07 July 2005

rather eager than lasting

This excerpt is from Mansfield Park:
Henry Crawford ... longed to have been at sea, and seen and done and suffered as much. His heart was warmed, his fancy fired, and he felt the highest respect for a lad who, before he was twenty, had gone through such bodily hardships and given such proofs of mind. The glory of heroism, of usefulness, of exertion, of endurance, made his own habits of selfish indulgence appear in shameful contrast; and he wished he had been a William Price, distinguishing himself and working his way to fortune and consequence with so much self-respect and happy ardour, instead of what he was!

The wish was rather eager than lasting.

This suggests two rhetorical questions.
  1. How awesome is Jane Austen? I mean seriously, what the hell is wrong with people who don't like her?
  2. Who hasn't felt like Henry Crawford from time to time? Or even disturbingly often? Despite a spring I should feel pretty damn good about, I still find myself wishing I had done a million things differently; e.g. meeting someone who played the Mendelssohn violin concerto in e at 15 (and w/o being a total violin dork) made me kick myself for not putting actual effort into violin during the ten years I played it. I think this is the closest to personal revelation I'll ever put on this blog.
Anyway, the relevant passage continues with:
He was roused from the reverie of retrospection and regret produced by it, by some inquiry from Edmund as to his plans for the next day's hunting; and he found it was as well to be a man of fortune at once with horses and grooms at his command. In one respect it was better,...
and then it talks about horses and the other characters.

On that note, I think I'm going to watch a movie. Or should I pick up the violin?

Oh, and see the next post for what reminded me of Mansfield Park.

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