09 10

01 April 2017

Commonplace Book: March

Excerpts from my commonplace book for March 2017.

Let marginal notes be freely made, as neatly and beautifully as may be, for books should be handled with reverence. Let numbers, letters, underlining be used to help the eye and to save the needless fag of writing abstracts.
-Charlotte Mason, 3:181

He longed to see her. He hoped she might make some amends for the many very plain faces he was continually passing in the streets. The worst of Bath was, the number of its plain women. He did not mean to say that there were no pretty women, but the number of the plain was out of all proportion. He had frequently observed, as he walked, that one handsome face would be followed by thirty, or five and thirty frights; and once as he had stood in a shop in Bond Street, he had counted eighty-seven women go by, one after another, without there being a tolerable face among them. It had been a frosty morning, to be sure, a sharp frost, which hardly one woman in a thousand could stand the test of. But still, there certainly were a dreadful multitude of ugly women in Bath; and as for the men! They were infinitely worse. Such scare-crows as the streets were full of! It was evident how little the women were used to the sight of anything tolerable, by the effect which a man of decent appearance produced.
-Persuasion, Jane Austin, 103


...certain small offices should be held in rotation by every member of the class.  The office makes the man as much as the man makes the office and it is surprising how well rather incompetent children will perform duties laid on them.
-Charlotte Mason 6:74

This is interesting in terms of school, but I think it's almost even more interesting in relation to the lay clergy in the Church. I must believe that at least some of the callings the Lord makes are given to some of God's "rather incompetent children" in order to help us learn.

Teachers are apt to slight their high office and hinder the process of education because they cherish two or three fallacies. They regard children as inferior, themselves as superior, beings; --why else their office? But if they recognized that the potency of children's minds is as great or greater than that of their own, they would not conceive that spoon-feeding was their mission, or that they must masticate a morsel of knowledge to make it proper for the feeble digestion of the scholar.
-Charlotte Mason 6:75

...ye shall not esteem one flesh above another, or tone man shall not think himself above another...
-Mosiah 23:7

It is not ours to speak with authority; the 'verily, verily I say unto you' is a divine word not for us. Nevertheless deputed authority is among us and in us. 'He is an authority' on such and such a subject, is a correct expression because by much study he has made it his own and has a right to speak. The deputed authority appears to be lodged in everyone, ready for occasion... Every king and commander, every mother, elder sister, school prefect, every foreman of works and captain of games, finds that within himself which secures faithful obedience, not for the sake of his merits but because authority is proper to his office. Without this principle, society would cease to cohere. Practically there is no such thing as anarchy; what is so-called is a mere transference of authority, even if in the last resort the anarchist find authority in himself alone. There is an idea abroad that authority makes for tyranny, and that obedience, voluntary or involuntary, is the nature of slavishness; but authority is, on the contrary, the condition without which liberty does not exist and, except it be abused, is entirely congenial to those on whom it is exercised... It is still true that, 'Order is heaven's first law' and order is the outcome of authority.
-Charlotte Mason, 6:68-9

Books are the way that we communicate with the dead. The way that we learn lessons from those who are no longer with us, that humanity has built on itself, progressed, made knowledge incremental rather than something that has to be relearned, over and over. There are tales that are older than most countries, tales that have long outlasted the cultures and buildings in which they were first told.
-Neil Gaiman, Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading, and Daydreaming

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin