Saturday, May 05, 2018

My Victorian Year #18

This week I continued reading Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
The end is in sight. I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I have about six or seven chapters of ORLEY FARM left!!! I think I'll get it finished this week! Could this be the last Saturday I share quotes from Orley Farm?!

I am also making good progress in Little Women.

Quotes from Orley Farm:
“And who more would be wanting to make it still dear, — unless it be the judge? I declare, Mr. Staveley, I was quite in love with your father when I left. Talk of honey falling from people’s mouths! — he drops nothing less than champagne and pineapples.” “How very difficult of digestion his conversation must be!”
“By no means. If the wine be good and the fruit ripe, nothing can be more wholesome. And is everybody else gone? Let me see; — Mr. Graham was still there when I left.” “He came away shortly afterwards, — as soon, that is, as his arm would allow him.”
Do you want me to kneel at your feet, as our grandfathers used to do?” “Oh, certainly not. Our grandmothers were very stupid in desiring that.” “If I put my hand on my heart will you believe me better?” “Not in the least.”
When heart has spoken to heart, or even head to head, very little other speaking is absolutely necessary.
A man with what is called a logical turn of mind may prove anything or disprove anything; but he never convinces anybody.
On any matter that is near to a man’s heart, he is convinced by the tenour of his own thoughts as he goes on living, not by the arguments of a logician, or even by the eloquence of an orator.
“I don’t mean to be uncivil,” said the baron, “but of all words in the language there is none which I dislike so much as that word ventilation. A man given to ventilating subjects is worse than a man who has a mission.”
But nevertheless I did hear a little bird say — eh! Mr. Graham.” “Those little birds are the biggest liars in the world.”
“How is it you can bear with such a one as I am? How is it that you do not hate me for my guilt?” “He does not hate us when we are guilty.”
“God has been very good to me, and not placed temptation in my way; — temptation, I mean, to great faults. But little faults require repentance as much as great ones.”
It is odd that it never occurs to judges that a witness who is naturally timid will be made more so by being scolded.
“I mean to do it as well as I can,” said Kenneby. “I believe you do,” said Furnival; “but in so meaning you must be very careful to state nothing as a certainty, of the certainty of which you are not sure.
As for himself, Mr. Chaffanbrass knew well enough that she had spoken nothing but the truth. But had he so managed that the truth might be made to look like falsehood, — or at any rate to have a doubtful air? If he had done that, he had succeeded in the occupation of his life, and was indifferent to his own triumph.
When a man knows that he can speak with ease and energy, and that he will be listened to with attentive ears, it is all but impossible that he should fail to be enthusiastic, even though his cause be a bad one.
Quotes from Little Women:
“Oh, dear, how hard it does seem to take up our packs and go on,” sighed Meg the morning after the party, for now the holidays were over, the week of merrymaking did not fit her for going on easily with the task she never liked.
“There never was such a cross family!” cried Jo, losing her temper when she had upset an inkstand, broken both boot lacings, and sat down upon her hat. “You’re the crossest person in it!” returned Amy, washing out the sum that was all wrong with the tears that had fallen on her slate.
Jo laughed, Meg scolded, Beth implored, and Amy wailed because she couldn’t remember how much nine times twelve was.
“I like good strong words that mean something,” replied Jo, catching her hat as it took a leap off her head preparatory to flying away altogether.
Poor Meg seldom complained, but a sense of injustice made her feel bitter toward everyone sometimes, for she had not yet learned to know how rich she was in the blessings which alone can make life happy.
The moment Aunt March took her nap, or was busy with company, Jo hurried to this quiet place, and curling herself up in the easy chair, devoured poetry, romance, history, travels, and pictures like a regular bookworm.
Long, quiet days she spent, not lonely nor idle, for her little world was peopled with imaginary friends, and she was by nature a busy bee. There were six dolls to be taken up and dressed every morning, for Beth was a child still and loved her pets as well as ever. Not one whole or handsome one among them, all were outcasts till Beth took them in, for when her sisters outgrew these idols, they passed to her because Amy would have nothing old or ugly.
There are many Beths in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed, and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind.
