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|ashamed of [Harriet] for seeming so pleased and so doubtful
Written by Stephanie
(2/1/2011 11:00 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, gentry, penned by Bridget D
The Meryton Assembly is not necessarily filled with gentlemen and their ladies; I get the idea it is a public ball, which meant anyone could pay to attend. Even so, you are right that there ARE landowners there. My impression is that Mr. Darcy feels the tenor of the room, as we witness by hearing the recap of the gossips' opinions, and decides that his wealth had been targeted by most. Since we are never given Mr. Darcy's viewpoint, we will never know, of course.
We are also only given Mr. Knightley's view second-hand, through Emma, but since her belief that he thinks well of the Martins contradicts her own judgments, I give it more credit.
Since I am of an age where social status has fewer uncrossable boundaries (creature of my time!), I see Emma's other sin as being greater: not that she is encouraging Harriet to marry with attention to status, but that she is redirecting Harriet from one happy situation without knowing that any another comparable one offers. Mr. Martin might have problems making EMMA happy, but that he has none making Harriet happy seems obvious.
To anyone not blinded by a match-making scheme, I mean. *chuckles*
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