Saturday, October 29, 2011

Considering Jane Austen

 I shall inflict just one more post on Jane Austen on you, the Reader. One more post, for now. Today I will be brief. Today I will ask only one question, how can you not love a person who thinks like this?

Jane wrote a letter to her sister-in-law about an upcoming visit.
I hope we shall meet next week to talk all this over, till we have tired ourselves with the very idea of my visit before my visit begins. 
I am guilty of doing this myself, before many visits with my mom or a close friend. Then Jane wrote the following. And I ask, how can you not love an author who is so humorous and witty, even in casual correspondence? I find her irresistible.

‘You distress me cruelly by your request about books.  I cannot think of any to bring with me, nor have I any idea of our wanting them.  I come to you to be talked to, not to read or hear reading; I can do that at home; and indeed I am now laying in a stock of intelligence to pour out on you as my share of the conversation.  I am reading Henry’s History of England, which I will repeat to you in any manner you may prefer, either in a loose, desultory, unconnected stream, or dividing my recital, as the historian divides it himself, into seven parts:—The Civil and Military: Religion: Constitution: Learning and Learned Men: Arts and Sciences: Commerce, Coins, and Shipping: and Manners.  So that for every evening in the week there will be a different subject.  The Friday’s lot—Commerce, Coins, and Shipping—you will find the least entertaining; but the next evening’s portion will make amends.  With such a provision on my part, if you will do yours by repeating the French Grammar, and Mrs. Stent will now and then ejaculate some wonder about the cocks and hens, what can we want? 

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