The Jane Austen Study
Read “Pride and Prejudice”, chapter 14, 1st half of 4th paragraph.
“Her indifferent state of health unhappily prevents her being in town; and by that means, as I told Lady Catherine one day, has deprived the British court of its brightest ornament. Her ladyship seemed pleased with the idea; and you may imagine that I am happy on every occasion to offer those little delicate compliments which are always acceptable to ladies.”
- What prevents Miss DeBourgh from being in town?
- Think about the phrase “indifferent state of health.” What is the author trying to teach us here?
- What kinds of ornaments do you hang on your tree at Christmas? How might you feel if you were deprived of your brightest one? [Leaders’ note: in Austen’s time, most ornaments were made of tin. Blown glass and ribbon became a feature in the 1800s).
- “little delicate compliments which are always acceptable to ladies…” How might we convey the truth of this to someone not familiar with the cultural context Jane Austen was writing in?
- How might we be “pleased with the idea” in our daily lives?
Before you next meet, please read Persuasion, chapter 6, paragraph 7.