Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
y bottle of salvation.
My gown of glory, hopes true gauge,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

~Sir Walter Raleigh

A hiker, walking for pleasure, likes to choose between several alluring trails.
The pilgrim desires only the road that leads home.

~Frank W. Boreham

Friday, April 16, 2010

Miss Austen's Needle

Anyone who knows our family knows that we are three generations of Janeites. It matters not if it is her writings or movies made from those writings, we enjoy them. We talk about them. We debate them. Even the menfolk, if not entering in, at least accept the fact that we women take delight in these. If nothing else, they make happy sport of Mr. Collins.

So it is when something new is discovered there is excitement.

We have all read the prayers Jane left behind and have found them lovely and profound. In fact so much so as to wonder why with all the books and articles written about Jane there is yet to be something on the faith of the woman.

But back to the new discovery. This time it is a sampler stitched by Jane dated 1797. As pictured, it is stitched on linen in greens and deep reds with a touch of yellow gold for accent. The piece is bordered in geometric design in flower pots with vines and stylized flowers evenly distributed. At the bottom of the centerpiece are trees, large flowering ones, and smaller fir shaped. On the center one of these sits a charming long-tailed bird.

All is stitched in the tiniest of even cross stitching.

But it is the words that are of greatest interest. These are phrases taken from the Psalter of the Book of Common Prayer. The spelling is of course of that time with 'f's put for 's's.
Changing these only, it reads as follows:

"Praise the Lord o my Soul and all that is within me
Praise his holy Name as long as I live will I praise
The Lord I will give thanks unto God while I have
My Being sing unto the Lord o ye Kingdoms of the
Earth o sing praise unto the Lord Give the Lord the
Honour doe unto his Name worship the Lord with holy
Worship in the Time of trouble I will call upon the
Lord and he will hear me Turn thy Face from
my Sins and put out all my Misdeeds."
These choices seem to frame a faith balanced and sincere. Because of the random-ness of their selection, it makes me wonder if she chose them herself. They do not fit the usual sampler selections of the time.
Oh yes. She was age 10 when she worked this sampler.
My hope is Dear Reader, that the words of this sampler, worked so long ago by a 'friend' will encourage your heart this day.
[Psalm. 103.1; 104.33; 68.32; 29.2; 86.7]


  1. I love it!!! That is just lovely. Jane is such a lovely lady.

    And Mr. Collins makes my throat small. YUCK.

  2. Oh my! Wonderful!

    Me too on the Mr. Collins, Eewww!