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|"I am disappointed," was his only answer.
Written by Stephanie
(2/14/2011 4:44 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Snooping versus Complimenting, penned by Robbin
I think you forgot that Mr. Darcy did ask Elizabeth her opinion of Mr. and Mrs. Collins's happiness; in ch. 33 of P&P and in ch. 32, although Mr. Darcy does not ask it specifically, Elizabeth discusses Charlotte's sense being an asset to Mr. Collins, and Mr. Collins being a prudential match for her, and neither of them seem to feel she is being vulgar by doing so.
Indeed, it seems that pros and cons of matches are discussed by many of the characters in Austen novels. It seems perfectly reasonable to chat about a recent wedding amongst one's acquaintance. Of course, if Jane Fairfax did not wish to relax into such talk, she had a right not to. That leaves Emma with a perfect right in return to disagree with Mr. Knightley that she and Miss Fairfax should be boon companions, and that Emma should make as many overtures as necessary to overcome Miss Fairfax's "diffidence."
Miss Fairfax is cool towards Miss Woodhouse, yet if Mr. Knightley thinks Emma wrong in not attempting to change Miss Fairfax's mind, then Mr, Knightley is the one in the wrong in my opinion. Emma should naturally show Miss Fairfax the respect due her, but his attempt in ch. 21 to force an intimacy between them is stubborn and blind.
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