February 06, 2005
Softly but Certainly
In Jane Austen time moves softly but certainly, as a natural and inevitable line of life. It is measured by the watch and by the calendar, which mark its divisions, and in those divisions the characters must act appropriately if they are to live with a real fresh life and vigor. In those lives that seem to continue in much the same way from day to day, with little variety of incident, little touched by the world of large action, fixed in one place, there come, again and again, times to make a judgment, times to make a moral choice, and there is a certain amount of time in which to make it, an amount appropriate to know what should be known, feel what should be felt, think what should be thought, do what should be done, neither too quickly nor too slowly for the occasion. There is no choice of standing still. One cannot "dwell." (Tave, ch. 1, p.14)Addendum: I'm sure I have a comment about this passage, but I'm letting my thoughts percolate for a bit.
-Some Words About Jane Austen (1973), Stuart M. Tave