Pride & Precedence: Those Wretched Resolutions!

An advice column by Persuasion’s own Mary Musgrove


The Vicar is at it again–and my jovial father-in-law and most of the families in our circle. They all say that the New Year should bring Resolutions. And of course they have plenty of suggestions–not only for themselves but also for me.

As if I, an Elliot of Kellynch Hall, need to alter what I do!

I am sick to death of resolutions–and it isn’t even the New Year! Here are my thoughts:

There really is no point. Let’s be honest. At least one resolution is broken as soon as dessert is handed round! Why subject yourself to guilt and shame? Mrs. Poole, for instance, announces hers to everyone–laughing, if you can believe it. I daresay in the coming year she would like to lose a stone, but everyone knows she will end up gaining twice that.

Gents-4True resolutions are serious and silent. What if, for example, one intends to skim a few pounds from the housekeeping money in order to pay for a new gown? Should I be announcing that at Mrs. Poole’s dinner table?  But no, tonight her guests will trot out the same dreary ideas.

Fitness? Seriously?  It is bad enough that I must walk up and down the stairs, and occasionally walk into the village. I need a carriage, not more opportunities to exercise.

Become better organized. When everyone else in my house decides to be organized, so will I.

Declutter?  Look, there is no need to get rid of possessions. I need a larger home–the Uppercross mansion! Why should I “sort through” my clothes and shoes and hats? I sacrifice quite enough already. And besides, Charles has no intention of “lessening” his collection of hunting guns.

Sleep more. Until my staff and family members do everything correctly on their own, they will need me to be up and about to direct them. No one knows what I suffer.

1Leisu642Travel more.  I have been telling Charles this for years, but will he listen?

Have more fun? Fun requires money, as everyone knows. And the proper gowns and shoes and hats.

Pay off debt? That’s a laugh. Debt reduction will not happen until our income is larger.  Yet Charles’ father continues on in excellent health.

And so today, while everyone else is spending their “Christmas cash” and gift money, I remain at home, obliged to come up with a list of wretched resolutions–that I have no intention of keeping.

Most cordially,

Mary Elliot Musgrove
Daughter of Sir Walter Elliot, Bart.
Future Mistress of Uppercross

Have you discovered Mercy’s Embrace?
Romance, adventure, and Admiral Patrick McGillvary are waiting …

Mary’s “portrait” is Afternoon Stroll by Giovanni Boldini


5 thoughts on “Pride & Precedence: Those Wretched Resolutions!

    1. Laura Hile

      Of course no one knows! This is why they must be told–it’s not nagging, it’s communication! And since short-term memory is such a problem, you must tell them repeatedly!! 🙂



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