05 November 2013

What You Will

"For my own part," said he, "I am excessively fond of a cottage; there is always so much comfort, so much elegance about them. And I protest, if I had any money to spare, I should buy a little land and build one myself, within a short distance of London, where I might drive myself down at any time, and collect a few friends about me and be happy.  I advise everybody who is going to build, to build a cottage.  My friend Lord Courtland came to me the other day on purpose to ask my advice, and laid before me three different plans of Bonomi's.  I was to decide on the best of them.  'My dear Courtland,' said I, immediately throwing them all into the fire, 'do not adopt either of them, but by all means build a cottage.'  And that, I fancy, will be the end of it. Some people imagine that there can be no accommodations, no space in a cottage; but this is all a mistake.  I was last month at my friend Elliott's near Dartford.  Lady Elliott wished to give a dance. 'But how can it be done?' said she; 'my dear Ferrars, do tell me how it is to be managed.  There is not a room in this cottage that will hold ten couple, and where can the supper be?'  I immediately saw that there could be no difficulty in it, so I said, 'My dear Lady Elliott, do not be uneasy.  The dining parlour will admit eighteen couple with ease; card-tables may be placed in the drawing-room; the library may be open for tea and other refreshments; and let the supper be set out in the saloon.'  Lady Elliott was delighted with the thought.  We measured the dining room, and found it would hold exactly eighteen couples, and the affair was arranged precisely after my plan.  So that in fact, you see, if people do but know how to set about it, every comfort may be as well enjoyed in a cottage as in the most spacious dwelling."

Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition.

-- Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

~To Sharon~

3 comments:

Sharon said...

But am I Elinor or Robert?

Prekast said...

Just buy her a bigger house, you lout!?!

Karen said...

Oh how I know the dilemma! But I really do love a cottage! Someday you will look back and realize how many happy times you had in that little space. Don't hate me for saying that. It's true. We raised a large family in a small space and the memories are sweet even though there were frustrations.

But, yeah, get her a bigger house; isn't it 975 kids you have? :)!