Saturday, June 25, 2011

Who cares about obedience?

Who cares about obedience?

In Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, Cordelia, the youngest daughter of Lord Marchmain, once received a school report saying she "was not only the worst girl in the school, but the worst there had ever been in the memory of the oldest nun."

Cordelia explained, "That's because I refused to be an Enfant de Marie.  Reverend Mother said that if I didn't keep my room tidier I couldn't be one, so I said, Well I won't be one, and I don't believe Our Blessed Lady cares two hoots whether I put my gym shoes on the left or the right of my dancing shoes.  Reverend Mother was livid."

Cordelia's pious older brother, Lord Brideshead, then tells Cordelia, "Our Lady cares about obedience."

I think Bridey got it right.

Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited (Little Brown, New York, 1944, 1945), p. 91.

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