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It may be possible to do without dancing entirely. Instances have been known of young people passing many, many months... Options
Daemon
Posted: Sunday, July 27, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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It may be possible to do without dancing entirely. Instances have been known of young people passing many, many months successively without being at any ball of any description, and no material injury accrue either to body or mind; but when a beginning is made--when the felicities of rapid motion have once been, though slightly, felt--it must be a very heavy set that does not ask for more.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)
Verbatim
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 12:13:47 AM
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I can hardly criticize, sometimes I forget the day of the week, but shouldn't this OP be dated Sunday July 27, 2014; am I missing something here?
Alexander Lo
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 12:52:01 AM

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This is a very long quotation; it looks like an essay to me. What exactly is she nagging about?
Alexander Ivanov
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 1:24:53 AM

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I want to know, too... What exactly is she nagging about?
Gordon Freeman
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 2:41:07 AM

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What is it a heavy set?

Someone who is heavyset or stocky?
Bully_rus
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 2:55:43 AM
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To dance, or not to dance, that is a question... It only takes one bite to reach a point of no return. How beautifully redundant that piece of writing sounds!
Vicki Holzknecht
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 3:24:18 AM

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One of my favorite authors!!
MechPebbles
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 3:30:23 AM

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I love her books and have read all her novels that I can find.
Qazi M.Allaudin
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 3:40:39 AM

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Anyone! please elaborate it. What she wants to say ?

Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life. Joseph Edison
The Singing Gardener
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 4:03:36 AM

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You have to understand that Jane Austen writes with a dry wit. Her novels (and others set in this era) are full of young girls who can think of nothing but the next ball or social gathering, so to say that it 'may be possible to do without dancing entirely' is a great joke. She's also saying that once you've experienced the thrill of your first dance you'll want to do it again and you must be a very dull person if you don't.

Don't forget, the options for any form physical activity were extremely limited for ladies at that time.
moniquester
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 4:06:03 AM

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I absolutely detest dancing, myself. However, I love to watch good dancers performing! Just NOT my "thing." Never was!

Be the change you wish to see in the world!-Gandhi
The Singing Gardener
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 4:11:27 AM

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Oops. Didn't mean to imply that all non-dancers are dull. Just translating Austen. Angel
Bully_rus
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 4:53:25 AM
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marksman wrote:
What is it a heavy set?

Someone who is heavyset or stocky?


a mild form of "a dead set"

http://slovari.yandex.ru/dead%20set/перевод
monamagda
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 7:09:00 AM

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From one of my favourite authors and books: Emma - Volume 2 (Chapter 11)
As a ballerina I can perfectly understand Jane (Emma), once you begin dancing, please don't ask me to stop.
Dancing always dancing.

It may be possible to do without dancing entirely. Instances have been known of young people passing many, many months successively, without being at any ball of any description, and no material injury accrue either to body or mind;--but when a beginning is made--when the felicities of rapid motion have once been, though slightly, felt it must be a very heavy set that does not ask for more.

Frank Churchill had danced once at Highbury, and longed to dance again; and the last half-hour of an evening which Mr. Woodhouse was persuaded to spend with his daughter at Randalls, was passed by the two young people in schemes on the subject. Frank's was the first idea; and his the greatest zeal in pursuing it; for the lady was the best judge of the difficulties, and the most solicitous for accommodation and appearance. But still she had inclination enough for shewing people again how delightfully Mr. Frank Churchill and Miss Woodhouse danced for doing that in which she need not blush to compare herself with Jane Fairfax and even for simple dancing itself, without any of the wicked aids of vanity to assist him first in pacing out the room they were in to see what it could be made to hold--and then in taking the dimensions of the other parlour, in the hope of discovering, in spite of all that Mr. Weston could say of their exactly equal size, that it was a little the largest.

http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/jausten/bl-jausten-em2-11.htm
Joy Frohlich
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 7:10:26 AM
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As to Verbatim's query whehter this item is for 27th or 28th July, I think this is explained by the fact that American is behind Europe. I also love her books and understand the limitations placed on young ladies at the time. Some of her dry comments are rather wordy but they are enjoyable when reading the actual book. For anyone who finds her too wordy the BBC do excellent Radio Dramas and films and DVD's are available of her most popular books.
progpen
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 8:51:44 AM

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Dancing is like Lays Potato Chips. You can't dance just once.

Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.
peaty
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 11:14:42 AM
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See the definitions of set related to dance: "The movements constituting a square dance" and "A session of music, typically dance music, played before an intermission". Also, a style of folk dancing now see in Ireland.

So, a set is just a single dance session within an evening's dancing. A heavy set would be an especially demanding dance. Austen is saying that, except for such an exhausting set, the acting of performing the dance would encourage the dancers to want to perform again.

Less is more (more or less).
Susie B
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 5:57:00 PM

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I would think that in the era in which she lived, the only time young men and women got together and actually touched one another would be when dancing. I think what she is alluding to, is meeting young men and by not dancing for some time, means not having contact with the opposite sex. Just my thoughtNot talking
Absurdicuss
Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014 7:33:44 PM

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Busta move Jane Austen, you know you just can't stop it. Show some ankle and petticoat too.


"Now" is the eternal present.
excaelis
Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 2:54:07 AM

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peaty wrote:
See the definitions of set related to dance: "The movements constituting a square dance" and "A session of music, typically dance music, played before an intermission". Also, a style of folk dancing now see in Ireland.

So, a set is just a single dance session within an evening's dancing. A heavy set would be an especially demanding dance. Austen is saying that, except for such an exhausting set, the acting of performing the dance would encourage the dancers to want to perform again.



I don't know, peaty. I think set here means group of people and heavy means dull. Just Austenspeak for boring buggers.

Sanity is not statistical
peaty
Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 4:40:44 AM
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excaelis wrote:
Just Austenspeak for boring buggers.


Hmm, possibly (he says, guardedly). I still prefer mine, though!


Less is more (more or less).
excaelis
Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 5:11:00 AM

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I'm reeling that you could still be blowing your own hornpipe about that interpretive slip-jiggery-pokery you tried to soft-shoe in there. Angel

Sanity is not statistical
Verbatim
Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 6:23:57 PM
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Could it be that "heavy set" meant nothing more to Jane Austen but simply "a heavy set person" ?; "it must be a very heavy set that does not ask for more."

Who else but a person would feel thus: "--when the felicities of rapid motion have once been, though slightly, felt--it must be a very heavy set that does not ask for more."
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