Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy 236th Birthday to Jane!


"Jane lies in Winchester—blessed be her shade!
Praise the Lord for making her, and her for all she made!"
-- by Rudyard Kipling from The Janeites

"We are reading Clarentine, & are surprised to find how foolish it is. I remember liking it much less that at the 1st & it does not bear a 3d at all. It is full of unnatural conduct & forced difficulties, without striking merit of any kind."
Jane's letter to Cassandra, February 8 and 9, 1807

But Jane's novels were full of natural conduct and unforced difficulties, with merit of every kind, and we have enjoyed them now for 200 years.

So let us all drink a cup of tea today in her honor, and raise our teacups in a toast to "Jane!" And praise the Lord for making her!

Happy birthday Jane!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Christmas Poem from 1795


A Poem of Christmas Day 1795
By Robert Southey

How many hearts are happy at this hour
In England! Brightly o'er the cheerful hall
Flares the heaped hearth, and friends and kindred meet,
And the glad mother round her festive board
Beholds her children, separated long.

Amid the world's ways, assembled now,
A sight at which affection lightens up
With smiles, the eye that age has long bedimm'd.

I do remember when I was a child
How my young heart, a stranger then to care,
With transport leap'd upon this holyday,
A o'er the house, all gay with evergreens,
From friend to friend with joyful speed I ran,
Bidding a merry Christmas to them all.