February is drawing to a close and I’m glad to present my fifth and last quote for the month of love. This was taken from Amy March’s letter to her mother on her engagement to Laurie. Honestly, Amy is my least liked March sister because I still feel bitter that she ended up being Mrs. Theodore Laurence — and not our dear Jo — but the way she conveyed her love for him was really selfless and genuine that I think I should give her a chance. I may be denying this but perhaps deep down, Amy might actually be my favorite March sister… Oh no, forget I said that. Jo all the way!
This quote may not be a classic but Gaiman’s works will someday take their place, I suddenly remembered the movie where Yvaine was beaming with immense joy when she spilled her heart out to a transformed Tristan. That was cute.
Why can’t I find other quotes by other authors? The first two are both by Austen and this third one is still by her so it’s high time I should post something else already. Her words are nonetheless great so I don’t think I should restrain from sharing. Besides, it’s Mr. Darcy (the one and only) who said these words so there should definitely be no qualms on posting it.
I was going to save this for last but it melts my heart too much that I can’t hold it back any longer. This was written by Frederick Wentworth to Anne Elliot on Persuasion.
Now that it’s the month of love, I think it’s the perfect opportunity to share some of the most romantic words I’ve come across in literature. I’m willing to dig through my classic titles to find a few of the best but for now, here’s one.
Vanity Fair is turning out to be promising (nothing less from a classic, of course), and I’m once again resisting the urge to pick up my orange highlighter and make horizontal marks on its wise passages.
Let me share one:
“The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face. Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly upon you; laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly, kind companion; and so let all young persons take their choice.”
I’m currently on the third chapter and I still couldn’t get over what Rebecca Sharp did in the first one. If you must know, while there seemed to be no friends fussing over her departure from Chiswick Mall, there was actually one who had the sincerest intents for her goodwill and that was Miss Jemima. You see, this kindhearted lady took the effort of sending her off with a dictionary and while Miss Jemima assumed Miss Sharp would accept it with heartfelt gratitude, the latter heartlessly threw it off as the carriage was leaving the gates of their school. I was so surprised about this, years of reading Austen did not prepare me for such conduct.
Early on, Rebecca Sharp is indeed the antithesis of all of Austen’s heroines.
No, I am not finished with The Portrait of a Lady yet but I feel as though I should write about the first twenty chapters I have read. A lot of things (sensible or not) have been going in and out of my mind while reading it and though not all may prove to be incisive, pouring them out is healthier than letting them rot in my capably forgetful mind.
One is always in danger of being too much of one thing thus we can say that one’s complacency is only transiently satisfied — this was what I was thinking while reading it. Isabel Archer’s unconstrained practice of liberty got me thinking if there ever was a brake to its profuseness; don’t get me wrong, I admire how she obliviously leaves a mark on people but sometimes I think there’s no harm in thinking (and acting) conventionally. Then again, if that were so, Isabel would not be the charming lady she was and the story would have taken a different turn which would have altered it drastically (haha!). The title itself constitutes ingenuity as well as deception because you can never verify the truthfulness of your opinion on a portrait unless you have gained first-class access to the painter’s whimsical basis for painting it. This may not be a universally-accepted fact but being a woman myself, we have the tendency to be fickle and this volatility addles the mind of one who perceives thereby heightening or decimating the initial perception. On the whole, I’m not really sure whether or not I like Isabel Archer. When I read her description on the back cover — a young American woman with looks, wit, and imagination — I instantly liked her and I even thought she could be comparable to Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice but alas, the portrait deceived me. 😉 Like I said, I am not done reading so my perception of her might lean on the brighter side along the way. Nevertheless, I agree with Isabel on some grounds — like this one, for example, a part of her discourse with one of her suitors, Lord Warburton:
“I’ve always been intensely determined to be happy, and I’ve often believed I should be. I’ve told people that; you can ask them. But it comes over me every now and then I can never be happy in an extraordinary way; not by turning away, by separating myself.”
“By separating yourself from what?”
“From life. From the usual chances and dangers, from what most people know and suffer.”
By the way, no value of casuistry could convince me to desecrate my copy of The Portrait of a Lady, tradition prevailed after all. And I have another reason to be happy, I finally found James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and since I did not want to leave my search in vain, I did not hesitate to pick it up. 🙂