Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wednesday with Words: A Little Princess

My eldest and I are enjoying reading A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  I think I have seen bits of the Disney movie and I remember reading her Secret Garden when I was younger.  I am proud of him because he boldly tells people he is reading the book.  His Grandmother tends to tease him about princess kinds of things.

Today we read the paragraph below.  Sara now lives as a lowly servant in the house where she was once treated as the star pupil and princess. Her frustration is boiling over and she is addressing her doll in the midst of her distress. Her doll isn't answering.  So she begins to reflect on holding your tongue.
"As to answering though," said Sara, trying to console herself, "I don't answer very often. I never answer when I can help it. When people are insulting you, there is nothing so good for them as not to say a word - just to look at them and think. Miss Minchin turns pale with rage when I do it, Miss Amelia looks frightened, and so do the girls.  When you will not fly into a passion people know you are stronger than they are, because you are strong enough to hold in your rage, and they are not, and they say stupid things they wish they hadn't said afterward.  There's nothing so strong as rage - except that which makes you hold it in - that's stronger.  It's a good thing not to answer your enemies.  I scarcely ever do.  Perhaps Emily (the doll) is more like me than I am like myself. Perhaps she would rather not answer her friends, even.  She keeps it all in heart."

Right now we are studying Daniel in our women's study.  We are only on chapter 3 but we have seen that Daniel and his friends do not feel the need to defend themselves or answer their enemies.  They know the God on their side and trust him to care for them.  This paragraph highlights the impact of holding your tongue (one of our memory verses from Proverbs this term) and not responding.  Currently, I am not in many situations where this applies - but I have never been one to hold my tongue.  So, maybe I am being prepared for something!

I am debating whether we should watch the movie after reading the book.  Today a friend told me that there is a Shirley Temple version so I need to check that out!  I have heard good reviews about the Disney version but I am not sure if those people have actually read the book.  It is a good story.

See what others are reading at Ladydusk.


  1. I have never read this or Secret Garden. They ought to be on my list. I think im generally one not to fight back, i hate confrontation, but that isnt always wise either. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love the quote. I think I need to learn to do that a little more!

    I didn't read The Secret Garden or The Little Princess until I was an adult. I personally like the Shirley Temple version though I don't know how well it follows the book. (I believe it is Warner Bros. who put out The Secret Garden and The Little Princess films rather than Disney.)

  3. It's a lovely story. There's a good audio version at Librivox narrated by Karen Savage.

  4. Honestly, I just assumed Disney made the more modern version so thank you for that correction. I do think we will check out Shirley Temple. Thanks for the librivox suggestion, after we are done reading it I will probably set it up so that they can listen to it during quiet time.