“I think it's degrading of you, Flora,' cried Mrs Smiling at breakfast. 'Do you truly mean that you don't ever want to work at anything?'
Her friend replied after some thought: 'Well, when I am fifty-three or so I would like to write a novel as good as "Persuasion", but with a modern setting, of course. For the next thirty years or so I shall be collecting material for it. If anyone asks me what I work at, I shall say "Collecting material." No one can object to that. Besides, I shall be.'
Mrs Smiling drank some coffee in silent disapproval.
'If you ask me,' continued Flora, 'I think I have much in common with Miss Austen. She liked everything to be tidy and pleasant and comfortable around her, and so do I. You see Mary,' - and here Flora began to grow earnest and to wave one finger about - 'unless everything is tidy and pleasant and comfortable all about one, people cannot even begin to enjoy life. I cannot endure messes.”