Henry the 6th
“I cannot say much for this Monarch’s Sense–Nor would I if I could, for he was a Lancastrian. I suppose you know all about the Wars between him and the Duke of York who was of the right side; If you do not, you had better read some other History, for I shall not be very diffuse in this, meaning only to vent my Spleen against, and show my Hatred to all those people whose parties or principles do not suit with mine, and not to give information.”
from The History of England “By a partial, prejudiced, and ignorant Historian.”
Life is constant activity these days, in spite of purposefully trying to slow down. Today all the pipes are being replaced in my house — there is plastic all over everything, and they’re in the process of cutting out large sections of sheetrock to get to all that darn polybutylene. Argh!
Today’s quote is from one of Austen’s Juvenilia pieces (all the writing she did when she was young, pre-publication). This is from The History of England, which Ms. Place has posted about on Jane Austen’s World. I love the spirit here. Jane wrote it and Cassandra illustrated it. It’s available online at The British Library and there’s a wonderful edition from Algonquin which shows the manuscript and Cassandra’s drawings.
Henry the 4th
“Henry the 4th ascended the throne of England much to his own satisfaction in the year 1399, after having prevailed on his cousin and predecessor Richard the 2d, to resign it to him, and to retire for the rest of his Life to Pomfret Castle, where he happened to be murdered. It is to be supposed that Henry was Married, since he had certainly four sons, but it is not in my power to inform the Reader who was his Wife. Be that as it may, he did not live for ever, but falling ill, his son the Prince of Wales came and took away the crown; whereupon the King made a long speech, for which I must refer the Reader to Shakespear’s Plays, and the Prince made a still longer. Things being thus settled by them the King died…”
Jane was about 16 when she wrote this.
A belated Happy 4th of July to my American readers!
I love this quote from Jane on America:
“His [Jane’s brother Henry’s] veiw, & the veiw of those he mixes with, of Politics, is not chearful–with regard to an American war I mean;–they consider it as certain, & as what is to ruin us. The [?Americans] cannot be conquered, & we shall only be teaching them the skill in War which they may now want. We are to make them good Sailors & Soldiers, & [?gain] nothing ourselves.–If we are to be ruined, it cannot be helped–but I place my hope of better things on a claim to the protection of Heaven, as a Religious Nation, a Nation inspite of much Evil improving in Religion, which I cannot believe the Americans to possess.”
letter to Martha Lloyd
September 2, 1814  (emphasis mine)
This reference is confusing. Jane seems to be referring to the war of 1812, although it was nearly over by this time.
At the time Jane wrote this letter, my own church was already 80 years old. Darn irreligious Americans!