Jane Austen on Sanguines

I'm reading Jane Austen's "Emma" right now for the first time. (Somehow, I managed to get through high school without taking a single literature class.) (I know!) (And even in college, I only took one literature course - a Drama Lit course which had us reading everything from Moliere to Shakespeare to Arthur Miller. It's one of four college textbooks I still own.)

So anyway. I'm reading "Emma." And last night, I came across this little gem on the difference between sanguines and the rest of the world.
Mr. Frank Churchill did not come. When the time proposed drew near, Mrs. Weston's fears were justified in the arrival of a letter of excuse. ...

Mrs. Weston was exceedingly disappointed - much more disappointed, in fact, than her husband, though her dependence on seeing the young man had been so much more sober: but a sanguine temper, though forever expecting more good than occurs, does not always pay for its hopes by any proportionate depression. It soon flies over the present failure, and begins to hope again. For half an hour, Mr. Weston was surprised and sorry; but then he began to perceive that Frank's coming two or three months later would be a much better plan; better time of year; better weather; and that he would be able, without any doubt, to stay considerably longer with them than if he had come sooner.

These feelings rapidly restored his comfort, while Mrs. Weston, of a more apprehensive disposition, foresaw nothing but a repetition of excuses and delays; and after all her concern for what her husband was to suffer, suffered a great deal more herself.
I laughed out loud - literally. I can't count the times in my life I have been warned of my high expectations by well meaning people. Very often, my hopes weren't realized. But I bounce back alarmingly fast. Like Mr. Weston, it doesn't take me long to twist the situation to fit back into my rosy colored glasses.

And the Mrs. Westons around me? Poor things. They suffer more on my behalf than I deserve. Bless them.


  1. I right there with you, sister, flying from one high hope to the next and leaving all the worry of those sticky details to someone else. :)

  2. Oops. I accidentally posted that comment under my husband's account. He is the not the sanguine. He's the one stuck with the sticky details. :)
    Please don't tell him I did this.

  3. Ah, yes, dear Jane. She has such insight into you sanguine types and us not-so-sanguine types... :)