Thursday, August 18, 2011

From Rob Roy

One indicator of how much influence a person has is when one's words are repeated, especially when they come into common use in a society.  Such an indicator is found in a letter which Jane Welsh Carlyle wrote to her husband Thomas on August 18, 1831.  Jane begins her letter with words right out of "Rob Roy".

‘My foot is on my native heath, and my name's Magregor [sic]!’ And now dear Love I can breath[e] again, and think, and feel, and write. Well, it is an invaluable privilege to have a house of ones own,—to be entitled to take a rank in society—tho' it were even below the craziest sort of gig. Robert Barker said one day, naively enough, when I had been skipping all his remarks and sparing myself the fatigue of answering: “What does ail you? At Craigenputtoch she is the brightest, most delightful creature in the world—and here always sullen and miserable looking!” “It is a pity it should be so,” said my Mother with much emphasis and tossing— “Fortunate rather” I coolly replied—“it is surely fortunate that I produce the pleasantest impression in the place where I oftenest am and where it is my duty to be”—...'

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