sigh... (being more punctual is undoubtedly in my resolution list for this year). However, I do find a quote that resonates with some of my New Year spirits...

From Pride & Prejudice, Volume I Chapter 11, Mr Darcy to Elizabeth:

“My good opinion once lost is lost forever”

I have been Mr Darcy in the past. I have been Elizabeth too, in the past. But I realise now that people are either: 1) not as they seem, or 2) indeed capable of growing into better versions of themselves. “People” in this case includes me, of course.

I once wrote a quote in 2010 how I went into a big fight with a friend. Since last year, we have amended the friendship, to the point that he seems not to even remember that big fight. Or at least, he chooses not to dwell on it. Good on you, my dear friend... I’m sorry that we went into that fight, but I’m glad that we are over it now.

And just early last year, I also misjudged another person. Turned out, he is not who I thought him to be. I later explained to him how I had a Lizzy Bennet moment the moment I met him (he was doing something I thought snobbish, but really, it wasn’t the case). He laughed and we became good friends. We still fought and argued a lot last year, involving a big project. Once or twice I thought of just terminating this new friendship. I’m glad that we persisted tho. Otherwise we wouldn’t have grown up in this friendship...

So, that’s one of my New Year resolutions. Instead of jumping into conclusion, I’d like to keep an open mind on anything before concluding something based on enough facts. Of course, at times we shouldn’t ignore intuition. But intuition should be balanced with good judgement as well, methinks.

By the bye, if any of you are still unsure about your New Year resolutions, fret not. The Chinese New Year of the Horse is coming soon on 31 January, just 11 days away. You can still wish upon a star for a better year ahead...

Monday, 13 January 2014

Tom Lefroy Quote of the Week 36

This week I chose a quote from part 9 of Tom Lefroy's memoirs:

"But the things I am speaking of concerning his personal character – his love for God’s word, his humiliation as a sinner, his confidence in Christ – these are not gone. My brethren, for ourselves let us think can we look for more earthly things than he had? Few of us, perhaps none of us here, will attain to that advanced life. A few, indeed, may attain to the same high eminence in the world, or to the honors that crowned him; but even of those who attain these honors few may have that unbroken family peace and happiness which he had."

The highlighted words stood out for me. We hear such horrifying stories on the news every day and I wonder whether there is a reduction in the number of people who feel a sense of humiliation after committing a sin? I also wonder whether there are less people who have unbroken family peace and happiness in the world we live in today? Perhaps people don't fight as hard for what is important.

I think that from reading this it is clear that Tom was a very admirable character, someone to respect and follow as a compass of morality. I believe he may have understood the importance for balance in life.

Pic: Yin Yang symbol

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 257

This quote is to reply to a comment we received from Anonymous last week who questioned the authorship of Jane's novels.  You may read his comment at the bottom of the post HERE.  I did a search for the book title he wrote and found the description at Amazon HERE.  Therefore the author of the comment is Nicholas Ennos.
I wish to state my own opinion on this subject even though I have not read his book.  Please keep in mind that this is only an "opinion" because I have not read his book and I believe in hearing both sides of a "story".  So here is "my side" which has not been thoroughly researched.
I have quoted the first paragraph in the letter from Sophia Sentiment in Issue No. 9 of James Austen's "The Loiterer" only 3 times since I have been doing these quotes.  Hee hee.  Here is a link to that issue:  No. 9 published on March 28, 1789 when Jane was only 13 years old.  And I am opinionated enough to think that Jane is guilty of writing that letter.  So here it is again:
I write this to inform you that you are very much out of my good graces, and that, if you do not mend your manners, I shall soon drop your acquaintance. You must know, Sir, I am a great reader, and not to mention some hundred volumes of Novels and Plays, have, in the last two summers, actually got through all the entertaining papers of our most celebrated periodical writers, from the Tatler and Spectator to the Microcosm and the Olla Podrida. Indeed I love a periodical work beyond any thing, especially those in which one meets with a great many stories, and where the papers are not too long. I assure you my heart beat with joy when I first heard of your publication, which I immediately sent for, and have taken in ever since.
Mr. Ennos is concerned with Jane's limited amount of formal education.  If memory serves me, her father was a tutor and had a library.  As a younger daughter I can envision her spending her time perusing that library and being taught in some indirect manner by her father.  Her older brothers were formally educated and I can imagine she picked up some 'pointers' from them also.  We have to realize that there were no TVs to distract them, so time was available.
I have collected copies of those periodicals mentioned above, among other books of that era, and am amazed at what they did know.  Up until then I thought those people were quite limited in their knowledge. 
And as for the "fictitious love affair between Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy", I have my own feelings about that but I am not ready to expose myself yet with my suspicions.  Briefly, I think the 'affair' has been overdone, but their feelings may have been held inside for their own reasons, and not as 'exposed' as all these modern authors like to exploit.
So, at present (before I have the chance to do deep research) I respectfully disagree with Mr. Ennos' ideas.  And as we say, I won't be so foolish as to 'throw the baby (his book) out with the bath water.'  I Thank You, Mr. Ennos for your comments.  It keeps us on our toes to get the truth.
Yours with respect,
Linda the Librarian