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Myshuno Prompt: Mrs. Isabella Beeton Quote

Name: Charity
Characters: Jan, Mrs. Danaher
Rating: Everyone
Summary:  Jan showed her true colors early…
Notes: Canon.  Just a drabble about Jan and her mother.  When I saw this prompt, I knew I’d be witting about Jan for it.
Word Count: 583
Full Quote: “Charity and benevolence are duties which a mistress owes to herself as well as to her fellow creatures.”
My Card
“Those last rows of your stocking are horrible, Jan.  You must redo them.”
Jan followed her mother’s orders, sighing through her nose as she pulled out the last two rows of her knitting.
“You needn’t made such a face, child.  If you had paid attention to your work the first time, I would not have needed to correct you.”
“I’m hardly a child, Mother,” Jan retorted as she picked up her needles and began knitting again.  “I’ll be fifteen next week.”
“You may be, but you still act like a spoiled child.”
Jan fought the urge to make a face at her mother’s remarks.
“That’s better,” Mrs. Danaher replied, though whether she referred to her daughter’s knitting or the young lady’s lack of response to her previous comment.
The older woman resumed her knitting, her needles fairly flying as they moved.
“When I finish this stocking, may I continue with my crocheted lace?” Jan asked.
Her mother shook her head, her knitting not losing pace.  “The orphanage committee promised three new pairs of stockings for each child, and we all must do our part.  I took on twice what the other women did, knowing that I had a helper at home.”  She smiled at her daughter.
“I don’t see why the orphans need so many stockings anyway.”
“My dear, they have nothing.  The least we can do is assure their comfort for the upcoming winter.”
Jan muttered something, keeping her eyes squarely focused on her knitting.
“What was that, Jan?  A lady does not mumble.”
“I said,” Jan prepared to repeat, knowing full well her thoughts would cause an argument, “That it’s their own fault they have nothing.”
“How can you say such a thing!  Those poor, parentless children.  They didn’t ask for their fate.”
“Most of the children there are the spawn of vagrants and tramps.  We’re only encouraging such behavior by caring for them.  They should be left to fend for themselves, and then let nature take its course.”
“Is that what you truly believe, daughter?”
Jan nodded.
Mrs. Danaher sighed.  “Then you have a lot to learn about the ways of the world.  We may not be as well-off as some of the ladies on the orphanage committee, but we are still more fortunate than most.  It is our duty to make sure that our fellow creatures find as much comfort in this life as they can.  Charity is what we owe them, Jan, and kindness.”
Jan sniffed.  “Well, I can assure you that when I marry, I’ll not knit a single stocking for anyone.  I intend to marry well, and will have no time for such nonsense.”
“With a sour attitude like that, I’ll be shocked if you manage to catch a husband.  Men want a kind-hearted, benevolent woman, not a shrill, opinionated shrew.”
“You watch, Mother.  The man I marry will be one of means, means that far exceed Father’s.  I’ll be a leader in social circles, and I shan’t do anything that I don’t want to!”
With that outburst, Jan threw down her half-finished stocking, and stormed out of the room.
Mrs. Danaher smiled a sad smile.  She picked up the discarded sock, and placed it back into the knitting basket.  “I feel sorry for the poor man who marries my daughter, and for the children they’ll have.”
She picked up her knitting again, and resumed her stitches.  She had twice as much to get done now, it seemed, and she would not disappoint the orphanage committee.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 25th, 2011 11:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, Jan. *shakes head* The orphans didn't ask for it, and you're hurting yourself as much as anyone when you have that sort of attitude. There's a REASON no one likes you.
Oct. 26th, 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
No, the orphans didn't ask for it, but I wanted to show that Jan has always been Jan, despite a decent upbringing. There is a HUGE reason no one likes her, but she's too shortsighted to see it.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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