Friday, May 7, 2010

Mansfield Park

I just finished reading Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.  The following is one of the interesting quotes I came across.  The thoughts are of a father reflecting on how he brought up his daughters, who, although they received an excellent education, came to moral ruin.

"Here had been grievous mismanagement; but, bad as it was, he gradually grew to feel that it had not been the most direful mistake in his plan of education. Something must have been wanting within, or time would have worn away much of its ill effect. He feared that principle, active principle, had been wanting; that they had never been properly taught to govern their inclinations and tempers by that sense of duty which can alone suffice. They had been instructed theoretically in their religion, but never required to bring it into daily practice. To be distinguished for elegance and accomplishments- the authorised object of their youth- could have had no useful influence that way, no moral effect on the mind. He had meant them to be good, but his cares had been directed to the understanding and manner, not the disposition; and of the necessity of self-denial and humility he feared they had never heard from any lips that could profit them."