Virtue and its rewards
Posted by Mary Anne on September 02, 1998 at 08:28:01:
In response to virtue its own reward, written by Janette K on September 01, 1998 at 23:29:41
] In the long run, Lucy cannot be "happy" in the true sense of knowing and doing what is right. But even if Lucy had married Elinor, she would not have destroyed her own life over it, but she would have still found good, worthwhile ways to spend her time, and I think would still have had a satisfying, even happy life, because she would have been at peace with herself.
I once heard a saying that "people who say youth is a state of mind usually have more state of mind than youth." A very cynical corollary might be "People who say virtue is its own reward usually have more virtue than reward." However, I find your observations about Elinor very insightful. She is one of those people, I think, who realize that we have a share in making our own happiness and cannot, in the long run, depend on other people to make it for us. Self-respect would be a large component in whether she was happy or not. I suppose most of us don't think about the value of self-respect until we lose it; Elinor won't risk losing hers. "And all the better for her . . ."
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