“Going out for exercise,” answered Jo with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes. “I should think two long walks this morning would have been enough! It’s cold and dull out, and I advise you to stay warm and dry by the fire, as I do,” said Meg with a shiver. “Never take advice! Can’t keep still all day, and not being a pussycat, I don’t like to doze by the fire. I like adventures, and I’m going to find some.”
“Isn’t there some nice girl who’d read and amuse you? Girls are quiet and like to play nurse.” “Don’t know any.” “You know us,” began Jo, then laughed and stopped. “So I do! Will you come, please?” cried Laurie.
“Here I am, bag and baggage,” she said briskly. “Mother sent her love, and was glad if I could do anything for you. Meg wanted me to bring some of her blanc mange, she makes it very nicely, and Beth thought her cats would be comforting. I knew you’d laugh at them, but I couldn’t refuse, she was so anxious to do something.” 
The solitary, hungry look in his eyes went straight to Jo’s warm heart. She had been so simply taught that there was no nonsense in her head, and at fifteen she was as innocent and frank as any child.
“Never mind. Little girls shouldn’t ask questions,” returned Jo sharply. Now if there is anything mortifying to our feelings when we are young, it is to be told that, and to be bidden to “run away, dear” is still more trying to us.
Amy teased Jo, and Jo irritated Amy, and semioccasional explosions occurred, of which both were much ashamed afterward. Although the oldest, Jo had the least self-control, and had hard times trying to curb the fiery spirit which was continually getting her into trouble.
Jo’s book was the pride of her heart, and was regarded by her family as a literary sprout of great promise. It was only half a dozen little fairy tales, but Jo had worked over them patiently, putting her whole heart into her work, hoping to make something good enough to print. She had just copied them with great care, and had destroyed the old manuscript, so that Amy’s bonfire had consumed the loving work of several years. It seemed a small loss to others, but to Jo it was a dreadful calamity, and she felt that it never could be made up to her.
Jo still looked like a thunder cloud, and nothing went well all day.
“My Jo, you may say anything to your mother, for it is my greatest happiness and pride to feel that my girls confide in me and know how much I love them.”
My child, the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning and may be many, but you can overcome and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father as you do that of your earthly one.
The more you love and trust Him, the nearer you will feel to Him, and the less you will depend on human power and wisdom. His love and care never tire or change, can never be taken from you, but may become the source of lifelong peace, happiness, and strength.
Believe this heartily, and go to God with all your little cares, and hopes, and sins, and sorrows, as freely and confidingly as you come to your mother.
Well, I am happy, and I won’t fret, but it does seem as if the more one gets the more one wants, doesn’t it?
“I’m not Meg tonight, I’m ‘a doll’ who does all sorts of crazy things. Tomorrow I shall put away my ‘fuss and feathers’ and be desperately good again,” she answered with an affected little laugh.
“I told you they dressed me up, but I didn’t tell you that they powdered and squeezed and frizzled, and made me look like a fashion-plate. Laurie thought I wasn’t proper. I know he did, though he didn’t say so, and one man called me ‘a doll.’ I knew it was silly, but they flattered me and said I was a beauty, and quantities of nonsense, so I let them make a fool of me.” “Is that all?” asked Jo, as Mrs. March looked silently at the downcast face of her pretty daughter, and could not find it in her heart to blame her little follies. “No, I drank champagne and romped and tried to flirt, and was altogether abominable,” said Meg self-reproachfully.

Learn to know and value the praise which is worth having, and to excite the admiration of excellent people by being modest as well as pretty, Meg.
To be loved and chosen by a good man is the best and sweetest thing which can happen to a woman, and I sincerely hope my girls may know this beautiful experience. It is natural to think of it, Meg, right to hope and wait for it, and wise to prepare for it, so that when the happy time comes, you may feel ready for the duties and worthy of the joy.
 Money is a needful and precious thing, and when well used, a noble thing, but I never want you to think it is the first or only prize to strive for.
One thing remember, my girls. Mother is always ready to be your confidant, Father to be your friend, and both of us hope and trust that our daughters, whether married or single, will be the pride and comfort of our lives.

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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